If you are looking for a super unique, out-of-the-box DIY to do in your home, we’ve got the perfect project! It requires a bit of time and patience and results seem to vary, but when you see what it looks like, I guarantee you will want to give it a try.
What You Need
- A roll of brown paper
- A gallon of Elmer’s glue
- Oil-based stain
- Bona Traffic (sealant)
- Something to apply stain and Bona Traffic
If you are doing this on concrete, you may also need…
- A small amount of concrete mix to patch holes
- Pole sander
1. Clear The Room
You want to start by removing everything from the room you are working in (furniture, carpet, etc.). You also want to tear out any trim along the floor (you can simply put it back afterwards, or replace it all together. Either way, removing it will make the job easier).
2. Prep The Floors
If you need to, use a small batch of concrete mix to fill in any holes in the floor, and then sand away. Also, if you are working on a concrete floor that has not been sealed, you will need to seal it yourself with a coat of poly or floor paint.
3. Tear It Up
Take your roll of brown paper and rip it into natural looking pieces. Because you want them to look natural, rip the paper with your hands and do not cut it with scissors. You’re looking for imperfection here.
Roll each piece of paper up into a ball. The more lines and creases, the better! Flatten each piece out before moving on to the next one. These wrinkles will really stand out when the stain is applied to the floor, giving it a leathery look.
The next step is to prep the glue you will be using to adhere the paper to your floor. This blogger used an even mixture of water and glue, but recommends a 3 to 1 ratio if you are working on wooden floors. Because this project is going to take longer than most, you don’t want to mix all of your glue and water at once (or else it will dry out!).
6. Start Gluing
Hold each piece of paper over your container of glue mixture and apply a scoop with your hands, spreading it all over the paper, on both sides. Lay it on your floor, smoothing it out and ensuring all bubbles are removed. You also need to overlap each piece as you go because the paper will shrink as it dries.
This blogger found out the hard way that the paper she used actually had two different finishes (one on each side), which ended up causing issues later in the process. Make sure you place all pieces of paper down on the floor on the same side! You’re going to have to be extra careful and organized to do this, so take your time when ripping and gluing.
If you want to give your floors a more solid, rich look, apply a high-quality stain. Use a feathering technique when applying it to avoid streaky lines (it will dry exactly the way you see it as you put it on the floor). You may also encounter bleeding in some areas. As of right now, there doesn’t seem to be a way of preventing this, so it’s best to accept it as part of the look! Allow the stain to dry according to the product directions.
This is where the tutorial gets a bit tricky. The blogger who posted these particular directions endured quite the ordeal when it came to sealing her paper floor. The first room she did utilized water-based floor polyurethane. She applied over 10 layers of this stuff to her floor, and at first, it looked great! However, over time, random areas began to flake and chip. Yikes!
So, she did the same process in a second room of her home, but instead, used a product called Bona Traffic to seal the floor. Again, it looked fantastic afterward. Unfortunately, a few missteps on her part may have led to this product not working to its full potential…
9. Sealing Continued
…when mixing the Bona Traffic, she forgot about one tiny detail: once the product is mixed, you have 4 hours to use all of it. Because of this error, she was not able to let each layer of the sealant to cure properly, and she believes this led to blisters forming in the floor.
It can’t be determined for sure that this is what caused the blistering, but it is definitely a possibility. The point is, make sure you do your research before choosing a sealant (keeping in mind the type of flooring you’re working on: wooden or concrete), and always read and follow the label on every product you use!
10. Let It Cure
Once you have determined what sealing product will work best for you and the desired number of layers have been applied, let it dry. Again, use the instructions on the sealant as a guide to determine how long it needs to cure, but also keep an eye on it yourself. If it doesn’t seem ready for the weight of furniture and foot traffic, wait a bit longer.
11. Move Everything Back
When everything has completely dried, move everything back into the room (and reinstall/ replace the trim, if necessary). Keep an eye on the floor, and if you notice any issues with the sealant, try applying another coat to see if that fixes the issue. Hopefully you will not have any problems, but there have been a number of different results with this project, depending on the type of floor you are working with, the paper you use, the sealant, etc.