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Burnt Wood Finish

For a hot look, use fire to produce a distinctive textured wood finish you can apply to any furniture project.

Round table with a burnt wood finish

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Propane torch
  • Blue Hawk brown welding gloves, #425639
  • Wire brush
  • Broom and bucket
  • Concrete blocks or bricks
  • Breathing protection


  • Minwax wood stain, Special Walnut
  • Minwax semigloss spray polyurethane

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Before beginning finish work on a dowel table like the one shown, consult the project instructions to find out when to apply the finish.

Step 1

Drill the pine rounds and sand them with 120-grit and then 180-grit sandpaper. Also, sand the dowels smooth. For other wood projects, first complete any drilling, cutting, and sanding.

Good to Know

Avoid sanding the dowels any more than necessary. This keeps them from fitting loosely in the pine-round holes.

Step 2

Tape off 1/4 inch at one end of each dowel. Stain the dowels with Special Walnut stain, wipe, and let dry.

Step 3

Place a pine round on concrete blocks or bricks in an open outdoor area. Keep a bucket of water nearby. While wearing breathing protection and heat-resistant gloves, use a propane torch to gradually darken the underside of the pine round up to the rounded edges. To counter the drying effects from the heat, flip the pine round over and repeat on the other side. Then flip the round over again and continue scorching the surface until you have an even pattern. Repeat for the other pine round.

Good to Know

Avoid scorching the sides or bottoms of the holes you drilled earlier. The dowels will need an undamaged surface for gluing. Vacuum out any debris before assembly.

Step 4

Using a wire brush, lightly brush in the direction of the wood grain to remove scorched soft wood in the grain of the pine. (You can leave a portion of the scaling on the surface.) The firmer lines of the grain will leave a texture on the surface as you brush. Repeat for the other pine round.

Step 5

After the surfaces of both pine rounds have the texture you want, barely darken the edges of the rounds with the torch.

Step 6

Lightly sand the pine-round edges without removing all of the darkened wood or texture. Vacuum clean and apply Special Walnut stain. Add additional coats as needed for the color you want. After the final coat of stain dries, spray the pine rounds with two coats of polyurethane finish.

Step 7

Table with a burnt wood finish

Complete the table following the assembly instructions or proceed with the rest of your project.