Sunday, January 19, 2014

DIY Paper Floor!

When we found out we were expanding the shop, I knew this was the perfect time to do somethings a bit differently, especially with the floor.  When TVG first opened I had pulled up the carpet & painted the floor, it was inexpensive & looked ok but I always wanted something more unique.  So this time around I wanted something nicer & warmer looking.  What I really wanted to do was use reclaimed wood for the floors, but knew that was way out of my budget.  Sadly, I was resorting to the boring old paint again...UNTIL...I discovered the "paper bag floor"!!

That's right, PAPER!  Yes this is the finished product above, doesn't it look amazing?!  This was the perfect solution to my flooring woes, it was unique, easy & inexpensive!  Here's what we did!

~ 1 or more rolls of builder's paper found at hardware store in paint dept.
~ 1 or more jugs of wood glue (we went through a lot of glue)
~ Bucket to mix glue & water
~ Large paint brush for brushing glue mixture on paper
~ Stain & staining pad if you'd like to tint the paper.
~ Floor Polyurethane (I highly recommend the no odor kind)!
~ Paint roller to roll poly on the floor.
~ Helpers!!  This is a time consuming project, so help is welcomed!

Step 1

Sit yourself down with a helper (in my case, Ellie was my helper) & start ripping & crinkling.  I would rip the paper into 2 x 2 foot sections & ball them up.  You can use smaller pieces, but the whole process will take a bit longer.

Step 2

Mix your glue & water in a bucket. We liked the consistency of cream.

Step 3

The first piece you lay down against the wall should have a straight edge, if you need to you can cut a straight edge with scissors.  Flatten the first piece of paper out on the floor & brush the glue mixture all over the paper making sure you get the edges really well.  Lay the first piece down & smooth it out with your hands then brush more glue mixture over the whole piece.   Repeat this process overlapping pieces of paper as you work your way out of the room.   You'll want to let this dry for at least 12 hours before you move on to step 4.

Once it starts to dry a bit, you'll notice some rippling.  
Some of the rippling will go down, some may stay, I think it adds character & texture!

If you like the look of the natural paper when it dries you can just skip this step & move on to step 5.

Step 4 (optional)

Staining the paper!  We decided to put a light stain over our floor to bring out the edges & give it a little more depth.  We used the color 'driftwood' but you can use any color you'd like.  I think a dark mahogany stain would be amazing to try sometime.  Let the stain dry for at least 24 hours before you move on to step 5.

See how the stain makes the edges in the paper a little darker.

Step 5
Protecting your paper floor with multiple coats of polyurethane will help it stand up to traffic.  
We used a paint roller to apply this to our floor in multiple coats waiting 2 hours in between each coat.  
Follow the directions on the can for best results.


Here's the floor finished & the shop put back together!  This process was fun, easy & most importantly inexpensive!  So give this a shot in your home, maybe you'll decide to do a wall instead of the floor :)