Author Topic: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?  (Read 15910 times)

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Offline rwanders

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"Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« on: January 08, 2009, 12:37:37 AM »
 ??? Has anyone attempted the floor treatment described in this web address?

http://www.thebudgetdecorator.com/faux_leather_floor.html

Required materials include only brown kraft paper or brown grocery sacks and polyurethane. If you google 'paper bag floors' you will find many websites describing this and pictures of finished floors. I am contemplating trying this out on some OSB subflooring----if it doesn't work I would plan on placing underlayment over it and proceed with something else----process looks interesting and certainly inexpensive and easily repaired
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Offline jb52761

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 04:19:21 AM »
I saw this done on walls several years ago on HGTV. I believe they wrinkled up the bags first, then unfolded and somewhat flattened them before applying to the walls. Then as I recall they lightly washed over the wall with a light/medium wood stain, let it dry, and then they applied the poly sealant. The combination of the wrinkled lines and stain created a really nice finish, looking very much like genuine leather. I was impressed.... 8).....jb

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 11:06:38 AM »
I think we are going to try this on our kitchen floor.  Soil cement floor is a bit hard to keep chip free but this could add the stronger resilient surface we would like.  The paper fiber will reinforce it.  Thanks for the link.
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Offline cordwood

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 11:12:00 AM »
 My sister did the walls in her game room this way and it looks pretty good, She said it was a lot more work than she thought though.
 As far as putting it over OSB?!?!? Just sand and poly the OSB, It will kinda look the same, Pretty at first, Ruff in awhile and, Eventually start swelling and bulging and peeling and warping and creaking.......I've had several OSB floors and have not been happy with any yet. And any over dirt crawl space, FORGET IT! Even with a moisture barrier they still swell some.
 I'll use it as roof sheathing and for walls but never again on a horizontal. 8)
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Offline Erin

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 06:11:05 PM »
I saw this done on walls several years ago on HGTV. I believe they wrinkled up the bags first, then unfolded and somewhat flattened them before applying to the walls. Then as I recall they lightly washed over the wall with a light/medium wood stain, let it dry, and then they applied the poly sealant. The combination of the wrinkled lines and stain created a really nice finish, looking very much like genuine leather. I was impressed.... 8).....jb

Never considered it on a floor, but I did the wall treatment, and it came out absolutely fabulous!  :)
The wise woman builds her own house... Proverbs 14:1

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 08:11:11 PM »
Sassy did it on the kitchen floor yesterday. :)

You know --- the paper bag thing.  It looked so cool that she wanted to try it when I showed it to her.

Here is the first pix.



and here is the second one.

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Offline rwanders

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 09:24:03 PM »
 [cool] Looks really good! Was it more or less work than you thought? How much area did you do? It looks like she actually used paper bags----I assume you would have a more constant shade if a roll of kraft paper was used----I have seen pictures of floors using all blue and also a red paper bute I think the brown shades look more natural and does mimic leather.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 10:07:09 PM »
Sassy typed her reply on my computer as hers is broke.

From Sassy:

Thanks!  I used bags & 3 different types of craft paper - one that was wadded up paper packaging for saw blades, one roll from a stationary store & a big roll from a shipping co. - all different colors.  The bags varied in color also.  Glenn liked the varied colors better - I like it too - you have to see it in person to really see how it looks.  We ended up getting 3 types of polyurethane, also as there wasn't any Minwax.

It was a lot of work - I used knee pads & also sat on my butt & scooted around - my butt's sore, lol.  It's really hard to get the paper smoothed out totally but after the several coats of polyurethane (still one more to go) it evens out pretty good & has texture (also walking on it helps).  It probably took 12 hrs altogether - but it looked like something I'd like & something I could do.  We really like it!

We're going to do one of the bathrooms - I want to do some colors or pictures - I'll have to think about what I want.

Thanks for posting that link - I was getting tired of fixing the chips in the floor (cob is fairly soft) & not really being able to scrub it good.  Hopefully this floor holds up well. 
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 10:15:21 PM »
Cheapness - is relative.  About $30 worth of paper besides bags - lots left on the big roll and we found more bags later.

