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Black finish on 100-year old cedar shakes

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  • Black finish on 100-year old cedar shakes

    Removed some stucco siding on my 110-year old house in Winnipeg and revealed the original cedar shakes underneath. They've been under that stucco for at least 50 years. The parts of the shakes that were revealed (i.e., the bottom six inches of the shake) have some sort of black finish on them. The colour is flat and even, like a dye, and the grain has a slightly scrubbed look to it, as if it had been burned and lightly scrubbed with a wire brush. It doesn't seem to be any kind of modern stain or coating -- the only smell to the shakes is from the tar paper and then the old cedar itself. I doubt it's any kind of natural aging -- it's too even and besides, those shakes were under stucco for many, many years -- at least half the life of the house. Mostly wondering whether it's a bad idea to burn these shakes in a bonfire or possibly even a woodstove.
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