Paper Bag (Sheet Music) Floor

Alicia W
by Alicia W
7 Materials
4 Days
Several months ago, I posted how to make over your room using paper bags. This month, I’ve been updating the bedrooms in my sister’s house. One of my nephew’s is a award winning musician so I decided to change the flooring in his bedroom using sheet music.
He had boring, beige, builder grade carpet in his bedroom. He needed an update, something to reflect him.
I began by pulling up the carpet using a utility knife to cut manageable pieces. Underneath the carpet is a pad (that’s the blue thing).
After the carpet was removed, the padding was pulled up using a utility knife to cut manageable pieces.
Under the padding is the subfloor. His subfloor was very nice, no stains.
To hold the padding to the floor, are millions of staples which need to be removed. I used a small pliers and a flathead screwdriver.
Then the tack strips need to be removed. This is what holds the carpet in place. Placing the crowbar at the edge of the tack strip, I tapped the top of the crowbar to get it under the tack strip. Most of the time, the strip comes off in pieces. This is the most time consuming part of the whole process.
Once everything was removed, the floor was vacuumed throughly.

My sister had purchased old sheet music at an auction. I also used primer books that my nephew had used when he was learning to play along with music he used throughout his school years.
Using a utility knife, I carefully cut the music into individual pieces.
To mix the glue that would be used to stick the music to the floor:
A-Using an empty bottle
B-I poured four cups of white glue into the bottle
C-I poured one cup of water into the bottle
D-So the ratio was 4:1
E-Replaced the cap, and shook it well.
A-I poured the glue mixture into a paint pan.
B-Using a sponge roller, I rolled heavy coat of glue onto the bare floor
C-I laid the music, one sheet at a time, on top of the glue.
D-Using the sponge roller, I rolled a thinner coat of glue on top of the sheet music.
I placed the music on the floor with the first piece going vertical then the next piece going horizontal. Because the music wasn’t all the same size, I used smaller pieces to fill in spaces.
I allowed the floor to dry 24 hours.
Once the floor was dry:
A-I poured polyurethane made for floors into a paint pan.
B- I used a sheep skin applicator to apply the polyurethane which will ensure a smooth, even coverage.
C-Beginning in the corner of the room, I applied the polyurethane
D-I allowed the floor to dry (about four hours) then applied a second coat.
Make sure you have adequate ventilation when applying the polyurethane.
In my paper bag floor post, I had stained the floor before I applied the polyurethane. I didn’t stain this floor so that the music wouldn’t be hidden by the stain. Using old and newer music, the floor had a unique look.

There are spots where the polyurethane soaked underneath the paper making it darker. I believe I should have applied a heavier amount of glue to those areas thereby not allowing any glue to run underneath.
My nephew loves his new floor! It’s a unique as he is.
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 42 questions
  • Ellen Pickett McClary Ellen Pickett McClary on Nov 02, 2018

    How did you fill in the cracks between the boards, or holes left by the tacks?

  • Jennifer Lorraine Jennifer Lorraine on Nov 02, 2018

    Would you use the same technique to do the wall? Over drywall?

  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Nov 03, 2018

    What can safely mop the floor with .?? Without time wearing off polyurethane??

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2 of 133 comments
  • Andrea Whitley Andrea Whitley on May 21, 2020

    I have been considering tearing out the upstairs carpet and putting in that uber popular grey flooring... but I have a music and craft room, and this would be incredible!!

  • Psa51767181 Psa51767181 on Sep 30, 2021

    I really like the dark color with the light. It's interesting.