D.I.Y "Brown Paper Bag " Countertop With Homemade Glue !!!

3 Days
I decided to resurface my out-dated kitchen counter tops. Being a Diva on a budget, I searched the internet for inexpensive resurfacing options for the kitchen.
I was pleased to see there were so many helpful links and video tutorials available for the "Brown Paper Bag" technique. I began watching YouTube videos and saving links on Pinterest. Then I decided to practice with a few items that I already had at home.
The following videos were especially helpful.
https://youtu.be/MvR2pfSdrmw , https://youtu.be/mTljNaO3Jx8 and https://youtu.be/k12vSVW-bMM
I used brown paper lunch bags, and grocery bags, I already had several types of wood stain, polyurethane, and plywood to apply the "brown paper bags" to. However,I didn't have the Elmer's glue.
I located a recipe on-line for homemade glue. This recipe was incredibly easy to make. The following ingredients were used:
Natural Homemade Glue
1 cup of flour
1-1/2 of water
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vinegar
Please view the link for the glue recipe.
I encountered a few problems when attempting to add a post on this site. Pardon me for all of the comment updates.
I purchased builders paper from Lowe's for about $13.00, the paper at Lowe's was a different brown compared to other stores...I preferred this particular brown. I also purchased one gallon of Minwax water-based Polycrylic (Gloss) it was approximately $52.00. This sealer worked wonderfully and maintained the light color that was achieved as a result of using the homemade glue. The flour in the glue helped to create a stone-like appearance. I made several batches of glue in order to complete this project. Based on your individual needs you may have to double, triple, or even quadruple the measurements for larger projects.
When I finally tried a sample technique with Elmer's glue...I was not pleased with the end result for my particular project.
CAUTION: When using a water-based sealer if oil is spilled or splattered on it and it is not cleaned up promptly...it will be absorbed.
If water marks occur on the water-based sealer... for example if some leaves a cold glass of water on the counter; the condensation will leave a mark. It will eventually dry up and the counter will return to normal. You could also speed up the drying time by placing a fan near the affected area.
I use Clorox disinfectant wipes, or a damp cloth with soap and water to clean my counter tops. Immediately, after I'll dry the counter with paper towel or a clean/dry cloth. Use cutting boards and coasters to preserve your counter tops.
Another option to seal the counter top is to use Ultra Clear Epoxy:
This project is labor intensive... tearing the paper, balling it up to give it some texture, straightening it out, having a pile for rough edges, and another pile for straight edges(for the perimeter of your coverage area), slathering glue on both sides of the paper,applying each piece of paper one at a time, making sure that each piece of paper is overlapped by at least a 1/2 inch...this accounts for shrinkage during the drying phase.
I did not sand in between the coats of the water-based polycrylic. I applied a total of 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic (Gloss). ATTENTION: Please keep in mind that each side of the builder's paper is slightly different in color. So, if you are seeking variation in your design...it won't matter what side is facing up. If it is your desire to have more of a uniformed look..Keep track of the side you want facing up. Perhaps mark the backside with a pencil.
The pictures are from over a year ago. The counters still look amazing! I love the reaction that I get from guests, when they inquire about it. They can't believe it is made of paper, homemade glue and sealed with a clear coat! I mean the counters are constantly being "caressed" by my guests! LOL

Evita La Cour
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3 of 14 comments
  • Barb Barb on Aug 30, 2015
    I am so happy it is working. It sounds like a great idea. I have thought of trying it in one of my bathrooms but was afraid it wouldn't hold up when it got wet. Thanks for letting us know how well it is working.

    • Evita La Cour Evita La Cour on Aug 30, 2015
      If it's a countertop project for a bathroom...I believe an epoxy sealer would be much better. Ultra Clear Epoxy, or Envirotex. If this technique is applied to the floor, an oil-based polyurethane would be much better.

  • Barb Barb on Aug 31, 2015
    I think you are right, Evita.