There’s one thing this mama never passes up on the side of the road…wood. It could be a solid piece of furniture left for dead, or some shelf. But I most definitely brake for lumber, especially gorgeous tongue & groove beauties like this. It’s one board of several I found and giddily put in my truck. One of the planks is becoming a focus of showing you how to create a DIY scorched wood shelf.
Isn’t the detailing gorgeous? I mean, this can’t be found in your box store lumber aisle for sure. So, I ration it like it’s gold (pssst…because it is! tee hee!)
Okay, so I mentioned create a shelf, but even better I’m sharing a fun technique using a tool some people tend to overlook. Meet my hottie friend, the Wagner Furno Heat Gun.
Have you ever used one of these? When I worked on the paint crew in college, I kinda blew it off as a glorified hair dryer. However, little did I know how amazing it is to have in my tool arsenal. You can see what I mean in my video below.
*post sponsored by Wagner (see full disclosure)
Plus, you can also see how I built a sleigh and used it to bend metal, and also how to use it to create your own wood-burned designs and logos.
Here is the end result of my woodworking and torching adventures.
Have you ever heard of Shou Sugi Ban? It’s an ancient Japanese carbonized burnt wood finish that naturally preserves the wood. You can see it used on cedar or larch cladding. In addition, you can also use pine, hemlock, maple or oak as well. (*source) I’m going to basically show a spin on that method.
First, if you’d like to create one of these of your own, get your hands on the materials below. This is a rough guide, but you can totally tweak this to suit your space or your liking in any way you like. I use pine in this instance, but any species will work.
TOOLS & SUPPLIES
- reclaimed or new wood
- 2 – 26″ L x 7″ W boards (tongue & groove is great, but isn’t essential)
- 2 – 8 ¼” L x 5″ W boards
- 1 – 9 ¼” L x 5″ W board
- 3 – 9 ¼” L x 1 ¼” W boards
- 1 – 15″ L x 5 ½” W board
- 2 – 5 ½” L x 5 ½” W triangles for corbels (cut scroll design if desired)
- 3 wire hooks or Shaker pegs
- keyhole hardware (for flush-mount hanging)
- Furno Heat Gun
- saw – miter saw, jig saw, table saw, or circular saw
- nailer with 1 ½” brads, or drill with screws
- wood glue
- tape measure
- builder’s square
- safety gear – ear plugs, safety glasses, dust mask
Then, once I have all my pieces cut and ready to assemble, it’s time to get building. Not only is a nailer my preferred tool for assembly, it makes this job easier as a solo DIYer. However, you can use a drill and screws as well. Just make sure you pre-drill the wood to prevent splitting. Also, to make the job easier, assemble the #1 pieces (use a pocket joint if your boards aren’t tongue & groove), the #2, #3,  pieces into a crate (shown below), and #5 & #6 into a shelf. In addition, use wood glue to make the joints nice and tight.
Don’t stop yet, however, because our DIY fun is just getting started! It’s time to break out our Furno Heat Gun and give this wood some dimension. The two back boards I use a charcoal reactive stain to make it nice and dark.
Though, for the crate and shelf, I want to contrast that with a scorched wood look. Simply rest the gun on the stand on a safe surface, turn it on, and allow it to heat up for a couple of minutes. Then, slow and steady, pass it over the wood. Eventually, you’ll see the grain pop out in a miraculous way.
Likewise, hit the edges and corners to give it a darker effect. It’s so addictive!
Finally, to assemble it all together. Reverse your shelf and crate placement on the backside and mark where you want your pieces attached. Then, pre-drill holes to attach from the back using screws. In like fashion, be sure to add your keyhole hardware.
That hardware allows for a flush mount, as well as can hold heavy objects with no problem. They’re a must-have in my stash.
Here’s our DIY scorched wood shelf complete with hooks for coats or towels. Where would you use it?
I’ve staged it as an entry shelf, but honestly, it can be useful in a bathroom, bedroom, and even a porch if protected properly. Isn’t that wood technique sweet?
Not only is the crate a sweet addition, but it’s so useful for books, mail, towels…you get the idea. And, who can’t use oodles of hooks too.
