Paper Floor Inspiration

Since being featured in the April edition of Cottages and Bungalows, I’ve heard from a number of people who’ve either taken the leap and ripped up their carpet, replacing it with paper like we detailed in our DIY Paper Floor/Alternative to Wood Flooring video, or are planning to.

Rachel from Lovely Crafty Home has transformed two sets of stairs and an upper hallway so dramatically, I just had to share her photos:

These stairs to her basement was her first project, and the difference was amazing.

But her upper stairs and hallway are the most dramatic, as she added a walnut stain to the paper before the polyurethane.

I love the different look this creates, and I think I’m going to add stain to the floor I want to do in our master bedroom.

Great job, Rachel!

Has anyone else used this flooring technique? I’d love to share your photos, too!






  1. says

    We did this in our house and it’s not the answer we wanted it to be. If anything wet gets on it and stays for more than five minutes (we have several small children so it’s bound to happen)it bubbles and stays wet for a very long time. It’s also pretty slick.

  2. says

    I’ve never heard of this before. I’ll have to go check this out. Also wanted to say that your “not really a deck” deck-area is looking great,

  3. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Grace- I’m so sorry to hear that! We’ve always done it in bedrooms or stairs, so water has not been an issue.

    What’s interesting to me, though, is I’ve heard from someone who said they did their bathroom with this and it worked fine! She said that they had it for a number of years and when it got worn in front of the tub, they just glued more paper down in that area and poly’d over it again and it looked like new. Hmmm…

    Like any polyurethaned floor, it is slick. We had it on stairs with young children, though, and didn’t find it to be a problem- maybe because we were used to poly’d wood floors?

  4. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Gardenwalk- You know, it’s interesting…When I first posted about using this technique, I did say to use in less busy areas like bedrooms and offices, BUT we did apply it to stairs “temporarily” which turned into 3+ years. I was surprises how it looked just as good and we didn’t need to fix it or cover it in order to sell that house!

    I’ve also heard from a number of people who’ve successfully used in in places like bathrooms and mudrooms. But have also heard from Grace (above) who said it wasn’t the answer for them.

    So it seems to be what you’re willing to try? How much you hate the carpet vs. how little money you have? :-)

    Bottom line is- it’s a great, dirt cheap alternative if you need one!

  5. The Sage Butterfly says

    A great way to get rid of carpet. We have carpet in some rooms, and I would love to get rid of it.

  6. Anonymous says

    help please…i saw this on your blog a coupel months agao and decided to jump in and do it tio the basement floor..only thing i did differetn was do the walnut stain like the other blog..came out beautiful btw..but we put furniture down and forgto to put the carpet pads on the bottom of the furniture and it ripped the floor? has this happened to you and how do i fix? the ploy seems to be coming up like when we were kids and put glue on our hands and peeled it off..its only doing it where it snagged though..but before i go further with the other side of the basement culd you please tell me how to fix it and if i did anything wrong? thank you .. Lina

  7. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Lina- I responded by email, but want to say here that I haven’t had the floor tear like that, and usually not from furniture (I usually just get marks). Not sure if the “glue-like” quality is because of a moisture issue with the basement?

    Anyway, covering tears is easy! Just tear a new piece of paper and “glue” it down with the poly, adding coats as they dry to match the rest of the floor.

  8. Anonymous says

    Hello,we just tried to paper floor and it turned out great,but we wanted to know how to add the stain ?So when we go to do it again on our bedroom floor we can make it darker.We did however try staining the floor just in one spot where you are not going to see and the stain wiped right off.So how do you apply the stain?

  9. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Anonymous- So glad you like the floor treatment! You add stain to the paper after gluing down, but BEFORE coating with the polyurethane, so it will be able to soak into the paper. Good luck on your next floor! :-)

  10. Tiffany says

    Did this to my bedroom walls after I ripped out the yuck-o wallpaper. It left some pretty back spots in the drywall but the paper covered them and you can’t even tell there was defects! Its awesome. I did not put poly on my walls because I didnt want the sheen in my bedroom but it has done great! I am wanting to do my bathroom and laundry room floors over Christmas break! Love this!

    • Karen says

      I did bedroom walls in our 100 yo farm house. I used tissue paper and paint and then a final coat of paint after it was all applied. looks great and hide all the cracks and holes from the old plaster walls. Good Luck to you all and i can’t wait to tear out my yucky carpet yeahhhh.

      • Jami says

        That sounds great, Karen. I actually did a tissue paper texture-paint job on an old dresser years ago to hide dings. Turned out great too!

  11. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    So creative, Tiffany- loved how you solved a problem with a DIY project! I bet your floors will look great, too.

  12. says

    This is the coolest thing I have seen so far. Was looking up some options to refinish my fridge and saw a link to this floor. Now I will be trying it in the bedrooms. I have already ripped out the carpet because of asthma and have been living with sub floor for a while. Wanted to put in wood floors but haven’t had enough money to yet. This is a great inexpensive solution. Thank you, Mandie

    • Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

      You can apply it two ways: after the glue and paper has dried, but BEFORE the poly coats, OR add the stain to the glue to stain as you go. You’ll need to do practice areas or pieces of plywood to get the look you want- with the second option especially. One reader said hers turned out darker when she applied straight glue to the subfloor first, then proceeded like normal. Experiment first to see what you like!

  13. Anonymous says

    I did this on my powder room walls many years ago. It lasted a long time and I loved it. I don’t think it is durable enough for a floor. Maybe there is a stronger coating that can stand up to shoes and furniture.

  14. Danny says

    Hi- Right in the middle of doing this and have most of the floor done. However, I’m thinking I would like to redo with some stain this time. How was the stain applied in the hallway picture above. Was it a water based walnut stain applied with a cloth or brush and is it just one coat? Trying to get this done this weekend. Your help would be great! Thanks so much!

  15. Danny says

    Wow! I’m addicted. I’m paper sacking everything! I did my floor, which is a high traffic area so it didn’t turn out good. However, I did my counter and it looks amazing! I also did an old bookshelve, my coffee table and now I’m doing my fridge! Yes, that’s right….I’m paper sacking my fridge!!! If you’d like me to post any pics on my work, let me know. Having fun!

    • says

      Whoa, Danny, that’s a lot of paper! I bet they do look great – I love your creativity and if you do post the pics somewhere, let us know – or if you’d like to email them to me, I could do another inspiration post. 😉

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