Paper Bag Flooring

Posted by Emily White on Monday, December 1st, 2014 at 9:02am.    3540 Views

DIY Cost - Efficient Flooring 

Paper Bag FloorsDo you have an unfinished basement or a room that you are dying to redo the floors, but don’t have the money in your pocket to execute? Well, keep reading to see the solution you may have been looking for: Paper bag floors, yes you heard that right – paper bags. This affordable, attractive, DIY flooring solution could be the answer to finishing your basement or spicing up a room upstairs.

The cost will depend on the size of the room you are planning to cover but overall cost should be below $100. Which, if you have ever shopped for flooring, this is cheap! Paper bag floors can be put over concrete or wood and could be finished in a weekend’s time. What you will need to accomplish this project:

  1. A roll of brown paper – this could be found at Home Depot or Lowes.
  2. Elmer’s glue – and a lot of it. They sell it by the gallon, depending on the room size you may need more than one gallon. But a gallon is a good place to start.
  3. Oil based stain.
  4. Water based floor polyurethane, to seal the floor.
  5. A utensil to apply the stain and polyurethane.

Completely clear out the room you will be doing, clean it, and prep for the project. To start, tear the brown paper in different sized pieces. Don’t try to make them the same size or shape. This is the glory of this flooring; it looks perfectly imperfect, with all the different sized shapes. Next step is the glue. Warning: do not put out all the glue at one time, it will dry out before you get to use it.

You will then take a piece of ripped up paper bag and cover it in glue on both sides, place it down on the floor and that’s it! Make sure to overlap pieces because once the glue dries it will shrivel up. This is the longest part of the process -- laying down each paper bag piece; one by one -- but just remember the end goal and how awesome it could look. Also, make sure to use the pieces that have a straight edge against the walls and not in the middle of the floor. This will save you time and make the final product look neater. 

At this point in the process you have the option to leave things like in the picture for a more natural color. You could save time by skipping the staining process, but many like to change the color in order to make it darker and match the rest of their home furniture.

If you decide to add a stain, you can apply it with a mop or a painter’s sponge that has a long pole attachment. It is impossible to avoid minor bleeding underneath the bags, but this project allows you to embrace the imperfections; they’re what make the flooring look so awesome! Let the stain sit for a couple days. You will want to make sure it is fully dry before you add the first coat of polyurethane. You apply the poly the same way you do the stain, but be extremely cautious to make it a thin layer.

There is a possibility of the poly drying white – if this happens; it is because you didn’t wait long enough for the stain to dry. You can reapply a coat of stain and then make sure you wait this time for it to completely dry. Then, proceed with adding the poly – with this layer be sure to make it thin, if you can’t control the mop well enough to make it a thin layer, use a hand brush to apply it. Let the first coat of poly dry and then add around 10 more layers quickly with a mop, these layers don’t need to be as perfect as the first. Let them dry an hour or so between each application of polyurethane and you’re done! 

Paper Bag Floors

The above picture is what this flooring could look like when finished. The great thing about this project is every floor will look different. Depending how the pieces are ripped, the way they are placed and what kind of stain you choose, you can create a custom floor for a low price!  

If you are looking to a buy a home that needs a little TLC, consider contacting one of Union Home Mortgage’s professionals and discuss specific home loans for fixer uppers. We will gladly help you choose the option that is best for you! 

Emily White

2 Responses to "Paper Bag Flooring"

Greg Hancock wrote: Emily,

I read, and then re-read this, :) amazing, love the finished look and to think; paper bags. Thanks for sharing this!

Posted on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at 2:12pm.

Emily White wrote: Thank you, Greg! I thought it was pretty awesome too :)

Posted on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at 2:40pm.

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