Our house has wood floors throughout but it is a mixture of hard oak and soft wood. The dining room also has an area that had been patched and ran in the opposite direction. I knew it was not going to be a candidate for refinishing, but did not know what to do with it.
I decided to dive right in and give it a coat of gray porch/floor paint. Once that was done I knew it needed something more.
It took a few days to tape it off and paint since I had to leave an area for traffic between the stairs, front room, and kitchen.
After painting the white squares it needed something, else since some of the lines did not match up perfectly (gotta love old houses). I added the small 2 inch black squares and distressed everything. A couple coats of polyurethane will keep it from "distressing" anymore. Now to finish up the beadboard and trim.