Frugal Faux Floors- Brown Paper Treatment

5 Materials
5 Days

When we built my craft room in our basement I had a lot of unique ideas I wanted to incorporate into the project. One of those things was to try this technique of using brown paper to create a faux finish for my floor. Shown below are the items you'll need for the first portion of the project.
frugal faux floors brown paper treatment
A bowl for the glue and water mixture, a bowl to drain and hold the paper that has been soaked, a brush to apply the glue mixture to missed areas. You'll need several rolls of brown paper, latex gloves, white school glue, water and a measuring cup.
* Note that floors were prepped beforehand with wood filler in the areas where the screw heads made indentations. Complete sanding if necessary, for any raised edges making sure to vacuum the floor afterwards.
*Also the brown paper can be prepped ahead of time by tearing the rolls into 8- 12" size pieces and crumpled into balls and set aside for later.
Mix together your solution in the larger of the two bowls, your mixture ratio will be 3 parts water: 1 part glue
Seen below here are the prepared paper pieces, torn and crumpled and placed into my laundry basket for easy maneuvering.
frugal faux floors brown paper treatment
I found it best to just wet about 6 pieces in the glue solution at a time and once wet I'd let them rest in the shallow bowl seen above until I was ready to piece them in. I found it was a little like puzzle piecing and I would overlap about an inch over the previously laid pieces. Continue working in this way, use the paint brush to add glue mixture to any areas of paper that were missed. I used my gloved hands to spread the pieces completely flat to the floor sub-floor.
I did have an inspector for quality shadow of course!
frugal faux floors brown paper treatment
Once the floor was completely covered with paper I allowed for a drying time of 12 hours at least before moving to the next step. Here's how it looked all wet, not impressed yet? Just wait a minute and you will be, well I was anyhow.
frugal faux floors brown paper treatment
The next step at your own choice of course is to choose a preferable stain color for your floor. I chose an oil based Miniwax stain in the color of Fruitwood and applied it lightly with t-shirt rags (lint-free). DO NOT overlap staining, blend lightly as you work to cover the entire area. It absorbed very well into the paper treatment and concealed small imperfections. In fact the ragged paper edges now began to look like torn leather patches.
frugal faux floors brown paper treatment
The last step I started 24 hours after the stain was applied, this step was to apply a protective top coat of polyurethane. I applied an oil modified floor grade polyurethane with a roller brush and tray, in total I applied 6 coats with a dry time of 2 to 3 hours between each one. Here's the closeup look of the finished look.
frugal faux floors brown paper treatment
Once this was completed I let the floor rest another 24 hours before moving furniture into the room. I was super impressed with the final results, I read that it is durable but I added a rug to protect it from the wheels of my office chair
frugal faux floors brown paper treatment
frugal faux floors brown paper treatment
Best of all the inspector approved, the finish has been able to withstand his playing and running around on easily enough. It was economical to install, it's tough and durable, easy to repair if necessary and easy to clean up with a little soapy water.
So all that's left to ask is, "Are you going to try it?"
frugal faux floors brown paper treatment
Be sure to check out other custom ideas we created in my craft room, see link below for a great idea for a small window.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 56 questions
  • Marcela
    on Apr 1, 2018

    Can you tell how much paper and polyurethane for your room size?

    • Sea Trace Creations
      on Apr 2, 2018

      This was done a few years back so I don't recall exactly but that seems like it would have been a giant roll! No double layering was done but overlapping occurs along the edges.

  • Kimberly Miller Vest
    on Apr 30, 2018

    Was this done in a high traffic area?? If so how were you able to do it without getting it messed up.

    i would love to do this in my living room but it is the main part of the house and I have a 5 year old and 2 dogs. It is also where we come in and out of the house.

    • Joyce
      on Jul 29, 2018

      Did the same in my kitchen. One of our friends gave me a bag he had bought whiskey in and told me it was a $24 dollar piece of flooring! holding up well and looks great.

  • Delene Henry-Vota
    on Aug 11, 2018

    looks great can you use mod podge instead of school glue

Join the conversation

2 of 133 comments
  • Sandy
    on Jun 24, 2018

    Your floor looks amazing I also am working on a similar idea only my Living Room WALL ....would I use the same Polyurethane as a sealer once finished and also would I need to gently sand it down first as it’s finished texture once dry is quite ROUGH ... Thank you !!! Once again your FLOOR is amazing 🙂

  • Darlene Moncrief
    on Aug 3, 2018

    This is awesome

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