The End Is In Sight
I tried something a little different with this floor, notice the pieces out in the middle of this final section? This area of the floor will get the highest traffic so I thought I’d do a little experiment here. I took some of the largest pieces I’d prepared and spaced them somewhat evenly in this area between two doorways where this floor is sure to take the hardest hits. As I filled in the areas beyond, still working my way to this door and out of the room, I laid down the paper pieces like I did on the rest of the floor. When I got to these “floaters” I just came right over them leaving very little of them showing. It gave this area a sort of “double-layer” that may prove advantageous over the years of wear and tear that is soon to start – time will tell.
And here it is, a totally covered floor! Yeah!!!!!! Now it’s time for some upright work, being able to stand is quite underrated. After I glued down the last piece, it was break time. I’m going to let the floor get completely dry, I would say a good 24 hours (again, depending on your local temp, weather, etc.).
All dry? Now it’s time for the sealer. I like Varathane and prefer the Satin finish. It still has some sheen to it but not too flashy a finish like a Gloss would be; again, just personal preference. There are other brands but which ever one you choose just make sure it’s the waterbased and not the oil.
Get a nice 4″ polyester bristle brush, a roll of duct tape and a handle from a broom or mop that you can unscrew and remove the original working head. Now just tape the paintbrush to the mop handle.
Yep, we’re talking high-tech here, but it works. Follow directions on the can of polyurethane for stirring, etc. I then just take the whole can out to the furthest corner, dip the brush in and start spreading sealer. I’ve read where some paint all in one direction for one coat and then the next coat they switch to a cross direction and paint the next coat. For me, since my “pattern” of floor is so random, I just painted in sort of an “X” movement. I felt that this covered all the areas well, getting into the tiny edges and seams on each piece of paper.
This is a pic after the first coat went down. The poly dries fairly quickly but set your timer for at least two hours between coats. I would recommend around six coats in total. You can certainly go more, but I wouldn’t go much less. The first coat takes the longest and will soak up the most poly, and the paper will pucker a bit again but lay back down as it dries.
For wall edges, paint right up into them but be careful, you might knock some plaster/debris down with the brush. If this happens get those little pieces picked up right away. If they dry into the poly they’re there for life.
Have you noticed quite a change in colors on this floor? Some of it’s due to whether the floor is in a wet vs dry stage but some is also due to the light. This is sort of a chameleon floor depending on whether you’re looking at it under natural light or electric, a sunny day or cloudy, it changes quite a bit. For me, that’s one of the great things about this floor, it’s so variable.
Alright, the six coats are on and now it’s time to let the floor dry, completely, again. Go at least 24 hours for this. But while you’re waiting: after about six hours or so, we CAREFULLY proceed to the last step – finishing the base boards. Can you see in the picture above where there’s a gap between the base boards and the new floor? That’s because the base boards were originally put on after the carpet and padding were laid down. Now that we’ve pulled out that carpet and padding there’s a space from the bottom of the base boards and the floor. Not to worry, this is easily corrected.
This is Interior Moulding. You can find a variety of this at your local building center. It comes in different shapes and it can be raw wood, pre-painted, or made of composite material which is what you see here. Our base boards are white, so we chose white composite moulding and we didn’t have to paint them – that definitely works for me.
Hubby get’s to do all the work on this stage. So for me, it’s like magic – the room is nearly finished. He just spread out an old sheet to work on so the floor had no risk of scratches at this somewhat vulnerable stage.
We’ve put the vents back in and the edges are all nice and neat. Last step is the door ways. Depending on what type of surface the floor is adjoining to in the next room, you will need to put in a threshold. One room was a linoleum floor, pretty much flat level with the new craft room floor, so we’re going with a flush threshold there. I’ll stain and seal these before they’re mounted.
The other doorway is to a wood floor and there is an approximately 1/2″ difference here. So we opted for a wedge shaped threshold on this one. Again, this will be stained and sealed prior to the final mounting.
Yes – today is moving back in day – yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!
I’m so excited to have this job finished. It took one week to accomplish this major improvement in my life. That’s probably a day or two longer than normal for this size room but as you’ll see in the next few photos, this room is packed with crafting supplies and it took quite an effort to clear out the floor space in order for this DIY to proceed. I do have a fairly good excuse for all this stuff, though, remember I have an online Etsy shop and all these tools and crafting supplies are absolutely necessary to the vitality of that shop which is called OldRaven and there is a direct link at the beginning of every Old Raven Creates post and you can just click on that link to go directly to my shop and see all the wonders …. just pulling your leg. I do have a shop but the truth is I love crafting and if this room is full of that proof – I’m unashamedly guilty.
In the the photo directly above you can see the edge of a clear mat. I elected to use a floor mat for directly under my crafting chair – when I’m working paint, stain, glue, you name it, goes everywhere, most especially the floor. I thought I would keep this area pretty as long as possible.
So there you have it, a whole new floor. Where once disgusting worn out carpet moldered under foot I now have a floor that I can vacuum, hit occasionally with a wet mop and generally use and abuse with very little effect. The only noticeable difference with these floors are like most hard floor surfaces they do reflect a bit more sound. In our living room we have two large area rugs that offset that issue. On the plus side of the rugs, if an accident occurs these rugs are easy to clean or replace depending on the degree of damage. When we built our house we had carpet put down in every room but the kitchen – huge mistake and one that we have been rectifying over the last 16 years. In the dining room and hall we had hardwood floors put down, they’re lovely but the price tag was massive. As I recorded in my first “Floor” blog when the living room carpet failed money was an issue so inexpensive flooring was a necessity. But now we had a choice and it was an easy pick – paper floor. We have two more rooms, an office and the master bedroom, and both of these will be paper floors, as well. We’re not sure which “pattern” we will use in the office, which is the floor we’ll do next, but Google images for the paper floor and be prepared to be surprised. These floors can be done in a variety of styles and I think for the office I’ll go a bit more exotic. After all, when it comes to crafting I’m fearless and one thing I forgot to mention, don’t like your results? You can put carpet, tile, hardwood or even try another paper floor pattern right on top of the first one. The final thing I would mention about these floors, price wise, you can’t go wrong. My craft room came in at $1.25 a square foot! I LOVE MY PAPER FLOORS