DIY…Floor Treatment Revealed

my inspiration for our son’s floor project came from the April 2011 issue of Cottages & Bungalows

isn’t that the way it always goes?
see it & want it
this time…we followed through.

See right there it say’s  “Creative Flooring”

They weren’t kidding!

However they could have also added other adjectives; like…




they even supplied all the information needed to complete this project with going any further than these pages.


weekend project ?

It was more like a weekend and a couple of extra days. but still, most of the hard work was done in two days. I mean lets face it, most of the work was getting the room ready to do the process!

what is that old adage? 90% prep 10% process

sage wisdom!

the list of supplies you will need for a 11′ x 12′ room…

1- 35″ x 166′ roll of brown Builder’s Paper

(they say painters paper, but Builders paper is thicker)

1 gallon white glue (Elmer’s was suggested & that’s what we used)

1 gallon of water based poly-urethane satin finish

small bucket

3″ paint brush

4″ paint brush attached to an old broom handle or stick

small plastic trashcan

razor knife or small sharp scissors (to trim access around door frames)

stir stick & knee pads (a must)

Step #1

Prepare floor for treatment by patching holes and any cracks larger than 1/8″…see information about patching cement floors here. Remove any access paint or drywall splatter that’s been hidden under carpeting. Remove baseboards. I’m sure you can do this treatment with baseboards in tact but we were replacing so we were working without baseboards.  It makes application easy because you’re not having to slide wet paper up under something and your will have a large gap between floor and baseboard if you don’t remove them.  Vacuum and you are ready to go.

Step #2

Unroll a bit of the brown builder’s paper and tear into strips about 12″ width. It helps to do this on a table, easier on the back.

I was using a straight edge to get a nice tear and then realized I didn’t want perfect 12 x 12 squares. but you will want to use any straight edges of paper for the perimeter of room.  it’s just easier that way.  tear the strips of paper into 3 to 4 random sizes.  Next you will crumpled the paper pieces

and open to stack for use.

Step #3

We are planning on doing this floor treatment in two other room in our home to we found the gallon size of Elmer’s glue online at Discount School Supply and bought two gallons, shipped right to our door.

Prepare glue mixture by using 1 part glue to 3 parts water.

We began with 1/4 gallon of glue adding the water making a gallon of glue mixture.

Step #4

Let the fun begin!

You will want to start at the farthest corner of the room and work toward the door for obvious reasons.  For our project we began the first section in the closet and work toward the back wall.

Using the 3″ brush, liberally brush the glue mixture onto a nice square piece of brown paper and place in the corner where you are working.

Using the brush, slather more glue on top of the paper and gently smooth out air bubbles.

NOTE:  The paper will wrinkle this is normal and will flatten out when dry.  don’t freak about the wrinkles it will look awesome! Promise!

Now you’re ready to lay the second piece…and third…working along the edges.Continue adding paper…overlapping and in random order once you have the perimeter done.  This was the process for the closet because it was a very tight space, so we worked on the perimeter then filled in the middle working our way out of the closet.

this is what you can expect it to look like while it is wet.

this is the next day…looks like suede to me 🙂

with the closet done we began working toward that back corner, moving from the left of this photo, under the window and to the corner. this photo is taken from the door.

we got half of the room done on Saturday

Sunday we came in a finished laying the paper.  See where the paper is dry from where we left off yesterday?  And how the wrinkles smoothed out.

okay. Phase 1 done.

this has to dry completely before going in and applying the poly-urethane.

It’s pretty much dry at this stage….

a closer look at the texture.

here’s a breakdown of cost so far…

factored out for this room because we bought materials for three rooms and that grand total was about $85 for all the materials.

we bought two rolls of Builder’s paper at Sherwin Williams because we had a 40% coupon, that cost was about $15.00 total

the glue was $9.99/ea. add shipping…total cost $26.98

Everything else we had on hand…so far we’ve spent $10.50 on this room’s floor treatment.


stay tuned for Phase 2!



April 2011 Cottages & Bungalows article “Fancy Floors”; pages 77-79

written and photographed by Jami Boys

her blog & floor post here at the The Oregon Cottage

Other links for this DIY floor treatment;

Rachel at Lovely Crafty Home did this treatment on her stairs and a hallway

6 thoughts on “DIY…Floor Treatment Revealed

  1. That is by far the most different thing I’ve ever seen…and I don’t read magazines. =) I’m amazed that you can do that with paper and glue! WOW! =) Thanks for sharing.

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