Wood Floors…the Ebony Jacobean Mix

The funny thing about wood floors, is that you never know what you’re really going to get. Unless you’ve done the exact same thing before, wood can vary depending on growing conditions, age, region, etc… You really don’t know how it’s going to look until you’re done! ESPECIALLY with old floors.

Parlor Before collage

This is what I call the Parlor Room. In this room, we started off with some decent paint, some great windows and french doors, and some really bad carpet.

What would we see when we pulled the carpets up?

Parlor Boy Ripping Out Carpet

I figured that would be a good job for the boys. I bribe with ice cream for this sort of stuff.

Parlor Floor Pre-Reno

Interestingly enough…we found (what we think is) fir.

Pros of what we found: Wood floor. Plus a REALLY cool 10 plank boarder, that’s herringboned in the corners. Very cool!

Cons: Um….it’s painted over. Remember after the upstairs I said I would NEVER deal with sanding paint off wood floors again. Oh well, so much for never.

Another con: It’s a soft wood, not a hardwood. Not that it’s that big of a deal.

Painted Parlor Boarder

Coolest thing ever… herringboned corners.

So…because there was paint, we stripped this time. There was no way I was going to spend so much time sanding!

During Sanding

After stripping most of the paint off, we used a belt sander. A big belt sander like the one pictured, and a hand held belt sander.

Side note: I met a DIYer the day I was going to go rent this exact same sander, and he just happened to own one! He totally lent it to me. I was so stinkin’ excited (I know, I get excited about weird stuff).

After Sanding

The sander got most of the paint off, but this floor is over 100 yrs old and some old furniture grooves couldn’t be sanded out.

…luckily distressed is cool right now.

Want to know what’s else is cool right now for wood floors…the Ebony/Jacobean stain mix. 50% Ebony 50% Jacobean.

I decided to give it a try downstairs. I wanted pretty dark floors. I used Jacobean upstairs and really liked it, but it is fairly medium in color. Maybe medium dark, and I wanted a little darker (FYI…If you use Jacobean to stain, it will lighten a couple days after you apply it).

So, after stripping paint, sanding with 36, 80, 150, and 220 grit sandpaper, then applying wood conditioner, I stained the first coat of stain with the Jacobean/Ebony mixture. It was a little redder than I wanted, so I used plain Jacobean for the second coat of stain. Then I used some satin  polyurethane, and decided that I definitely liked semi-gloss better and did another polyurethane coat with semi-gloss.

50% Jacobean 50% Ebony Mix

I LOVE the color. I sort of love the distressed markings. I really dislike the fact that I missed A LOT of belt sander marks before I stained the floor! YIKES…I was sort of in dis-belief about how many I missed…good thing I was already planning on going with the whole distressed look. I think I’ll be able to pull them off as old floor marks.


Wood Floors 50% Jacobean 50% Ebony

Great color…more old furniture marks.

Herringbone Corners

Pretty awesome corners huh?!

Overall experience: I can’t say I love the parlor floor. Too many marks from the belt sander that I’m unhappy about. I think overall is looks good though. Once couches and rugs and curtains are all up, no one will ever notice (unless you’ve sanded floors before and you’re a perfectionist.) Heck, maybe you love distressed and you’ll even love them more now?

On a bright note…I LOVE the color! By far my new favorite.


I also finished the girl’s floor, two hallways and a sitting area upstairs. All with two coats of Jacobean. Again, too many belt sander marks for me to be really happy with it, however, the color and semi-gloss make them look good!

Now for the entryway, living room area, dinning room and kitchen! Ugh! I will be doing a lot MORE sanding on these to make sure we get more belt marks out. Hopefully I’ll still be able to keep the old furniture marks though.

I’m soooo ready to be done!




  1. The floors look amazing Katie! Those corners are fabulous and I love the color. I bet the sander marks aren’t as bad as you think. 😉 You are a real trooper just keep going you are in the home stretch!

  2. Oh my goodness!!!! Your strength to do all this is amazing. Did you hear? Amazing! I can’t imagine how much work you put into all of these floors. I’m very delighted that you happily are fixing up a 100+ year old space! As a child, our farm home was over 100 years old. My mom worked hard to make it fashionable and stylish. She worked so hard inside and growing huge gardens and canning everything and having company and “club” put out by the state extension, and teaching Sunday School, singing, making home cooked meals and setting our dining room table with the China each Sunday after church…even teaching one year when there was a need…with five kids…painting, papering, fixing all the time…and lying down with us each day to tell us a story (later years she said she needed twenty minutes of rest to keep going). So yes, you are doing a great job! Congrats!!

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