How to Wood Burn Furniture: Shou-Sugi-Ban

3 Materials
2 Hours

I scored this dresser on the side of the road a few years back and have been meaning to give it some zest love. The time has come! Chanda and I are both addicted to this new japanese wood burning technique called Shou Sugi Ban. Not only is the outcome a lush dark chocolate wood, but let’s face it we get our inner pyro out with this technique.

Original Blog Post

Here's the before... I really want to add some texture and unique color to this piece of furniture!

First I sanded all the cream paint off the drawers to find some gorgeous raw wood hiding underneath.

Next I grabbed my torch (you can get one at Miner’s) and begin to run the flame up and down the wood. You won’t want to stay in one area too long, just long enough for the wood to turn a toasty brown and then move on. Be sure to step back every few strokes and make sure you are burning evenly.

Yep, inhale that burnt wood smell. MMmmmMMM

Loving the outcome!!

I am in LOVE.

Look at that contrast of the cream color and the wood burned furniture!

This texture is unreal!!

I can't get enough of the natural wood grain!

Now look at that staple piece of furniture...LOVE!

Happy Burning!!

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Zest it Up

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Linda W
    Linda W
    on Dec 9, 2018

    That is really cool looking! Makes me think of a brindle boxer’s coat and I love them! One question: if you decided eventually to refinish it another way, would you just sand the burned layer down?

    Thanks, Linda W

    • Nancy
      on Sep 26, 2020

      You would probably be better off to add a stain to the burn since any decent burn would involve a LOT of sanding to remove it. You could even add a color stain. If you search online you can find out more about it.

  • Bonnie
    on Dec 9, 2018

    Can it be varnished after burning?

  • Karen
    on Jan 15, 2020

    Can this effect be achieved with a heat gun, or does it have to be flame?

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