Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm So Excited To Show You This!!

I haven't even gotten a chance to show you everything that I did in our bathroom last month.  That's because it's not completely decorated.  I haven't had time to put some things together because a BIGGER project finally got worked on and is almost finished.

We live in a quad-level house.  It's like you took a ranch house with a basement and cut it in half from the roof to the basement floor, then moved one of the pieces so they were off-centered.  When you first look at the house from the street, it looks like a tri-level house.  The basement is hidden!  The house is A LOT bigger than it looks from the street.  (it has 6 NICE sized bedrooms!!  On the lower level, 2 of the bedroom are 14' x 11.5' - the third smaller room is 10 x 11 or so.  Our master bedroom is 14' x 16'!!)

When we bought the house, the main level (kitchen, living room & dining room level) and the upstairs (master bedroom, big bath, and 2 other bedrooms) had all been remodeled.    The house was originally built in the lat 60's or early 70's and when they finished it, I believe EVERY wall in the house was PANELING.  It was the good HEAVY stuff, but it was that wonderful 1970's DARK stuff...  So, when I say remodeled, I mean, paneling removed, hollow-core doors replaced with pine 6-panel (solid) doors, new carpet, new linoleum...  drywall hung...... the works.   However............  the bottom 2 levels have not been updated.  Paneling...... everywhere...........   And do you remember the low-pile loop, office kind of carpet with the BLACK foam on the back?  In dark brown and rust 'tweed'?? Everywhere........  There is a bar in the basement.  It's made out of brick.......... and 'weeping' BLACK mortar....  it's beautimous..........  Dark brown formica countertop on the top..........  totally awesome.

Ok........ sorry........... I digressed.

Anyway, the most recent project was actually started probably 2 years ago...  Sometimes we just don't get into a hurry with things...........  The bottom level is what we've been working on, not the basement....  We removed the paneling..... like over a year ago..........  got some drywall up, about a year ago.....  got some more up this past spring......   then started hitting it a little harder about 2 or 3 months ago.  When Mr. Inspiring went out of town last month, Ms. C and I totally overhauled the bathroom (did I mention those LOVELY 1970 BLUE toilets and sinks???)  When he came home, it was a huge shocker for him.  That's when he vowed to get the bottom level DONE.....

Because this 'project' was started over 2 years ago, IF I took pictures of the 'Before', I haven't a clue where they are.....  and I took 'during' photos, but they were AFTER all the drywall was up..... 

These pictures were taken in what will soon be my new craft room!!  The drywall  is up, and it's texturized here.  We  pulled the carpet up, then had to scrape the black foam off of the concrete.  And then vaccuum.  And vacuum again....  And then.... vacuum some more!  And did I mention we had to vacuum after that?  Everything in the whole house was covered in drywall dust from sanding the mud before the texturizing.  I think these pictures were taken Saturday morning (yes, this past Saturday).  After this, we painted.  And painted.  And painted......... 

(sorry for the blurriness!  I guess I moved too quickly!!)

(My future craft room!!! Yay, me!!)

We have really spent a lot of money on all of this (well... not like a ton, but more than what we would have if we had left well enough alone....  and we couldn't do that!!).  The individual purchases don't seem so bad, until you add them all up..............  *ick*   And we just were not sure what we wanted to do with the flooring.  We really don't have the money for carpeting and the padding and the installation....  It would definitely have to be a DIY kind of project..........  but what??  Laminate?  May as well go with the carpet....

Then I remembered reading about (sound the trumpets now!!)  PAPERBAG FLOORING

If you don't know what this is, do a search on it.......  Your jaw just might drop to the floor.........  It's a very nice, temporary solution.  Heck, it's a very nice permanent solution. 

So... I ordered a roll of kraft paper from Uline............and Oh my gosh - - they are crazy fast with thier delivery.  And they sent one of their catalogs in the box, too, and I'll tell you what, it was better than getting the Sears Wishbook.........  Crazy cool ideas started creeping into my head while I was looking at it....  I bought the roll of paper cuz I just DIDN'T have enough paper sacks stored up.... 

I bought a couple gallons of Elmer's glue

Some brown craft paint

The most expensive part of the project?  this:

I bought it for about $33 per can.  I bought 4 cans, and will have to get AT LEAST one more.

The first room is the room Ms. C will be relocating to.  (Mr. Inspiring snores something FIERCE!!  he's so going in for a sleep study this month!!!)

I mixed equal amounts of the glue and water, and then added some brown craft paint to the mixture until it looked like chocolate milk....

I took my wall paper paste brush, and brushed an area with the mixture.  I had torn some of the kraft paper up and crumpled it up, then smoothed it out over the glue mixture.  Then I painted more of the glue mixture over it.  I repeated these steps with the second piece and when I laid it down and smoothed it out, it overlapped the first piece a little.  I continued like this until the floor was covered!!  The next day, when the glue mixture was dry, I started rolling on the polyurethane.  I put 5 coats on it.  See how shiney it is and reflective, too!!

