Asked on Jan 06, 2018

My brown paper bag flooring didn’t dry flat. Why?

Angela Hewett
by Angela Hewett
  15 answers
  • MichaelBernadette Dillow MichaelBernadette Dillow on Jan 07, 2018

    Wouldn’t it work better if while applying each section of paper, you push the air bubbles out like you do with wall paper! Just a thought!

  • Joyce Doehlman Joyce Doehlman on Jan 07, 2018

    as the paper bag gets wet it stretches. I would submerge bag in water then apply to item while stretching and smoothing out. it works. when wet it covers twice the area and dry it lays flat. have fun

  • Barbara Baldwin Barbara Baldwin on Jan 07, 2018

    Not an answer. I wanted to tell Angela how happy I am for her. That link shows how to fix the problem..she won't have to tear up the whole shebang...

  • Leah Leah on Jan 07, 2018

    TThere is a difference in leaving wrinkles in bag and leaving parts of the bag up. Glad to know it is fixable. Sometimes paper will hoove up. Wall paper will do that in places if you paint over it.

  • Evie Mackin Evie Mackin on Jan 07, 2018

    The wrinkles in your paper were too wrinkled. When I use this procedure I smooth the paper with my hands to push out the too large wrinkles and press it flat, then just apply plenty of glue and place on surface and smooth with wallpaper brush or heavy sponge.

  • Emilious Tarr Emilious Tarr on Jan 07, 2018

    I suspect that the answer to why is that you did not "book" the paper before putting it down. Booking is what you do when you are installing wall paper, you roll a thin layer of the adhesive onto the paper, then fold the paper with the adhesive covered side together, and then letting is set long enough for the paper to normalize. There is a good guide on this at, booking is about a third of the way down the page. Even if you are using pieces of torn paper, allowing them time to normalize will avoid a lot of the problems that seem to be plaguing you.

  • Lori Lori on Feb 03, 2018

    I had this problem as well. I just used a scraper and flattened out the paper pushing the air bubbles out as best I could. I love this look.

  • Amanda Hubbell Amanda Hubbell on Dec 06, 2018

    Mine did this after the poly application. What did your do to fix it?

  • Harry Harry on Feb 08, 2020

    I just did my first attempt on paper bag floors I found that if you crumple up the paper in a 5 gallon bucket with water and unfold it and paint the glue on the floor first put the paper down and literally stretch it out with a sponge paint brush with glue works good for me, didn't have hardly any ripples at all and dry very well and solid. I did a lite sand over everything and stained the floor with red oak stain and purposely turned over paper pieces here and there to get a different color effect throughout the floor. Let it dry for a good twelve hours and put a high traffic formula wood floor finish polyurethane gloss on it and seems to be working out pretty well.

  • Katie Katie on Mar 07, 2020

    if I could get a material list and step by step

  • Alex Frank Alex Frank on Aug 06, 2020

    Hey. I saw this video a while ago when I was interested in doing this myself. Think the video is pretty good at explaining how to go about the project I think your floor may still be salvageable with some polyurethane. If you want more help I would also recommend looking into the site can be super helpful with renovations and video calls one on one with professionals.

  • RJ Baetig RJ Baetig on Apr 03, 2021

    Angela I’m curious what you ended up doing or using to fix your crinkled brown paper bag method. This happened to parts of my floor, and after reading all the posts. I smoothed it flat when I was applying it s as I’d I even used a paint brush to put hlue on the floor snd again over the paper after squeezing it out. I just don’t know if I should leave it crinkled & it can be an imperfect room or if I should tear it all up?

    will you notice that it’s really imperfect if you put the polyurethane on it??? Help I’m fixing up the floors so that hopefully in a year I can sell my house!! So they need to look good to potential buyers!!

  • Ann48742136 Ann48742136 on Jul 01, 2021

    Where did buy it from? Maybe you got a bad material, or an expired one, and this is why you got an result like this.

  • Ann48742136 Ann48742136 on Jul 18, 2021

    I see only 2 reasons why you got the floor like, it's either because of a bad material, or you just didn't apply it correctly. Try to think which one of these 2 is reason, and then you can fix it with no problems, can't cure a disease if you don't know what caused it. If you manage to get it flat and nice, then it will save you some energy during the winter, and if you get an underfloor heating like in this guide, then you can have no worries about the cold season of the year.