Have you ever wondered about that fantastic dark yet interesting finish that you see on Japanese wooden buildings? If you haven’t then you might recognize it from the picture below. While it looks like a stain it is actually much better than this. Who would not want a beautiful long lasting weatherboard finish that requires no painting and can last for up to 80 years?
The Japanese call them Sugi boards. These are made by burning off the outside layer of cedar weatherboards and then brushing and washing off the burnt carbon. The result is that the remaining top layer of wood becomes harder and resistant to water as well as taking on a beautiful dark brown patina with highlighted grain. While conventional weatherboards need to be regularly cleaned and painted along with wooden shingles Sugi boards are one of the ultimate low maintenance building claddings.
Traditional Japanese builders also used the Sugi technique to create beautiful and long lasting floorboards. We have recently applied this to a radiata pine floor in a home in Berwick and the result, as you can see below, was sensational. Not only does it look beautiful but it is a healthy low environmental impact finish that completely eliminates the work of sanding and the application of toxic finishes such as two pack that emit VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) which can cause a range of health problems.
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