$80 worth of waterbase polyurethane.  Looks like about $1.00 per square foot plus labor.

Around 100 square feet of area.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2009, 10:24:39 PM »
Since it is paper and waterbased poly, the paper dampens well and conforms to but smooths all surfaces under it.  Our floor here was soil cement - about 30% clay, 70% sand and gravel, and an addition of about 5% portland cement.  It was formerly rather easy to chip the surface.  I think this will stop the chipping.

The poly seems to bond the materials together very well.  I am amazed at how much it has improved over the years.  The first time I tried it years ago I was less than impressed so did not want to try it again until now.  It is great.

The soil cement floor was about 7 years old and had been coated many times with acrylic surface sealer.  Poly is supposed to be much harder at a similar price.
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Offline JRR

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 06:52:05 AM »
Your floor looks good.  Do you think this would be a good surface for a kitchen counter top?  Table?  What brand poly did you end up using?

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2009, 07:19:14 AM »
Thanks, JRR.

Yes - we have wood countertops with polyurethane on them and they are great.  This would have the same polyurethane over the top if used on a countertop.  I would feel fine using it on nearly any surface with nearly any material encased in it for most uses.

I read that it reaches full hardness in a week so being gentle before then would be good.  It is walkable in about an hour.

As long as they are water based polyurethane they seemed pretty similar to me.  Because of what was available here we started with "Do it Best" (Satin and Gloss) and ended up with Ace Polyfinish Gloss.  The satin is not recommended for finish coats .  Gloss or semi-gloss are harder.

Repair of the floor consists of tearing up a bag and putting poly on it under and over.

Future new surface for loss of shine is to simply put a new coat of gloss on it. 

It takes much less on the final coats as folds ad wrinkles get filled in. 

It will look a bit funny at first but it gets better if reasonable care at pushing the creases down and getting the bubbles out is exercised.
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Offline Sassy

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 10:54:02 AM »
I think I'd rather have the semi-gloss, though, would look more natural.  Glenn likes the gloss.  On our counters/cupboards/shelves I like to use gloss as we have so much natural wood that it creates a contrast plus the surface wears better/cleans better. 

When it's time to redo the floor I think I'll try the semi-gloss & see how I like it.
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2009, 11:04:05 AM »
Cheapness - is relative. 
.......Looks like about $1.00 per square foot plus labor.



Hmmmm.

That's about the same as the ceramic tile we got a deal on; 0.99 per sq ft, not including the 1.5  bags of grout or labor.

 ;D


Glossy vs semi gloss vs matte.... it's all a personal choice. We don't like shine at all on wood or floors. In fact I'd be happy with matte on my Jeep; which it is in a couple places where the clear coat is peeling.
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Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2009, 11:31:50 AM »
Well I can't tell you anything about bown paper bags except putting groceries in them, using for wrapping mail packages, drawing house plans on them or starting the fire in the stove.  But as for finishes I would rather put oil based poly on a traffic area.  Even Minwax does not recommend their water based poly for a floor application.  I have talked with them and they advised that water based poly can be used as a first or second coat on floors but this should be followed by 1-2 coats of oil based poly for a wear coat. 

As for the sheen affect I think I will stand with Semi-gloss.  There is very little furniture that have gloss finishes.  Most try to replicate a hand rubbed finish or semi.  And with gloss any defects are magnified. 

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2009, 05:23:12 PM »
The Ace did list residential flooring - we'll see how it goes.   I think the water base may have something to do with dissolving the paper  or loosening it to get it to conform to the floor well.
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Offline rwanders

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Re: "Paper Bag floors (cheap & rustic) floor treatment?
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2009, 08:18:08 PM »
I read somewhere else that someone had used oil-based poly and the paper would not bind to the floor properly----oil based poly may do ok for a top coat though. I will be trying this out at my cabin over the osb subfloor after filling in the gaps at the edges smoothly with floor leveler compound. Will heed Sassy's input and get some good kneepads.
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