How to Cure Bamboo for Furniture

by Megan Kelly

Bamboo is a plant that is part of the grass family and is one of the toughest building materials of its kind. Bamboo can grow up to 47 inches in a 24-hour period and is a highly renewable source, because it's able to be harvested every seven years, compared to every 30 to 50 years for trees, and it regenerates without replanting. Curing bamboo for furniture requires a burning process that dries the bamboo from the inside out and brings out a resin that covers the bamboo in a resilient, waterproof coating.

Items you will need

  • Bamboo shoots
  • Saw
  • Gas blowtorch
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Step 1

Use the saw to cut the bamboo into whatever sizes you need for your furniture pieces.

Step 2

Hold the bamboo at one end and keep the opposite end away from your body before starting to cure it.

Step 3

Light the blowtorch and begin burning at the opposite end of the bamboo shoot.

Step 4

Rotate the bamboo as your burn it, and keep the flame moving from side to side to avoid charring the bamboo.

Step 5

Use a clean cloth to wipe the resin excreted from the bamboo around the burned areas. Wiping the resin onto the bamboo will create a more finished look once the curing process is complete. This glossy finish also makes the bamboo more water-resistant and helps keep it in good condition. Burn only small sections at a time, because the resin from the bamboo dries quickly and you will not be able to wipe the resin around the burnt spots if you burn too much at a time.

Step 6

Set the finished piece aside standing vertically in a warm, dry room. Allow the bamboo to sit for a few days or a week like this before using it to make furniture.

Tips & Warnings

  • When the bamboo shoots are heated, the moisture inside gets very hot and can sometimes spill out from either end of the shoot. Use extreme caution when handling burnt bamboo shoots so that you don't get scalded by the hot liquids.

About the Author

Megan Kelly started writing professionally in 2007 when she was published in the anthology, "Lit Kids: Mama Bird and the Electric Rabbit" through Mill City Press. She is also a submissions reviewer and grant writer for "Spout Press," an independent magazine in Minneapolis. Kelly is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Minnesota.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages /Polka Dot/Getty Images