While some people appreciate this peeling effect as it adds character over time, nowadays many people prefer to lock in the aesthetic of the original textured charcoal layer and avoid the peeling effect, something made possible today thanks to advances in sealant technology. Whether you choose to let your siding show its traditional wear over time by using natural oil, or lock in charcoal look with a heavier-duty sealant, Shou Sugi Ban is a great option if you are looking for a low-maintenance material designed to last a lifetime.
Many centuries ago, Japanese carpenters seeking material for their homes and fences originally used driftwood collected from the coast line. Driftwood was desired because it underwent a weathering and durability process through the sun and ocean water currents. This also produced a natural, artistic and unique finish. Demand for this type of product was high, but it was in short supply. So people turned to fire as another means of attaining the same look and durability. Hence, Shou Sugi Ban become popular. It was popular for hundreds of years, but in the last century its popularity decreased due to the use of plastic and cement siding. It appeared to be a lost technique, but gained momentum in the early 2000s as green and eco-friendly building practices started to gain widespread popularity. Modern architects and western designers started to use this technique in their work. Now, designers and builders in America have found that American outdoor woods work just as well in achieving the Shou Sugi Ban quality and aesthetic. Today, western artisans are producing many creative effects by brushing the wood, staining it, and sealing it, allowing for many interesting colours and textures. The lost art of Shou Sugi Ban has become a perfectly modern and practical solution for anyone looking for a natural and eco-friendly cladding alternative.