Nakamoto Forestry

Yakisugi Finish Options

Nakamoto Forestry offers a variety of finish options for our wood products depending on the needs of your project, ranging from unoiled to acrylic. The secret sauce is our stain-grade wood, which will build character over the years with or without a coating applied. Our wood siding is designed to minimize maintenance, maximize longevity, and showcase the beauty of the wood for decades.

Finish Reference Chart

This quick-reference chart provides an at-a-glance view of our available wood and finish combinations. Determine which option is the best match for your application and aesthetic. Our patina scale range can help you select a product that will enhance the natural patina process or extend the color longevity for generations.

Finish OptionApplicationPatina Scale Range*Color TransparencyBase
Unoiled Sugi, Gendai, Pika-PikaExterior/Interior9Transparentn/a
Unoiled SuyakiExterior/Interior4Solidn/a
Tung OilExterior2Semi-SolidOil
Linseed OilExterior5Semi-TransparentOil
AlkydExterior/Interior3Semi-SolidWater
AcrylicExterior/Interior1SolidWater
Weathering StainExterior9TransparentWater
Polyurethane ClearInteriorn/aTransparentWater
Polyurethane BlackInteriorn/aSemi-SolidWater
*Maximum Coat Longevity = 1, Wabi-Sabi Patina = 9
An Exercise in Wabi Sabi

Real Yakisugi Has Patina

Yakisugi is a low-maintenance wood siding. The thick soot layer on Suyaki will stay intact for up to 50 years, depending on site conditions. After that, the soot will begin to wear away, forming a beautiful patina unlike any other wood siding.

Gendai and Pika-Pika will weather and gradually change in color, as with any other kind of wood siding. The change in color is inevitable and expected, we believe this rich patina-which can only be achieved through years of weathering-is an exercise in wabi sabi.

In Japan, yakisugi is valued for its beauty. Re-oiling can be done to yakisugi to maintain the color, though we encourage waiting a few years before doing so.

More on Wabi Sabi

Surface Type Comparison

Nakamoto Forestry’s four distinct wood surfaces are available in an array of finish options. The table below displays the applicable finishes for each surface type.

Suyaki®Gendai®Pika-Pika®Sugi
Unoiled
Tung Oil
Linseed Oil
Alkyd Oil
Acrylic Coating
Weathering Stain
Polyurethane Clear
Polyurethane Black

Unoiled

Charred to Last a Lifetime

Our unoiled yakisugi is the most natural and organic siding option we offer. Made from wood that is heat-treated through the traditional Japanese process, it is designed to be installed and enjoyed for a lifetime without applying a finish.

The heat treatment process carbonizes the wood, making it highly resistant to pests, moisture, and fire. We leave the wood completely unoiled so it can gracefully weather and patina over time according to your local climate. Unoiled wood will slowly turn to silver without the need for stains or finishes.

If you wish to speed up the aging process to achieve a silvered look faster, we recommend using our specially formulated silver weathering stain.

Considerations
  • Blemishes and soot erosion will develop over time and are the nature of this very traditional material.
  • Installers and the jobsite will get covered in soot during installation.
  • Fades and changes color over time.
  • Every project will weather differently due to unique microclimates.
  • Can be stained or coated on site.
  • Unoiled Suyaki traditionally used on ceilings as an air purifier.
Available Products
East West House - Gendai® Unoiled
Gendai Unoiled

Tung Oil

Traditional, Natural and Authentic Yakisugi “Shou Sugi Ban”

Our unique tung oil blend was formulated specifically for exterior Suyaki®. This oil stain penetrates and stabilizes the delicate soot layer, making it easier to handle during installation.

The leathery texture will blemish and weather over time and can easily be touched up as desired. Tung oil has been used to extend the longevity of Suyaki in Japan for centuries.

Considerations
  • User-friendly material with a leathery surface that will patina slowly over time.
  • Beware of options on the market with hard-shell coatings.
  • Blemishes and soot erosion will develop over time and are the nature of this very traditional material.
  • Easy touch-up if scratched or scuffed.
Available Products
Suyaki EXT Avon select shiplap 1x6 Nakamoto Forestry Yakisugi Shou Sugi Ban
Suyaki Tung OIl

Linseed Oil

Showcasing Wood’s Natural Beauty

We use a proprietary blend of linseed oil stain perfected to accentuate the natural wood grain. This semi-transparent finish absorbs into the wood, conditioning and protecting the surface while allowing the texture and beauty of the grain to show through.

The linseed oil enhances the inherent qualities of the wood, bringing out richer tones and providing the optimal balance between showcasing raw, natural splendor and promoting long-lasting color retention over time. It’s an ideal stain choice for those who appreciate the way wood gracefully weathers and patinas.

As the wood is exposed to sun, rain, and changing seasons, it develops an organic, earned patina. For those wishing to maintain consistent color, the stain can be reapplied as needed. The wood can be left untouched to gradually fade and weather naturally for a timeworn look. Either way, our linseed oil stain draws out the best in your wood’s natural beauty.

