Blog Worthy Results Without a Blog, My Version of the Paper Bag Floor

by Lauriepaige
5 Days
Ten years ago we bought a "folk" Victorian home. Over it's lifetime, the porch has had a few different uses, including being an in home beauty parlor, a bedroom and a Man Cave. Our budget is crazy tight (isn't almost everyone's?) but I REALLY need a craft space!!!
I forgot to take pics while the walls were still brown (ugh) Definitely Mobile Home paneling. At some point we may completely gut and re-do this room but for now, paint is performing it's usual amazing transformational wonders!
So. Walls are done, trim is painted, ugly blue indoor/outdoor carpet and linoleum tiles are out! HURRAY!!!
And now begins my first paper bag floor. Multiple people wanted to help with this, my mom, my sister, my bestie, my mum-in-law... and at first I was all for that. Turns out that the weekend I finally got to this point, none of them were available and I was actually glad. lol. Never having done this before I could only imagine the back and forth questions about; do we tear specific shapes? (no) how wet is too wet for the paper balls? (depends on the bag) How wet should the floor be when we spread the paper? (turns out, REALLY wet) and, Is it possible to put too much glue over the top? (NO) lol. I had quite the conversation with myself! Can you tell? ;) I learned the answers to these questions as I went.
aaahhhh,... the requisite stumbling block. Remember I mentioned the porch was once a beauty parlor? Well. The water pipes are still there (I may end up wanting water out there some day) and at some point there was water leakage, either from the water pipes or perhaps the drain pipe which is no longer there. Now I know that you Pros out there will be horrified at my somewhat temporary solution but here it is. I stuffed a few plastic bags into the hole that the drain pipe used to be in, pulled up the warped/bubbled part of the sub floor (which is really more like a veneer) and then I used the bottoms of the paper bags which have multiple layers due to their construction and I made my own patch. Not perfect but it will be under the counter I'm putting in, not walked on and will suffice until I can afford to gut the whole room and do things "right".
And DONE!!! If you look by the pipes, you really can't even see the patch job. :) At this point I started questioning my decision to stain the floor, it looks SO cool!
As you can see I decided to go with the stain. I wasn't really sure how I wanted to go about applying it, I started with a brush, but I didn't like how long that was obviously going to take! sheesh! The hubby was only going to be out of town for so long and this needed to get DONE! lol I ended up using a rag. There are some "wipe" marks but so far everyone who has seen it in person didn't feel that they detract from the look. Plus, the stain will match the counter that's coming!
And speaking of the counters... HAPPY DANCE! My employer was throwing away this conference table because one end was broken! I ripped it in half (with the help of my hubby and bro-in-law, the thing was too heavy to maneuver by myself) and cut it to fit. I also got some shelves out of it! WAY COOL!! free and I didn't have to dumpster dive!
WAHOO!!! The floor is done, several coats of Poly later, the counters are in using "legs" donated by my dad. The counter is installed at about 36" - 38" so that I can stand and work or sit on a stool. Perfect! And yes, the end length DOES go in front of that window. It does not get opened because there is no screen or screen frame. It's "open" in the pic because I had been painting the trim. At some point, the window will be replaced and I'll figure out what to do about the counter at that point. Anyway, thanks for reading! Be Brave! Try your own project!! It's amazing!!!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Ann Ann on Jan 03, 2018
    What type of glue and sealant do I need and how much of each?

Join the conversation
2 of 86 comments