At this point, I was way excited!!  I love this.  And the best part - - if we, or the new owners (if we sell the house) decide to put carpet in these rooms?  It can be laid right on top of this treatment.  It's kind of a step up from painting concrete.

While this was drying, I was contemplating on the next room (my new craft room).  I wanted to do something unusual.  All the paper bag flooring pictures I've found on the internet all pretty much look like the above photo.....  Random pieces covering the floor or wall.... kinda looking like shiney leather.

I thought and thought.......... and finally decided on a weave or a checkerboard look....  and OMG!!!  I FA-REAKING LOVE IT!!!

I tore (using a straight edge, of course) squares of the kraft paper that were approximately 24" x 24".  The first night, I used the craft paint in the glue mixture, and had brown squares.   Like so:

 My kraft paper squares!!

Here they are, all glued down on the floor Tuesday night.  I had to think this one through a bit as there were a couple of big spots of paint on the concrete that I'd rather have the dark squares cover, as opposed to the light ones.  I wasn't sure if they'd show up or not.

Then last night (Wednesday night) I laid the lighter squares.  Same technique and all, I just did not add any craft paint to the glue mixture.

This is what I woke up to this morning!!  At 6 am this morning, I put my first coat of polyurethane on it.  And was able to get 2 more coats on it today!!  Tomorrow, I plan on at least 2 more coats of it. 

OH MY GOSH!!!  I LOVE THIS FLOOR!!!!     Mr. Inspiring has been off most of the week, and he has had a bunch of interruptions.  So many people stop by to talk when they've seen him outside applying polyurethane to the baseboards and other trim....  He is so proud of the work we've done that he has to go show them.  And most of them think these floors are really cool!! 

Cool???  They're FA-REAKING Awesome!!!!

Before picture:

And the after picture:

Of course, I will show you everything when it's done - - you might even get to see some pictures sooner if they turn out cool, too!!!  I still have the closets that I want to build shelves in, and I have this huge room that I need to set up for my crafty space............  and I want it to totally rock!!

I'm telling you - - Paperbag Flooring - - go look it up!!!  Who knew???

Thanks for stopping by and putting up with my LLOONNGG post!!  You guys rock!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm linking up to these parties!!

The Shabby Nest
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
Feathered Nest Friday

Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. What an amazing change to your floor...and a paperbag flooring! Who knew? Both floors looks great - bet you can't wait to move into your new craft room. :)

  2. wow! I can't believe you actually accomplished this. I heard of this a while ago and considered doing our kitchen floors. Great job!

  3. Wow, how creative! Its going to look so great with the base molding up...can't wait to see. You are one brave girl taking that on, I would have chickened out. Good for you, well done!

  4. SO cool! I hadn't heard of this floor treatment before and it is so creative! The floors look terrific!

  5. WOW!!! I love these floors!!!!!
    I have been wanting to do something with my studio floor and this is the perfect, fantabulous idea. Thanks so much for sharing :)


  6. What a great floor! I'm over from the Ghastlies blog and I'm a new follower!

  7. This looks really cool. I'm considering doing this in one of my bathrooms. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. I recently heard about this and was wondering how on earth it worked. I LOVE how it looks! Great job!

  9. I've seen this done on walls and furniture, but never on the floor. It turned out fabulous!!

  10. Good for you! I would be shouting from the roof tops as well! This is great. I'm pinning it to some ideas to remake my basement floor. I'm a new follower, and am looking forward to seeing what else you've got up your sleeve : ) We're remaking our house too, hope you'll stop by : )

  11. This is so interesting. It looks so cool! We need to do something to our basement floor, and this may just be it!

  12. Wow! What a cool idea - and it looks amazing!

  13. That is such a great idea! It looks great, and way budget friendly. Great job!

  14. I love the look of that floor. I saw someone on another blog did something similar some time ago. Glad to see it again, I did not save that one. Thanks, gonna pin this.

  15. Your floor came out just beautiful! I love checkered floors- well done! Thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday! Hope to see you again at the weeks party! :)

  16. Wow! Very cool! Loved this idea! :)

    -Bonnie @ Revolutionaries

  17. Is your floor 100% smooth or are there wrinkles in it?

  18. Hi, Everyone! Thank you so much for your comments! I love these floors. I do need to put a couple more coats of polyurethane on the checkerboard. The other floor has a couple more and it's shinier and smoother.

    Amber - no, the floors aren't 100% smooth. the checkerboard floor is smoother than the other, which was my first go at it. If you do this, take your time. The smoother you make it during the glue process, the smoother it will dry. The paper does stretch. Weird - but it does!! I've got one more room to put this flooring in, but with the weather getting cooler, we are shutting windows.... I think the fumes may be too much for my inside pets. so the third room will be done in spring...

    Thanks again!!

    Hugs ~~ Suz

  19. You did a wonderful job on your paper bag floor...I was contemplating staining my floors, but this is much easier and cost saving. I'm a new follower, please drop for a visit when you can.

  20. I like the first pic personally with the ripped paper instead of the checkerboard look


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