I put up “floating” shou sugi ban shelves! There’s a section of the studio that was just begging for shelves, and I could really use the storage space. But for these shelves, I wanted something a little different. A while back I found a photo of this beautiful zebra stripe looking wood, and I wanted something similar.  So I turned to the traditional Japanese art of shou sugi Ban for my shelves. The traditional practice of shou sugi ban involves charring cedar wood with fire, creating a a finished piece that is black and weatherproof, bug proof, and lasts for a long time.  

I gathered these materials:
  • Two pieces of 2” x 12” x 44” Pine Wood

  • Five pieces of 2” x 7” x 44” Pine Wood

  • Measuring Tape

  • Propane hand held flame

  • Two rags

  • Pencil

  • Stud Finder

  • Level

  • Drill

  • Four 12 inch “L” Brackets

  • 10 of the 3 inch “L” Brackets

  • 1.5 inch wood screws

  • 3/4 inch wood screws


    • Select wood and cut wood pieces to size.
    • Light hand torch and burn wood.
    • Rub wood down with rag to remove excess charcoal.
    • Paint wood with whitewash stain.
    • Spray paint L brackets gold.
    • Find studs in wall and attach brackets, then attach wood to brackets.
    • Style shelves as you see fit.

I went with less of a traditional route and chose pine wood for my shelves. I wanted something that was lighter in color and would char well- and had them cut to size- 44 inches each. I was also excited to find something that didn’t break the budget, especially since I would be doing so much refinishing to them.

I used a rag to remove any excess charcoal. Then I painted the pieces with a whitewash stain and again wiped them down with another rag. I decided that the charred wood without this stain was a little too dark and would distract from anything on it. I was also looking for uniformity in the color and the stain really helped with that.

I’m not showing this step in pics, but I spray painted the L brackets with gold spray paint. Then I found the studs (with my stud finder) and attached them to the wall with my 1.5 inch screws, then attached the wood to the brackets with the 3/4 inch screws. Make sure your shelves are even- very important! Max helped me a lot with this step. 🙂

Then add items to the shelves. My plan is to fill these beauties with lots of plants, so stay tuned. I will be sharing some plant tips and some styling ideas for the pots. Lots of fun projects on the way with this!

I think the final product looks pretty awesome. It’s not perfect, but I’m okay with that. I also love the way the texture pops out under different lighting settings. It’ll be so lovely with my future product shots and mini videos. I’m pumped!

Thanks for reading!