I've grown tired of our 8 year old carpet. We got the builder grade carpet when we were building thinking we would replace it much sooner than this. Now it's just icky. Kids + dogs + cats + carpet = disgusting.
Last week I saw this perfect tutorial for brown paper bag flooring on the Lovely Crafty Home blog and said "I think we should do this!" to Joey. He said "Looks good". I said "I mean right now!" So we started hauling furniture out (the worst part really since I've got some heavy, clunky stuff in here). We ran to Home Depot and got everything on the list. The only problem we ran into was Michael's doesn't carry the gallon of Elmer's glue. I quickly googled it on my iPhone and found out Staples has the gallon size (and is across the street from Michael's, yay!). It's 19.00 at Staples but we only used 1/2 of it so that was fine. I think I'll order it online for the rest of the upstairs since it's as low as 11.00 at some places.
Here are the before and after pictures.
Here is the room after all the furniture was removed. I had to jam everything into my sewing area and it was very claustrophobic there (but temporary and for a good cause). This picture doesn't do the carpet justice. And at one time this was part of our bedroom before we walled it off into an office (pictures of the process here) and for some reason one of the cats really "liked" the corner in here at that time. It hasn't been smelly (that I've noticed) but when we pulled the carpet up it stirred things up and we could smell it again. So glad to have it gone (the carpet and the naughty cat).
We removed the baseboards and I put Asher to work pulling the nails out while Skate did his thing.
We has some joint compound putty from our remodel still so we used that to fill in the gaps and level some spots. Asher did a good job with that too.
We let the bare floor dry overnight and then sanded it down to get it as smooth as possible. We knew it wasn't going to be perfectly smooth but we're okay with it since we expected a "textured look" anyway.
Here is what it looked like as we were applying the paper. This part was easy and sort of fun. The paper we scrunched up the most ended up having the more natural, crinkly look to it so next time we will be super-scrunchy with it. The hard part was standing up after being hunched over for a few hours. I think we may be getting too old for this sort of project. And I need a hot tub with bubble jets.
Here is the floor after drying all night (with a little fan in the room and the window opened). This is just the plain paper look. I've seen some pictures of brown paper flooring without any stain and I think it looks nice but I wanted ours to have a bit of a "glow" to it.
We used Minwax Honey/Pecan stain and I'm really happy with it. It went on super fast. I just used the cheap little chip brush to paint a thin coat allover. I tried to work fast with the brush so it wouldn't soak in too much. I didn't wipe it off once it was on (I'm not sure if it's recommended or not but it didn't seem to need it). At this point I was really loving the leathery look I was starting to see.
We applied one coat of the polyurethane (we used the Rust-Oleum recommended and it's very nice) and let it dry over-night. The next morning I sanded it again. Dust everywhere, ugh. And, at some point, I'm going to have to remove my "built-ins" and do the part of the floor underneath.
Okay, this is my floor after 7 coats of polyurethane. The only glitch was when I did the 6th coat (which I thought would be my last). I didn't follow the instructions to stir the polyurethane and just poured it out of the jug as I was going along. Well the stuff at the bottom turned out to be a lot cloudier (hence the "stir first" instruction) and so instead of moving my furniture back in we were heading out for more polyurethane to go over the milky looking floor. Home Depot was closed so we ended up getting a quart of the Minwax polyurethane at Walmart and I would highly not recommend it (but their stain was great, so there's that). The Rust-Oleum brand was so much nicer and went on much smoother. The Minwax left little bubbles which didn't smooth out as it was drying. I'm still happy with it but I definitely noticed a difference.
So here it is. It's stunning and feels really good under our bare feet. As far as durability goes we got a small gouge in it while moving my pink chair (turns out there were old, sharp nails at the bottom of the feet). It was only about 1.5 inches across so I put some Elmer's glue under it, smoothed it down and brushed the polyurethane on it after it dried and you can't even see where it was (and fixed the chair too). We padded the other furniture before moving it in so, other than a few little sliding marks, it all came in fine (I brushed those with polyurethane too). So far, my rolling chair hasn't left a mark so it seems to be holding up to my use.
So we spent just over $100.00 on this 9 x 13 room (and that's with the extra 18.00 on polyurethane we had to run out for). We still have enough paper for the rest of the upstairs, lots of stain, and 1/2 gallon of glue to get us started. We plan on doing the rest of the upstairs like this but aren't completely sold on putting it downstairs on the concrete (much more traffic down there too).
Let me know what you think! A HUGE thanks to Rachael at Lovely Crafty Home for her impeccable instructions!
Update: Okay, it's been 3 weeks and the floor is holding up great. My biggest concern was the spot under my desk where my chair rolls in and out all day and it's been perfect. Spills have not been a problem either. The water just beads up and is easy to clean. We're looking forward to doing the stairs soon.