Monday, September 24, 2012

I finally did it.....Brown Paper Flooring!

     I'm so excited to finally be writing this post!  For probably close to a year now I've had it in my mind that I was going to attempt to redo my flooring myself using brown craft paper.  I've read countless tutorials, watched tons of videos, and was just waiting until I could find the time.  Well, finally it is done, and I am totally in love!  My old flooring was basic white linoleum.  Nothing special, impossible to keep clean, ugly white linoleum.  On top of that it was throughout probably 2/3 of the main level of my home.  That is a lot of ugly floor!  Because of our tight budget and the large amount of square footage I would be covering, I knew I needed an alternative to purchasing flooring, whether it would have been tile, hardwood, or laminate it was all going to cost a fortune.  Not to say that eventually I would still love to get some gorgeous high end flooring in my house.  But, brown paper was the perfect immediate fix, that I think will get us through the next several years, until my children are grown enough for it to be worth it for us to splurge.

     I am not going to write a lengthy tutorial here for how to do this yourselves though.  No reason to reinvent the wheel when Rachel at Lovely Crafty Home has already created the best guide ever for completing it yourself.  Although since I didn't follow her instructions exactly I do want to let you know the differences.

Like Rachel I used Minwax Dark Walnut oil based stain to finish my floors.  I used Varathane No Odor Floor Finish Polyurethane High Traffic Formula in Gloss, a water based poly.

Unlike Rachel:
  • I only applied 5 coats of poly.  I did not sand any of the coats.  I went with only 5 for a couple of reasons.  First, I was covering a lot of sq. feet and I really wanted my house back.  Plus I had watched a video from An Oregon Cottage where they said they used only 5 coats and it had proven to be very durable.  My husband and I do plan to add a couple of fresh coats, maybe in a year from now just to boost it's durability.
  • I taped a very large paint brush to my painter's extension pole to apply my poly.  I could not find foam pads like Rachel used, and I hated the foam rollers.  The brush allowed me to really get nice even coats of poly.  By the time I had started my 5th coat, I was becoming quite the pro at application so I was able to really get a nice even finish on my floor.  Note:  Do not brush or roll over an area of poly you've previously completed while it is drying, it will change the finish in that area if you are using gloss.
  • I glued my paper right over the top of my linoleum using a 3:1 water/glue ratio.  My sub floors are concrete and because I know that in the future I want ceramic tile, I did not want to have to somehow scrape this off someday to prepare my sub floors for tile. No. Thank. You.
Personally I have always been drawn to darker wood stains, which is why I chose Dark Walnut.  If you prefer the look of lighter or blonde wood tones I think that using packing paper (like you can get from U-haul stores)  would work just as well, and because they are more of a light/whitish color you would be able to use lighter wood stains on them.  I don't know for sure though how it would work out since I have never personally tried it myself.

Alright!  Ready for some pictures?  Here is my flooring before:

Getting ready to start!
And finally the finished results:

The entryway
      Now that my floors are finally finished, we are also finishing up my long overdue mudroom!  Just in time to bring out fall jackets and really get some use out of it!  I know that reveal post is long overdue, so stay tuned it will be coming very soon!!

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