Q: I am an architect and I’ve been having some questions on how to finish a floor with an ebony or black finish.
We have a 3/4″ thick, 3 1/4″ wide solid oak floor and would like an ebony finish. What is the best way to achieve a good looking durable finish?
A: After the floor is fully and properly sanded and prepared, and vacuumed of dust, stain with ebony. Dura Seal now has a fast dry, oil based stain which dries to coat in about 2 hours. To achieve the depth of colour ebony deserves, you may have to wet the wood (not soak) with water (don’t miss any spots) to pop open the grain. When it is dry, apply the stain. I prefer to apply in 5 foot rows, and buff off the residue with a carpet pad under my polisher.
Apply a coat of gloss polyurethane with a lambs wool applicator and a bristle brush to cut in the edges. When this has thoroughly dried, abrade the finish with either a maroon pad with fine grit strips attached, or 220 grit screen. Vacuum all the dust, and wipe down with a micro weave pad. Apply another coat, the sheen being your choice. Do the procedure again and apply a 3rd coat.
Several years ago I did an old maple floor in a store front. It was in such terrible shape, I tried to talk the store owner out of it, but she insisted. Some time afterward, when her renovations were completed, I went back to have a look. The store looks magnificent, and the floors looked amazing too.