A New Twist on the Matte Black Trend (This One On Your Walls)

Matte black is having a big moment. From the exteriors of houses to furniture to kitchen cabinets and more, one of the most popular ways to add matte black to your home is the easy and versatile accent wall. Want to take your matte black game to the next level though? Wall paint simply not a big enough statement for you? These two black accent walls weren’t achieved with wall paint; they’re wood walls. And they’re two amazing ways to embrace matte black while also adding architectural interest and texture to a room.

Shou Sugi Ban

Jonathan’s bedroom wall came out so good, he felt the need to remove the bedroom door so it could always be in view! That’s called a project success! In his minimal and modern Montreal apartment, the bedroom features a charred, matte black Shou Sugi Ban accent wall.

Shou Sugi ban is a Japanese technique of burning the surface of certain types of wood to give it a rich black finish. It’s long been used for home exteriors because the process actually protects the wood from the elements (check out this NYT gallery for more information). But just because it might not rain inside your home doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy Shou Sugi Ban’s stunning surface indoors.

Jonathan’s bedroom accent wall is made from wood supplied and installed by the Montreal company Arbres & Bois. I reached out to Daniel Bellerose, the president of Arbre & Bois, who reported that for the same finish (named Reptile), the price per square foot is just under $6 CAD (which would be just under $5 per square foot).

That does not include installation, the cost of which would vary by project (and could get pricey depending on your home and project size). Though just the price from one company, it does show that upping your accent wall game from paint to wood might be more in your budget than you realize. Try calling local woodworkers, mills and furniture makers in your area who may be able to point you in the Shou Sugi Ban direction. Or, you could always go the DIY route…


Stikwood’s Shou Sugi Ban-Inspired “Charcoal”

When Kathy and James bought this house in Michigan, it had good bones and a lot of potential, but was going to need tons of work to make it fit their style. A fan of simple, minimal designs, much of the home features bright white walls and warm wood furniture. The dining room (visible from the living room’s open concept floor plan) was screaming for an extra something special.

James really wanted a black wood wall in the dining room. “We got it from Stikwood, and I have to say I do love it,” admits Kathy. Kathy and James chose the “Charcoal” Stikwood product, and according to the website that version will cost $10 a square foot. And though potentially more expensive than locally-made Shou Sugi Ban, you’ll save on installation costs by being able to do this project on your own. From the Stikwood website:

“Shou-Sugi-Ban, the traditional Japanese art of charring wood inspired the creation of our deepest shade. Imbued with deep coloration, Charcoal features the distinct wood grain pattern of American oak while making a bold and darkly beautiful statement.”

Rachel and Ryan, who live in Nashville, also used and loved Stikwood in their home (albeit they didn’t choose a black finish). They were able to share some of their experience with the product though:

“Stikwood was a great way for us to create texture on a blank wall and have fun with a project that we could do ourselves. Stikwood is simple to use; it is barnwood that has sticky strips on the back and you can cut the wood to fit whatever it is that you are working on — it doesn’t necessarily have to be a wall! It took us about three full days to complete and now the walls add a spunkiness that wasn’t there before.”


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