Design, Oak, Furniture

What Is Scorched Oak?


Scorching timber has been used for centuries as a way of preserving wood. The Japanese still practice the ancient art of Yakisugi (charring timber with fire) to clad their houses, not only for the incredible dark charcoal colour, but to also prevent insect attack, rot and weathering. The technique is now a highly desirable design aesthetic and is often found cladding Scandinavian buildings, strongly contrasting against the weather worn landscapes.

Scorching the oak’s surface with an intense flame will burn off the slightly less dense spring wood and leave more of the summer late wood, giving the surface a rich texture full of character. Once it has been given a good brush down to remove the loose charring, sealing with oil enhances the natural charcoal-black colour and makes the oak durable, weatherproof and strangely enough, fire resistant. Outdoor furniture with this scorched oak finish needs very little maintenance.

Gaze Burvill Scorched oak
Scorched oak curved bench


The Hope and Remembrance Seat at Kew Gardens, designed and crafted by Gaze Burvill, features scorched oak elements entwined with the natural oak, adding striking impact to the poignant piece. See our video for more details here.

Gold award winning Garden Designer Andy Sturgeon included scorched oak sculptures in his Chelsea Flower Show 2019 show garden. Inspired by the rock formations he had seen on a trip to an Australian beach, the scorched oak created a dramatic backdrop for the woodland planting and won him best in show.

If you are interested in having a bespoke scorched oak finish on any of our outdoor furniture please get in touch on 01420 588444 or email us at

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