Considerations
  • Options available to match most project aesthetics.
  • Fades and changes color over time.
  • Showcases the natural wood grain and color best among our exterior products.

Alkyd Oil

Vibrant, Reliable Color

Our alkyd oil wood stain is a semi-solid, permeable coating that protects the wood while allowing some of the natural texture to show through. You can choose between one or two coat options to determine the level of pigmentation and achieve your preferred finish color.

The water-based alkyd oil stain is highly durable and resistant to moisture and UV rays. Unlike more transparent stains, it is designed to maintain consistent color over time rather than weathering naturally. The oil permeates deep into the wood grains for reliable, long-lasting pigmentation that resists fading when compared to oil-based finishes.

If you prefer the look of a vibrant, uniform wood finish that retains its color despite weathering, our alkyd oil stain is an excellent choice. The pigmented formula enriches the natural wood tones and provides reliable protection against moisture damage and UV fading. It allows for customizable color intensities to suit your design vision.

Considerations
  • Specify two coats for optimal color longevity.
  • Once coat will show wood highlights, two coats will be a more opaque color.
  • Great color longevity for a natural coating.
  • Use a minimum amount of touchup oil and immediately wipe off residue to prevent glossy spots.

Acrylic

Time-Tested, Solid Durability

When it comes to reliable, long-lasting wood color retention, our acrylic coating is unmatched in durability. The high-adhesion formula deeply penetrates the wood surface and forms a protective high-build finish that resists cracking, peeling and fading. This coating has proven its superior weather resistance through over 60 years of testing and field use. It carries a limited manufacturer’s warranty of 15 years with two coats and 25 years with three coats.

With its rigorous fire-retardant properties meeting demanding commercial standards, our acrylic wood coating is an excellent choice for commercial and institutional buildings. It provides complete blocking of UV rays along with long-term protection from moisture damage.

If your project calls for stable, vivid wood tones that stand up to heavy weathering and wear without fading or peeling, our specialized acrylic coating delivers unmatched color durability and peace of mind.

Considerations
  • Great option for institutional or other projects requiring the best coating performance.
  • Architectural grade coating field tested for generations.
  • Has demonstrated good adhesion to yakisugi pressure-treated with fire retardant.
  • Some soot residue or caking is unavoidable. Be careful to separate planks to avoid blocking.
Available Products
Black Wood Siding Product: Gendai Acrylic Black
Gendai Acrylic Black

Polyurethane

Shows and Protects the Wood’s True Color

Our water-based non-toxic polyurethane coating provides a durable shield ideal for accentuating beautiful interior wood. The hard, abrasion-resistant finish prevents dirt buildup, staining, and day-to-day wear and tear without hiding the wood’s natural grain patterns and colors.

Unlike some polyurethane formulas with strong solvent odors and toxic ingredients, our low-VOC, water-based variety offers a studio-friendly, environmentally responsible alternative. The polyurethane gloss allows the depth, variation, and richness of the wood to take center stage while enhancing luster and providing reliable protection from scrapes, scuffs, and scratches.

Considerations
  • Non-toxic polyurethane finish with a satin sheen.
  • Dramatically showcases the opulent, natural wood grain.
  • Clean to the touch.
Available Products
Suyaki® with Polyurethane Black
Suyaki Polyurethane

Weathering Stain

Classic, Distinguished Patina

The silver weathering stain is based on the Cape Cod gray aesthetic and should only be used in exterior applications. It is designed to be maintenance-free as it develops a bleached coastal patina over time. The stain has two main components: one is a silver pigment without a binder that will wash off within the first year, while the second is mineral ferrous sulfate that reacts with the tannic acid in the wood to develop a natural silver color.

Considerations
  • Designed to patina from pigmented silver to faded silver over time.
  • Factory silver stain can be blotchy. Over time, weathering generally evens out the overall tone.
  • Unique patina product.
Available Products
Sugi Weathering Stain Silver SVART select shiplap 1x6 Nakamoto Forestry Yakisugi Shou Sugi Ban
Sugi Weathering Stain

Nakamoto Forestry Finish Options FAQs

I didn’t realize yakisugi “shou sugi ban” was ever coated, yet you have so many options. Why is that?

In Japan, yakisugi was seldom coated or recoated with oil stains until the 1980s, when various colored oil options became widely accessible. Uncoated yakisugi offers optimal value and excellent durability. Our carefully curated palette of coating options is designed to cater to a diverse range of customer preferences and designs.

Yakisugi “shou sugi ban” is black and will always stay black without maintenance, right?

Without oil finishes, only our Suyaki products are black. Gendai and Pika-Pika products are brown until a black oil stain has been applied. It is important to differentiate between wood durability and color longevity. Patina is frequently misinterpreted as a sign of reduced durability, but high-grade wood typically is coated with oil finishes over paints, leading to a natural change in color over time. Resistance to rot is primarily determined by the wood species and the quality of installation, rather than being influenced significantly by stains or paints.

