staining japanese wood? (NO!)

Dear Iacopo,

Hello! I hope you are doing well.

For the past few months we’ve been sending the Bartok wood samples to various designers, which some questioned that if it is feasible for customize wood colors, or if there are any other wood types available aside of the standard three woods.

If possible, can you produce bathtubs with colors similar to the floor grating wood in attached photo?

Your prompt reply would be appreciated.

Because japanese softwoods have a high content of oil, they cannot be stained: it means that the stain would not penetrate equally and the result is irregular and very “cloudy”.

That said, the whole concept of japanese wood is to enjoy the color and aroma (as it is a natural material).

Staining hinoki would be like applying paint on a pearl to make it look whiter or greyer or whatever.

You understand that (in this example) it is then pointless to use a pearl in the first place.

Last but not least, natural wood color changes with aging and light exposure.

As a matter of fact, after few years hinoki changes to a slightly tanned color which is similar to the duckboard in the photo.

The bottomline in any case is that if the designer has a very precise idea about the color, I would recommend to use a different wood (and a different supplier).

Thank you for your understanding.


Bartok design Japan Co.
iacopo torrini