In Monday’s post, I alluded to an issue I had last week that involved gluing, crying, tearing, and gluing again. And then I left you hanging.
Not very nice of me. I’m sure that some of you have been up at night just wondering what on earth happened.
Well, you can rest easy tonight. Here’s the whole story:
After spending 7 hours gluing the torn brown paper to the floor of our master bedroom – just like I did in our last house, our son’s bedroom floor, and our daughter’s bedroom floor (which then got featured in Cottages and Bungalows magazine!) – I put the first coat of polyurethane on it, closed the door and left it to dry for the required time.
When I opened the door I saw this:
And gasped, “Oh no!” Maybe I screamed it. I don’t know, but I do know it wasn’t a happy sound.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering – no, greasy spots are NOT supposed to be a part of the “leather-like” look.
How could this happen when I’ve done it so many times before?
I’m afraid to say it’s frugality gone awry. I thought the only reason I recommended water-based polyurethane in the video we did explaining how to do this flooring technique was because it dried fast.
When I went to the store to buy the items for this bedroom, I noticed that oil-based poly was now “fast drying” with only a 4-hour wait between coats. I could still get this done in one day and…here’s the clincher…
It was $15 dollars cheaper.
So, now we know there is another reason beside fast-drying time to use water-based polyurethane:
Paper and oil do not mix.
I should mention I learned one more reason to never use oil-based poly again (as if I needed another!)- the smell was so bad that it gave me a headache within the first 5 minutes of opening the can. I wish I was kidding. Then the smell wafted throughout the whole house and lingered for days.
And that was just with the one coat. Not worth it for me.
What did I do? Well, I did cry a bit- just at the thought of another 7 hours of gluing work that I thought was behind me. They were just tears of frustration. Ugh.
Then I started tearing up the paper. I thought I’d just get the greasy spots, as I didn’t want them showing through, but it was also still really wrinkled (it takes a good week for all the wrinkles to ease), so I needed to get those up as well. Then Brian sanded the whole thing with a palm sander to make sure any remaining oil poly would take the new glue.
I started tearing thinking it would take me a couple hours…eight hours later I was ready for Brian to sand. And that was with my daughter helping some. *sigh*
After another 7 hours gluing more paper down (my kids helped me tear and crumple the paper, bless them) this is the floor we now have.
Problem is- it doesn’t look anything like what we’re used to.
It doesn’t have that cool “texture-y” look the other floors have (this is a picture of our son’s room floor at the threshold to illustrate) that came from crumpling the paper.
And the color- sheesh, it looked more like Bandaids or plastic bags than leather. I kept waiting for it to dry more and see the look come through.
But it didn’t.
The only thing I can figure out is that I noticed that the paper seemed thicker than the last time I did this (a year ago). It didn’t tear as easily and was harder to get the rounded corners I prefer. The thicker paper must not soak up the glue/poly in the same way that creates that great mottled look that helps it look like leather.
So now I’ve brushed another coat of poly on top that I tinted with some walnut colored stain we had in the garage. And while it looks like paint brushed on, it’s actually better than before (which I didn’t get a picture of- it’s too hard to see in a photo- you’ll have to trust me on this).
I think with rugs and furniture, I’ll be able to live with it- but it doesn’t help that it’s right across the hall from two rooms that turned out much better.
In the end, my two-day project turned in to a 6 day ordeal – with our bedroom furniture stashed all through the house and us taking over our son’s bed (lucky he’s at camp most of the time).
And the cost? I had to buy more glue, more paper (the room needed slightly more than half a roll- so now I’ve got a LOT of brown craft paper left over from the second roll), and of course the water-based poly. My “saving” us $15 has now cost us an extra $57. *gah*
The (hard) lesson seems to be, stick with what you know works (learn from me, folks!), and find thin enough paper to get a good, mottled look.
Has anyone else experienced DIY issues like this “frugality gone wrong?” Please tell me I’m not the only one.