Likewise, if you’d like to add this to your home story, you can find it and more available in my online shop.
Wagner and I are all about empowering you to get your own DIY projects done. We are giving away a Wagner Heat Gun to one of you. Just fill out the widget below for as many entries as you like (daily even). Open to U.S. & Canada residents 18 years of age and older. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to respond. Also, check your spam!
In addition, let’s get the DIY spirit out there and inspire others to give this DIY scorched wood technique a try. Do pin and share!
Up next, this broken stand needs some serious DIY help. Come see its new life HERE!
To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!
Great looking shelf.
Using my small kitchen torch I have burnt small wooden Christmas projects. So much fun to do. Just have to make sure that a person doesn’t get too carried away with the torch.
Thanks for this wonderful giveaway opportunity.
Have a wonderful weekend.
That’s so fun! Yes, it’s so addictive to use and see the end result. You too, Colleen!
I would use in making more wood burned Christmas projects
Rebecca - NC says
I always wondered how that look was achieved! What a great new way to add some individual style to your home!! Thanks Larissa!!!?
Isn’t it neat? I just love seeing the grain pop and you can go as dark or as light as you want.
Mary Kaiser says
WOW that turned out so great. I have seen that look on wood before, but didn’t know how they did it. Thanks for sharing and thanks for having the contest!! You rock!
tee hee! You are such a fun girl, Mary! Thank you so much. You’ve gotta give it a try.
The shelf looks great! I am looking for plans for a plant stand and this would be fun to try out on it!
Thanks so much, Lisa. You will love it! I built a plant stand from different things, you can see them HERE.
Mother Deer says
Your project looks great; a new process for me to learn about. I have been wanting a heat gun to help with removing paint and to quick-dry craft projects. Thanks for this opportunity 🙂
My absolute pleasure! This technique can go as dark as you want and is so versatile. You will love the Furno!
Marie - Interior Frugalista says
Very cool! I’ve been wanting to try the shou sugi ban technique but was nervous about using a torch. Thank you for sharing a much less intimidating alternative to get the look. It’s on my Must Try list now! Love the DIY storage shelf too – lots of great organizing potential there.
The primary way we would use this is for repairing vinyl plank flooring. We installed a vinyl plank in our home that uses an adhesive strip to connect the pieces, and to remove a damaged piece, you have to heat the adhesive. A blow fryer works, but it takes forever. We would also use this for the insulating film we put on our windows in the winter.
Yes, it sure does!! This is a very nice must-have tool for sure.
Christine Roppel says
LOVE this! I can’t wat to try this out! Thanks!
Yay! That’s the spirit! 😀
Amber Lee Kolb says
I love it!! My husband has brought home a lot of pallets lately and I would love to build a pallet bar for our patio. We have a pond, a sandbox with beach sand, a propane fireplace out there already. I think a little bar would be perfect!
That’s what I love to hear, Amber! It’s so fun to DIY.
Susan Skidmore says
Love it. The heat gun would be great for a lot of projects. Thanks for the chance to win.
Thanks! I wish I had one for everyone. My pleasure!
Cool. Always wanted to learn this!
It really is addictive and oh so fun to see it change before your eyes.
SONJA HANSEN says
Im getting ready to strip some molding and closet doors that have finishes that date back to the late 60’s. I am not of fan of using chemical strippers and would like to try the heat gun. It is a time of year when I can take it outside and not worry about the fumes. Thanks for continuing to share your fun DIY projects.
Sounds like the absolute perfect project for the Furno heat gun. You’ll love it!
Wow! That really creates beautiful wood! Just watched the video about using the gun to remove old paint. I have an antique hot mess China cabinet in storage (for 2 years?) that the finish looks like alligator skin. I’ve been dreading trying to strip it off all those curvy legs. Would that heat gun work for something like that? And thanks for all the great giveaways you do!
Thanks! You’ve gotta try it. As for the cabinet, the heat gun would work for sure. Though you may want to try just sanding it and using the heat gun in hard places. Either way, it’s a win! 😀