FIRE: Shou Sugi Ban


The phrase “fight fire with fire” is too true with this ancient Japanese method of preserving wood. Shou Sugi Ban is a traditional Japanese method of wood preservation by slightly charring the surface of the wood to increase durability.


The technique of burning the surface of the wood improves the weather resistance performance, prevents decay, rot, and insect infestation, and makes the wood more resistant to fire than a non-heat-treated plank.


It’s application in an equestrian facility has many benefits including:

  • Non-toxic

  • Easy to execute

  • Easy to maintain


At Lavender Fields, as my son demonstrates in the photo, we used the Shou Sugi Ban technique for the kick walls, tack room, and cross tie walls. It has a beautiful black finish. We sealed it with Boiled Linseed Oil (flax). We burned the wood in place. However, in the future, I would burn and seal the wood first. Then, install.