Making Wood Last With Fire, Not Paint: A Japanese Technique --- Today Shou Sugi Ban is an environmentally friendly way to preserve timber and (paradoxically) make it fire-resistant. Chemical preservatives, paints, and retardants are therefore unnecessary.
All natural (mostly) wood stains! A handful of pennies in vinegar will produce a beautiful pale Caribbean blue stain. A wad of steel wool will give you a rich reddish hue. A combination of tea and a metal object in vinegar will produce a black stain.