Our first house was a bungalow in the city with wood floors throughout the main floor. But the attic had been finished in the 70s or 80s and when we bought it came complete with stained blue carpeting up the stairs and in both rooms.
The Floor Failure (Not!)
June 2010 update: It did work!! I just didn’t wait long enough for the poly to dry- after waiting the recommended time before adding furniture, most of the wrinkles were smoothed out and the ones left were just part of the effect. See the room makeover reveal where my son says “the cool floor is my favorite part!”
Being young and poor and hating the carpet (yes, my non-love affair with carpet goes way back…), I found an obscure picture in a book on decoupage that showed a floor covered in torn brown paper that looked leather-like. So Brian and I tore and crumpled paper and I spent about a week on my knees gluing it down and covering it with coats of polyurethane.
We did the whole floor and stairs for about $150 (most of the cost being the poly) and it was beautiful. I couldn’t believe how good it turned out. I thought for sure it wouldn’t last very well, especially on the stairs, so I was going to get a runner to go up the stairs. But I never did. When we sold it five years later, it still looked great- even on the stairs.
Everyone who saw it thought it was so cool and didn’t guess it was just paper. I told lots of people how I did it, “you just tear paper and apply it overlapping with some watered-down Elmer’s glue!”
Apparently, time is not my friend.
This is a “keeping it real” post. I wanted a quick, cheap alternative to yucky carpet for our son’s room makeover, so of course I thought of my cool paper treatment.
I tore and crumpled and glued carefully with my slightly watered down Elmer’s just like before, but…
It didn’t work this time. The paper wrinkled up and stayed wrinkled. Uggggggh.
I vaguely remembered seeing wrinkles the last time right after laying it, but that they smoothed out overnight after drying, so I kept thinking they would go away.
But they didn’t. Not after drying. Not after four coats of poly.
I know you’re probably shaking your heads, thinking “what possessed her?” but it really was a cool treatment I thought would be no problem to do again.
Now what? We’re looking for a really big rug and will have to cover it with hardwood plywood (our other inexpensive flooring option) at a later date.
In the meantime, not only does it look like paper, it feels like paper and crackles when you walk on it.
And I’m left completely mystified why it worked so well before and not this time. Any ideas?
This is linked to: Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest