A Little History First
“necessity is the mother of invention”, I love that quote, I’m thinking of making that my personal motto. There’s nothing like finding yourself in a bind and having to come up with something in a pinch and though it might be a bit of an uncomfortable process at the time, when you look back on it, you’ll be proud of your ingenuity.
It was one of those moments about five years ago that led me to make my first Paper Floor. Due to one of those cosmic vortexes that suck up your life, chew you up till you’re nice and tender and then spit you back out, my hubby and I found ourselves emotionally, physically and financially prostrate and gasping flat out on the floor. As it turns out, the living room floor, and it was clear the carpet there had took a hit that it was not going to recover from.
How to replace a floor when that’s the last thing you should be spending money on? Go to the computer and type in DIY floor coverings. Response: Paper Floors.
How to Make a Paper Floor
NOTE: There’s plenty of step by step instructions for this project online, so I’m going to move quickly through some of the details. I just want to more or less give a shout out to those who maybe didn’t know about this great DIY for a VERY inexpensive way of replacing worn out carpet.
Flashback: As mentioned above, we had carpet, so first: rip out all the old carpet and padding. All around the edges you will find some vicious looking wood slats that have hundreds of tiny nails sticking straight up, these are called Tack Stripping and are themselves nailed down to the floor. Use a nail puller or flathead screwdriver to (carefully) pull these up. Now what you have left is the “sub-floor”.
Vacuum this well. Go all around the floor and pull out any staples that will be left from when they originally laid the padding down. Also, check for any nails in the wood that might be sticking up and get those knocked back down into the floor boards. Now try not to get vertigo as I fast forward from the steps we took in 2011 when we did our first Paper Floor DIY replacement of grodie carpet in our living room to now where this paper floor project takes place in my craft room where I’m finally getting around to replacing the equally gross carpet there. The first steps are the same: remove carpet, pad, tacking strips, staples.
Next, using a wood filler, fill in the seams between the wood sheets of the sub-floor, divots over the nails, holes in the wood, etc. When the filler is dry, then sand down these areas so they’re fairly level to the rest of the floor. Now, this is the sub-floor. They use pretty rough wood for this in the construction of your home. These boards are not “finished” wood. Some of the “texture” of this wood will show in the surface of the completed paper floor, it only adds to the uniqueness of the floor’s overall appearance so don’t go overboard trying to fill in the entire floor with the wood putty.
All for now – next installment coming soon so keep watching.