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!!


Resources for this project:

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Karen Karen on Jan 15, 2020

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

  • Debra Debra on Jan 15, 2021

    Did you coat it with something like polyurethane after the burning process to protect it?

  • Carol Carol on Jan 17, 2021


    love this technique.

    Hands don't work well anymore.

    crazy but I kinda all ready know. Could you do the same technique without sanding. Let me know


Join the conversation

2 of 100 comments
  • Eva Fahrnbach Eva Fahrnbach on Jul 11, 2021

    The technique is nice. Have done it before. But you must use caution. Keep long hair. Tied up . Decent shoes. Open flame is serious business. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.

  • Davis.k Davis.k on Sep 25, 2021

    Love it!! Great job.