To the best of our knowledge, yakisugi is the most weather-resistant stain-grade softwood siding. It is important to define durability in terms of rot-resistance rather than abrasion-resistance. Interior wood should be hard and resistant to abrasion, while exterior softwood benefits from being lightweight and porous for increased longevity. In the realm of siding, durability is defined by how long it lasts, rather than its hardness. Therefore, any softwood siding intended for long-term use is inherently soft and will naturally develop a patina from daily use.

What is the difference between the various coating types you offer?

Each surface type we offer is available with a variety of factory coating options. For interior applications, polyurethanes, alkyd oils, and acrylic coatings can be specified. For exterior applications, tung oil, linseed oils, alkyd oils, acrylics, and a weathering stain are all available. Tung and linseed oils are semi-transparent traditional oil finishes crafted to highlight the color and depth of the wood underneath, available exclusively in one-coat options. Alkyd oils are semi-solid finishes that reveal some wood color with a single coat and conceal the wood color with two coats. Acrylic coatings, on the other hand, are solid finishes that completely encase the wood in multiple protective layers, resulting in the best coating longevity.

Can you describe the coating options you have in terms of aesthetic range between wabi-sabi patina on one extreme, and best coating durability on the other?

Our highest patina options include unoiled wood and those treated with a weathering stain. Linseed oil finishes also fall within the patina side of the range, while one-coat alkyd options lean more toward coating durability. For increased durability, two coats of alkyd are recommended, followed by two and three coats of acrylic, representing the most durable coating options available.

Which oil finish should we choose for our project?

Each project comes with unique design parameters, and it’s the responsibility of the build team to determine the product and coating option that best suits the specific project requirements. We encourage you to thoroughly review our spec sheets, blog posts, images, and samples to make an informed decision. Our coating options are standard finishes commonly used for stain-grade wood. Contractors are typically familiar with these coating types, and there is ample information available on the characteristics of oil finishes on the internet for additional reference.

Can I buy extra touchup oil to paint some adjacent wood to match the yakisugi I am buying from you?

It is typical for locally sourced wood trim adjacent to our yakisugi scope to be painted, either to complement or contrast with our siding. We can provide extra oil stain for this purpose, as long as it is part of a single transaction and shipped together with your lumber package. It’s important to note that, even with multiple coats of oil, locally sourced wood products may not perfectly match the color and tone of our yakisugi products.

What exactly is an alkyd oil finish?

The alkyd oil finishes we utilize are derived from vegetable oil that undergoes chemical polymerization, subsequently dissolved into a water base. Alkyds exhibit high elasticity similar to traditional oil-based finishes. As they dry, the cross-linking molecules bond, forming a durable coating on the wood surface. These finishes are typically more opaque and provide enhanced UV protection compared to traditional oils, thanks to their higher pigment content.

Tell me about the tung oil used in Nakamoto Forestry's Suyaki product. Can it be specified for other products?

The tung oil utilized in our Suyaki product is a key element for its durability and toughness in exterior exposure. While many high-grade traditional oil finishes include tung oil, we exclusively offer the tung oil base on our Suyaki product due to compatibility reasons. This robust tung oil coating transforms Suyaki’s soot layer into a resilient and user-friendly leathery surface. Currently, this specific tung oil treatment is unique to the Suyaki product and cannot be specified for our other offerings.

We have some old samples marked “interior oil” on the labels but no longer see this option on your website. Is it still available?

We have discontinued the oil-based interior coating options due to a limited market and inconsistent tone lot-to-lot. Our current offerings for interior applications include alkyd oil, acrylic, and polyurethane coating options.

Could you please tell us a little more about your silver weathering stain?

Our weathering stain is intentionally designed to transition from a factory silver color to a naturally bleached silver hue over time as the wood weathers. The stain incorporates a silver pigment blend, contributing to the initial factory silver color that gradually washes off during the first few months of exposure. The blotchiness of the silver pigment is a natural characteristic, as the stain lacks chemical emulsifiers or binders. Ferrous sulphate is the other key component in weathering stains. It reacts with atmospheric moisture and tannic acid in the wood, facilitating the bleaching process that results in an overall silver color. The weathering stain imparts a living patina finish akin to our unoiled Gendai yakisugi product.

Can we specify your Gendai or Sugi silver weathering stain on a soffit application?

Technically, yes, weathering stains can be applied to soffit surfaces, but they are generally not considered suitable for such applications. Soffits are shielded from direct exposure to wind, moisture, and sunlight. The weathering process, integral to these stains, relies on the interaction of the wood with these elements, washing off the pigment and allowing ferrous sulphate to react and bleach the wood to its silver color. In soffit applications, where weather exposure is limited, the intended effect will likely not be achieved.

Can we use the silver weathering stain on an interior?

The weathering stain is exclusively formulated for exterior weather exposure and is not suitable for interior applications. It features a silver pigment applied to the surface without a binder, resulting in a soft residue on the surface. For interior applications, we recommend choosing Gendai Alkyd Light Gray coating option or staining unoiled Sugi on-site to match with our exterior-grade Weathering Stain Silver.