Here are the results of staining the floor. It's the brief Part 6 of our renovation diary. Now we are enjoying the delectable fumes from the oil based stain.
We weren't sure what kind of wood the floor was, but after looking at different drains, I'm now pretty sure it is Douglas Fir. Probably older "Yellow Fir."
Sites I have read note that the wood tends to change color over time. That explains the gray areas. I sanded quite a bot off in an attempt to get the floor color to be even, so I wish I had had some way to know about this property of Douglas Fir before I had sanded. As one site notes:
"Because of tendency toward color change, care must be taken to avoid oversanding when refinishing an existing floor."I don't know how I would have been able to tell that the "dirtyish" color was natural. Being used to looking at Southern Yellow Pine, even old pine, I didn't expect the gray. Even if I had read that before, I don't think I would have interpreted it correctly. And if I had, I'm not sure I would have completely believed it. Live and learn!
But, even with the gray the wood was still more attractive than the pine in the rest of the house. I hope that, with the stain, the character of the wood will be emphasized and its flaws de-emphasized.