Obviously, everyone has their own preferences and opinions on the “right’ way to do things. When we do our shou sugi ban inspired wood burning, we tend to get a lot of messages saying things like, “you’re overdoing it” or “you can get the same result in half the time.” With that being said, we decided to do a little experiment to see if there really was a difference in the final product!
Here’s the short of it…
Essentially, what we are trying to achieve is a dramatic finish to the wood and for the grain to pop and have as much depth and character as possible. No matter which way you prefer (the quick way or the more time consuming way), the wood is lightly sanded and then burned with a propane torch. You can either do a heavy, “full char”, or a light surface burn. Now here is where you choose to either have a quick project or one that is more time consuming. With the light char, you’re pretty much done with just that. Wipe some stain on there, wipe off the excess and viola! With a heavier burn, you will need to go back and brush out the charred wood to reveal the spring wood underneath. I will say that this is messy and can take quite a while but even before you put any stain or dye on it, you will immediately see the difference in depth between the two. Lastly, add some color to it and the difference is night and day! Depending on what you are trying to achieve, either “works” but they are definitely do not have the same end result.
If you would like to watch the two methods done by us to see exactly what we are talking about, we filmed our little experiment and would love your feedback! Which way do you think looks better? Tell us what you think!