Well, today I’m kicking off my first series! I wasn’t originally planning on making it a series – I was going to post the whole experiment in one big post, but quickly realized it would be the most ridiculous, long-winded, information-packed post ever. So big that it would be hard to actually find the information you are looking for. So I’m going to divide it up into five parts…. papers, stains, sealers, surfaces and removal, and conclusion. Like a science fair project on steroids. I’ll just plan to post one a week so as to not totally bore those of you that have absolutely no interest in this. Also, my opinions change throughout the process, so don’t base what you are going to do off of just ones of these posts. Just because a paper goes on great doesn’t mean it stains well, for example.
In case you’re new here and have no idea what paper flooring is all about, here is the gist. Paper flooring is a cheap and beautiful alternative to more expensive flooring types. If you need new flooring and are adventurous, like work, are on a budget, and enjoy being hunched over for long periods of time… then this might be for you. You can read my full tutorial HERE (and my one year later post HERE), but you basically rip up paper, crumple it, glue it to your floor (using a Elmers glue and water mixture), stain (optional), and cover in a stinkload sealer. There are SO MANY different ways you can do this, different papers, stains, sealers…they will all look different and may wear differently depending on what products you use. Because of this (and the popularity of my original tutorial) I’ve decided to do all the dirty work for y’all and experiment with different combinations. This isn’t an exhaustive list (because that would take forever and be crazy expensive) but it’s fairly thorough and should hopefully be helpful.
So here we go…paper options. I used three different types of papers for this – builders paper, brown kraft paper, and white art paper.
You can pick this paper up at Home Depot near the paint section, it costs about $11 for a 140 ft roll (it will last you forever). This is the paper that I used in my boy’s room. Here are my observations about it…
- The thickest of all the papers.
- The darkest of all the papers
- The most difficult to rip and crumple (especially crumple). I had to ball it up, flatten it out, and ball it up again to get the amount of wrinkles I was looking for.
- Tore and got holes sometimes while crumpling.
- Doesn’t appear to have different sides, but when it dries the sides look slightly different (some are darker than others).
- Uses the most glue
I papered a scrap piece of plywood, and will be using these boards for all my experiments. The paper looks a little blotchy here… I had to go over a few spots after it dried to seal them down. I think my first batch of glue was too watery and the two batches look different when dry. So measure your glue – 50% water and 50% glue.
Here’s a close-up. You can’t really see where it was crumpled, that part doesn’t show up until you stain it.