Thursday, November 6, 2008

black as night, black as coal = too much to ask for

As you may know, we really wanted our floors stained black. It's a hard color to achieve on most woods without straight up paint or aniline dye. We've been working with a floor company to try to get our floors as dark as possible. After they had come by and put a few samples down they offered to do an entire room so that we could see how the color was really going to look. You can see the before and afters here:

The middle shot is one coat of "Cabot Penetrating Interior Oil Base Wood Stain" in Ebony and the right shot is 2 coats. It's pretty close to black but there is still some brown peeking through here and there. They seem to think it will be even darker after the coats of poly are applied. I don't know if that's true... I do like it and after having 4 floor companies come over, this is the closest to black I've seen! One of the companies even promised that their specially mixed black stain was black "like a crayon." On our floors it looked more brown than Minwax. The Cabot Ebony is definitely more black than Minwax's Ebony - so that's what we're going with. I'm guessing that if we had the time (and money) for 3 coats of stain we might actually achieve a true black but I'm also thinking that my floors are going to stop absorbing stain at some point - right?
I'm relieved to see that all of the mess left on our floors after the walls were skim coated came up no problem. That room in particular was really bad - it looked like someone dumped an entire bucket of joint compound in the center of the room!


  1. Wow! They look great! Congratulations! We had our floor guys go through so many shades of ebony. I'm still not sure it's dark enough, but yours look beautiful!

  2. Thanks Anna! You know, now we're not even sure if we're going with the Cabot stain. It hasn't completely dried yet and it's been a long time! We may have to use the Minwax Ebony after all. And now the floor company is being a little shady... so we'll see...

  3. Heather, just in case you don't check back on my site, I just want to mention that if your dad does decide to use SLC on the bathroom floor, he needs to put a layer of plywood (minimum 1/2") on top before he puts down the Hardibacker. You can't screw the Hardibacker directly to the SLC.

    ALSO! I think the floor looks really good, even if it's not black-black. I love the satin finish, so much nicer than glossy-glossy.

  4. Thanks again! He actually shimmed it out yesterday... per your advice. ;) And it's very level so we don't have to use the leveling goop. I'm just excited that I'll "soon" have a floor to go with my tiled walls!
    I really wanted a satin finish on the floors but the floor people have all recommended using a semi-gloss (we're doing 3 coats.) It's supposed to be more durable and I'm told will dull with normal cleaning and wear to a satin-like finish. So we'll probably go with the semi-gloss and hope for a satin look in a few months.