Paper Bag Flooring Tutorial

L.Grace Lauer

White Wallers! I am here today to share with you all a little home improvement project we did in our kitchen and bath. This is a tutorial of how we achieved this look.

~The Supplies~

Floor scraper & Padded leather construction gloves
Sander and sand paper (read back of polyurethane can to find grit size)
paper bags (lots of them... get what you need x2 and then get more) brown builder paper works too
Stain (if you desire to change the color of the paper bags and not leave them neutral)
Paint brush (x2 or x1 with a small roller handle and foam rollers)
White multipurpose glue that drys clear
Polyurethane FOR FLOORS! (get enough to cover the sq ft of your floor x6 or more if it is a kitchen, laundry or bath)
Brayer (optional)

~The Steps~

Step 1

STEP 1: Tear up existing flooring. We had linoleum on concrete sub floors. To tear up the linoleum was nothing hard. Just grab and pull up. However, there was a sticky glue backing that was difficult and took some elbow grease to work through but it was not to bad with the proper tools. Get one of these hand held cement floor scrapers (found in the paint department). Make the floors smooth and patch any concrete that is cracked, low or chipped (you will find more chipping in areas with carpet on top of concrete from the tack strips). Let any patching dry allotted time on package and then sweep and clean the floor.

Once clean put one thin layer of Polyurethane on the floor itself (the extra poly I had was a stained one, you can use clear) Let dry overnight.

Step 2

When the Polyurethane on the concrete is drying take time out to watch a movie and enlist helpers. Turn up the Boob Tube really loud as you tear the paper into about 9"-12" pieces.

TIP: Strait edges go along the wall. It looks bad to have them in the middle of the floor. Try not to tear in a strait line. The paper may try to do that automatically but that can be corrected with some slight attention.

Crumble up each piece of paper 2-3 different times. Make them nice and flexible and soft.

Step 3

Brush a light coat of stain/poly mix or a regular stain might work over one side of each piece of un-crumpled paper. Leaving about 30-45 min to dry prior to adhering them to the floor.

TIP: Do not leave them to dry over night. You will get smother results if you glue these down semi-dry. If you wait the edges of each sheet will have rough and even sharp edges that will need much more sanding to smooth later.

Mix your glue (50/50) with water. Try a test area. When you get it to adhere then glue down all the per-stained papers overlapping them by about 1/2 inch or so. Leaving NO holes to the concrete. (image on left below) NOTE: the video above at the beginning of the tutorial steps explains exactly how to apply the glue to the paper. The video below just shows me applying it in time laps with no explanation.

TIP: Use a crafting brayer to help evenly roll smooth out wrinkles while the paper is still wet from the glue.

Step 4

After you have glued the paper bags down to the flooring and let it dry. Spritz the top of the paper with a shimmer mist like the one pictured in the image below. This gives it a richer dimension and depth to the floor that is not there with just the stain. (you can see the results in the closeups below)

Let the flooring dry and check for areas that need patching.

Image: A crack where the papers did not overlap concrete is
exposed, to repair just glue a larger per-stained piece of
paper over the top of it and let dry.

Step 5

Brush or roll on a few coats of Polyurethane FOR FLOORS, follow directions about sanding on the back of the can. I kept applying layers of polyurethane (after doing the last few steps when needed and returning to this step) until the floor was extremely smooth to walk on. It took 6-8 coats to do so. You may need more or less depending on how thick you apply them.

TIP: follow the application directions on can for best results.

Sand lightly with grit determined on the back of the can of polyurethane.

Rinse with sponge or cloth that won't leave pieces, threads or fuzz behind on the floor.

Step 6

Repeat steps 9-11 until flooring is smooth.

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment below. I will try to answer any questions in a timely manner. To ensure you get my response please leave your email or contact me via email through my website


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