As I wrote earlier, we did some small, frugal repairs and remodels to our house, only out of extreme necessity, and spending the bare minimum. We are in the process of foreclosure (still not notice as to when, so for that we’re thankful) but we had some cracked plaster walls, and a few other issues. One ongoing issue was our horrible hard wood floors, which were like wood chips in some rooms (especially our master bedroom). The cost of fixing said floor was to be in the hundreds of dollars, if we were to do a wood laminate. The floors were not salvageable on their own.
Enter Pinterest. I know it’s a joke of sorts that we only feel creative while on Pinterest, when actually we’re spending time on the computer. But, for me, Pinterest has thus far proven to be a source of awesome inspiration of the frugal sort. I simply search the items I have on hand and see what comes up for craft projects.
While cleaning and decluttering, I found about a half dozen rolls of brown craft paper, and two gallons of elmer’s glue that I forgot about, stuffed into the back of a closet. (among other things, of course)
So, searching Brown craft paper, I found a project for redoing your floor with craft paper and Elmer’s glue-all. Perfect. Praise God. The original post that I learned how to do this from is located here.
Even more surprising, my husband said this sounded like a good idea. His reasoning was, we’re going to lose the house anyway. Might as well let his crazy redheaded wife try out her scary sounding ideas on a house that is no longer ours.
I know what you’re thinking. What on earth??!?! Is it sturdy? How does it feel? What does it look like? is it durable?
I know what my mom is going to say. YOU GLUED PAPER TO YOUR BEDROOM FLOOR!??!? Kimberly Ann, I raised you better!
(Growing up I frequently glued things to other things…causing most of my mom’s gray hair in fact)
I didn’t want to post about my kraft paper flooring project until it had been 2 months. Well, it’s been 2 months. I love it.
How does paper flooring feel? Soft, smooth, comfy. Organic.
What does paper flooring look like? It really doesn’t look like some idiot glued paper to the floor.Okay, maybe a little, but not unless you know that’s what I did.
Is the paper flooring durable? Well, it survived me sliding furniture in. It’s held up to my rolling desk chair. So far, it looks great. I’m still paranoid about letting the space heater sit on it, or anyone spilling anything on my paper floor. But, it seems quite durable.
I started off by filling in any large gaps in the flooring with wood filler just for floors. I also swept it up really well and made sure the surface was clean and dry.
To get started, mix the glue with water. It should be about 1 parts glue to 3 parts water. The instructions I found said to use Elmer’s Glue All. You can usually find this in large containers at stores like Staples and Office Depot. The room is about 15 x 16 feet. I used about 5 rolls of craft paper and just over 1 gallon of glue. I also used 1 and a half gallons of Poly Acrylic finish. That was the most expensive part!
Now, rip up your paper. I kept mine in pieces of about a foot square, but with ripped edges. I used the smooth edges against the wall. Stick the paper, one or two sheets at a time, into the glue, squeeze out, and lay flat, smoothing it as needed with your hands. The kind of paper I had (post consumer craft paper) disintegrated quickly if I left it in the water/glue mix too long, so I had to work fast, and only do a couple pieces at a time. Another roll I had (not recycled) held up better.
It goes without saying to not wear good clothes when doing this. My overalls were stiff as a board by the time I was done from all the glue splashed all over me.
Like a puzzle, I did the edges first, and worked backwards towards the door.
Biggest surprise of this project? How long it took for the paper to dry! I was pretty amazed. I planned on doing it one night (we worked until 9 pm) and then being able to start doing the poly on the craft paper flooring the next day. Instead, it took nearly three days for it to fully dry. I’m not sure if the weather is a factor.
As you can see in the lower left corner of the picture, there’s a wee corner popping up from the craft paper. This happened all over the floor, and was starting to stress me out as I watched it happen. Thankfully, I was able to go onto the floor very gently (as it had no poly on it at this point, and was still a bit damp) and use diluted glue and water (leftover from soaking the paper — I put it into a small elmer’s bottle), and a paint brush, and I secured those stray corners of my craft paper flooring.
The floor, at this point, looked really scary awful, as you can see. I was having remodeler’s remorse.
The website I got this project off of said you could also stain the paper after it was done, but I didn’t have any extra stain laying around, and besides, it was cold outside and stain is smelly. If we were staying here long term, then I might have.
Once the paper was fully dry, and all corners and edges were glued down well, I started to use water based poly on the floors.
Now as I said, this was the most expensive part of the craft paper floor project. I thankfully had about three quarters of a gallon of the water based poly in my basement from another project. This stuff runs about $40 per gallon, but unlike regular poly, it doesn’t stink, cleans up well, and it dries really fast. I was able to do about 6 coats per day. The label recommended 1-2 hours between coats.
After we had about 10 coats on the craft paper floor, all was again right in the world. The floor looked a lot better. It feels very smooth.
I was worried, because of the condition of the floor under it, that I’d have some rough spots coming through the floor. Instead, I can’t even notice them.
Looks good, doesn’t it?
It’s been almost 2 years since I did this project. The floor has held up quite well, being comfortable and easy to clean. It’s a conversation piece too. . My mommy originally freaked out then later admitted that it was a pretty clever idea that looks great. So that’s high praise right there.
There is one small issue I had, and that was one spot on the floor where it seemed to be damp under the poly! I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me, and then hubby noticed that we have a pipe that runs right under that spot. The pipe was forming condensation, and so the flooring and then paper were getting damp. The strange thing was that the floor didn’t feel damp because of the poly — the moisture was coming up from underneath. Eventually, the flooring tore in that one spot, and I put duct tape on it then covered with an area rug. However, if there was no condensation from a pipe it would still be perfection!
What nifty projects have you discovered by way of Pinterest? I’d love to hear!