Monday, August 20, 2012

Paper Bag Floors

I have spoken many times of my hatred for my guest bathroom. I have also spoken of my refusal to spend money on said space since it is rarely used, and I do not believe I would get my money out of a huge renovation.
But, over the last few months, I have been updating and freshening up the space by painting the tile, replacing the toilet and getting a new shower curtain. Things were looking good, but still, that blue gray linoleum floor was haunting me.

Epiphany. I found a cool site from Pinterest showing how a woman "paper bagged" both a counter top and then her floors. Paper mache? Hmmmmm. I can do that.
So on a random Tuesday, I went in search of massive amounts of glue and craft paper. I got a lot of crazy looks as I explained the reasoning, but I had faith. Armed with a mixture of 2:1 Water and Glue and a pile of ripped up peices of brown craft paper, I went to work on the floors.

The process was simple. Soak the paper in the glue water, squeeze out excess, then lay paper on the floor, constantly overlapping the pieces. Note: I made a seperate pile of pieces with straight edges for the perimeter. That made it really easy to just tuck under the molding for a crisp look.

All in all, it took about an hour to get the floor covered. Then patience had to kick in. You have to let this dry completely... overnight at least... until you move forward.

It was dry the next morning, but I waited until after work for the next step: staining.
Using some dark walnut stain I already had, I brushed on and wiped off until the floor was covered. Honestly, this was the longest step and the dry time took about 3 days. But it was well worth the wait to see the final product!

It was almost a cross between leather and stained concrete. The stain took differently in places, but that just adds to the character.
Now to seal it. This is extremely important, especially in a bathroom. I used about 6 coats of polyurathane. I might go back in with more, but I was over it at that point.

What do you think? It survived it's first guests this weekend like a champ. With the amount the room is actually used, I totally believe it has staying power.
And with a total cost of $24, I'm sold.
Mirror and paint/ wallpaper.. and we're calling it a day!


  1. Such a great project! I think it looks really cool!!

  2. The floor is gorgeous - and we loved staying with you over the weekend! Thanks for being such a great friend, and for giving me fabulous ideas for my own home projects. xo Amy

  3. I have to ask--how do high heel shoes do in there? Can you wear them and not tear through?

  4. Thanks everybody! Amy, I can't wait to see what you do with your floors!!!
    Mandy, I haven't tested it, but I think the poly should protect the paper. I wouldn't necessarily use this in a high traffic area!

  5. HOLY SHITAKE! It looks amazeballs!!

  6. I'm planning to do my entire house but I'm searching for a comprehensive product list. Can you share the exact stain & poly you used? Water based? Oil based? Thanks in advance!

  7. How has this worn over the years?

  8. Me encantó esta idea. Gracias por compartirla. Desde Argentina, te saludo con mucho cariño y te envió besitos de Luz, para tu bella alma.

  9. How did you put on the polyurethane, roll it, brush it, mop, or pore and spread with a specific tool? 6 and possibly more coats, wow. Is that how one can get the deep look? Also, how thick where the paper you yore? Can it be bought in a 4 foot high roll at office Depot or art supply store? Thanks for your post.