Monday, July 15, 2013

Brown Paper Floor Reveal

Update Oct. 12, 2014:  You can read about how these floors are holding up by clicking here.

I have been waiting for this day for a long time!  I researched and planned for a long time.  I even did a post all about brown paper floors.  And I am so excited to say that my brown paper floors are finally ready to be revealed!  Are you super psyched to see them?


I started these floors on June 24.  I finished them on July 11.  It took me way longer than I had planned.  I feel like I spent most of my summer break on these darn floors!  But it ended up being worth it because I love them!  I decided before hand to divide this task up into two sections.  I started with the section where the laundry closet is.  I did this for two reasons.  The first reason was because I needed to remove the washer and dryer from the closet, and put them in the other half of the hallway.  I would have rather done that before I had the paper floors completed.  The second reason was that I figured I could use the laundry closet as my learning curve, because most all of it would be hidden underneath the washer and dryer. 

First, I had to remove the carpet from the half of the hallway where I would be placing the washer/dryer.  That was fairly easy.  Next, LC pulled out the washer/dryer.  Then I had to remove both the linoleum and the top layer of sub floor from the half of the hallway and closet I was planning to start with.  That was the hardest part of the whole project, and the most difficult thing I have EVER done.  Hands down.  And I am still in awe of myself that I did it.  I wish someone had video taped the event.  And trust me, it was an event!
Once that sub floor was removed, we found a problem.  The sub floor was wet, and it was coming from the utility closet right behind the laundry closet.  The sub floor was moldy and mildewed, and it stunk!  All of the flooring I removed stunk to high heaven.  Thank God it is out of my house.  That is all I have to say.  We had to have someone come over here three different times before it was finally fixed, and I am not even going to bore you with the details.  Just know that it is fixed, finally.  So all of that delayed me.  I needed a dry floor before I was willing to risk laying paper on it!  Ok, now for some pictures of the process and the finished product.  I will go into details about the process in between pictures. 

This is the laundry closet.  After the paper was glued down, and before stain.  Before I started it, I painted the walls in this closet.  I used a buttercup yellow that was left over from when I painted my kitchen cabinets.  The walls in the hallway are going to be a light grey, so I thought a little pop of yellow when the laundry doors are open would be cute. 


These are some close up shots of what it looked like before stain.  I did paint the baseboards in here too, after the floor was finished.  In this shot, you can see the small bucket and paint brush.  this is what I used to glue the paper down.  I mixed the glue and water up in the bucket, and used that brush to glue it all on.  First, I painted the glue onto the back side of the paper, then I placed it where I wanted it on the floor, smoothed it out and got out all of the air bubbles with a straight edged rubber scraper tool, then painted more glue on top of each piece.  I overlapped each piece by an inch or so.  I used straight edges to go around the walls. 


After I had it all glued down, I let it dry for about 24 hours.  I used two different tutorials when I did this floor.  The first one I referred to was this one from Lovely Crafty Home.  But once I started reading her tutorial, she gave a link to a video tutorial  from An Oregon Cottage that I also watched and referred to.  I kind of took advice from each tutorial, and suited it to fit my own taste.  If you are interested in laying a floor like this, I highly recommend that you read the tutorial and watch the video.  Both offer excellent advice and I could not have done it as well as I did without the advice of both.  I am not giving you a full tutorial here, because both of the tutorials I used were excellent, and I do not feel the need to rewrite the book.  


After the glue had dried over night, I applied the stain.  I used a big pad that was specifically for oil based stain.  It did not have a long handle, because I was doing a fairly small area so I did not feel that I needed a long handle.  This is what the floor looked like after I stained it.  I chose the color of the stain based on a picture I took of my wooden stairs.  I wanted the floor to match.  I used Minwax oil based stain in red oak 215.  It turned out darker than I thought it was going to be, but it is nothing I can’t live with.  I let the stain dry over night.  It was still tacky the next day, but after the first coat of polyurethane dried, the tackiness went away.  The type of polyurethane I used was Varathane water based polyurethane for floors.  I applied 6 coats, and let each coat dry for at least 2 hours.  I applied it with a 3 inch flat brush.  I applied it with light coats.  In the tutorial I used, she sanded it after the first coat, and before the last coat.  I did not sand mine at all, and I think it is fine.  It is smooth under foot. 


And now here are several pictures of the floor completely finished.  Excuse the mess, this area was a work area for quite some time.  This is what you see as you are walking down the stairs.  The closet doors will be re installed soon.


Do you see my toes?  Do you see the darker area my toes are pointing at?  This is a mistake.  I made the mistake of light placing my hand down on the floor to test if the stain was dry.  Much to my dismay, I left a handprint!  I had no choice but to go back over it with more stain.  I tried to do it very lightly, but it made the area darker.  I am not sweating it too much though, because it will eventually be covered with a rug.   








Do you see these small roundish pieces?  There are 4 of them.  There was places that the paper just would not stick to the floor, so I covered them and glued down these pieces over that.  It stuck the second time around.  these are not that noticeable, and the bench that goes in the hallway will cover them. 




Obviously, we need to install quarter round around the baseboards.  My dad is going to install it for me next week. 

We also need three thresholds.  I am going to stain them to match the floors.  Dad will be doing those for me as well. 



These baseboards need painted desperately.  this is just to show you the shape they are in. 


Since the floor has been finished, I have also painted the walls and the trim around the doors.  I will paint the baseboards after the quarter round is all finished.  What do you think of my new floors?  We all love them!  We are so glad that we no longer have the ugly linoleum and gross carpet down there.  Here is a reminder for you of what the hallway looked like before. 


And here is a side by side view of the before and after for you. 


I will show you this hallway step by step as I get it finished.  Next thing I will be showing you is the new paint.  It looks and feels so much cleaner and “ours” down here.  I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about these floors if you just ask me in the comment section!  Have a great week!

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