Brown Paper Bags Revisited

Brown Paper Bags Revisited

The beginning of this year I put a blog tutorial on my brown paper bag flooring technique. I’ve had some great responses to this and have had people send pictures of their completed projects using my technique. This is so exciting. It blows my mind in such a major way. I ponder it all the time. Thank you for the responses and amazing shares from your projects, I appreciate the feed back so much. It’s in part why I took the time to share. I love finding things that inspire me, and so that if I can inspire people, it’s just all good! Ok, so in May I completed the largest art project I have ever done. It truly was the largest art floor to date! 1,300 square feet church sanctuary. The floor was in horrible shape, and because it’s an historical building there was not much we could do to level it. The church had left it bare concrete with hideous cut back from a previous flooring.

As soon as we started going to the church as parishioners I knew we had to do something about the floor! Acoustics were terrible, the “coolness” of the decor was lost with the bad floor. So I approached the staff and all agreed. They gave me creative license, lol oh boy! Here is what was come up with as the option to hide a buckled, heaved and uneven floor.

When you look at the flooring now, you don’t see the issues. I created an optical illusion with lines that draw away from structure issues. The worst part of the floor is exactly where most look at, it’s where the podium sits. Knowing that would have to be hidden, I put the church logo in a embossed raised lettering and gold leafed it. I essentially put a lampshade on the elephant in the room and it blended in. So here is the biggest art floor I’ve ever done, I am pretty impressed. Gradient light to dark or dark to light depending on how you view it. Colors pulled from the walls of the church throughout. The end result is very warm and inviting. I am however glad to be done, it was a HUGE project! ❤

To check out my flooring tutorial click here:

5 responses »

  1. This is beautiful. I’m a bit obsessed with your blog now. Just FYI. So you may be hearing from me often. At least until somehow someone goes on my ipad closes this window and my ridiculous stroke scrambled memory forgets this existed until I again run across the pics on my inspiration board on Pinterest. I’m trying to comment, so as to see my name and jog my memory. I had forgotten I asked for your help on the floor until just that happened today as I was going back across my board, saw the pic of your bathroom and bam! Memory jogged. At least if that doesn’t do it, seeing my own comments should shall I have a bad case. I apologise for all the nonsense I dribble about. But sometimes babbling is my own way of further embedding it in my memory. I tend to forget things about 10’minutes later if I don’t give myself some serious convo to remember. I know I wouldn’t remember a simple two line comment or question. The stroke was in the stem, so it kind of effects everything more severe and a bit differently then your run of the mill stroke. These are really things I never imagined telling people at the age of 38. Sigh. Anyway, this floor is beautiful and I was curious if you stained or white washed this one in any way? Any kind of treatment? Which paper you chose for this? Or was it same paper and technique but different paints that achieved this look? Sorry, I just want to get all the info as if my rolls of wooden backdrop don’t work I’m going to do a gradient instead. I really do hope you gave yourself massive props for this dear, and the congregation! It is a beautiful job done. I’ve seen similar done on my searches but they do this mod podge of papers that have no rhyme or reason, in patterns and colors that just go a bit overboard honestly. It keeps me in check on my french love letter wall for sure! There may be many things french, besides love letters going up, but I’m keeping myself to a sepia tone print with maybe a few pages that might have an accent color. Like a French ad with for something lavender, I’ll let the actual flowers be lavender, but the rest to be kept to a sepia. Maybe not even that dark. Ok, totally babbling again! Ugh! One of these days someone will tell me to shut it, I just know it! Lol! Thank you for it not being you. Yet. 😉

    • I personally used brown craft paper for all of them. For the church I drew colors from the main areas of the building and incorporated on the floor. For my bathroom I used white house primer watered down. Some I wanted lighter so I dipped and dried until I had about 3 colors from the one white wash pail. You can use any paper, and the reason I suggest a test test test session is because the sealer will change the paper…you want to know in advance if that change is adequate or not. I’m excited for you!

  2. Hi Tina,
    I wrote to you for advise for my paper tile bathroom floor. It is now done and I am mostly pleased with the results. I used Semi-gloss and find it slightly too shiny for my taste but as I have read that the gloss decreases with time, I have hope mine will too. Thank you for your prompt reply.
    I am ready to start my 3rd room of paper flooring. I will be doing the ripped leather look again, like in the master walk in closet. My question for you is about the ram board you used in the church. When we pulled up the smelly carpet we found old linoleum. It looks like sheet linoleum not tiles and is smooth, no indented pattern. Due to concerns about asbestos if we removed it, we want to paper over it. I can’t sand it due to asbestos risk. Would you recommend putting down ram board on it? Why did you use filler on the ram board cracks rather than ram board tape? Did you use the Ram Board solely to be able to use the embossed logo or to cover floor defects? Thanks for your help.

    • Hi! Yes, it will in time dull. I think, I cant swear it will… but using floor polish like you would linoleum may control the shine. But ours dulled a little over time. I used ramboard because we tore up crap linoleum that was under carpet for heaven knows how long. When that all came out we needed the barrier. If the floor is good under, I dont see a problem with running a test area to see how the glue marries to the floor. You wont know with a trial. But I don’t see a reason it won’t work. I used compound… because I didnt have the tape, and 2 wanted to be sure lines didnt show, my concern was with wear the tape would break down in the small divide and be an issue, so I opted to fill to give no give.

      I used ramboard for 3 reasons. 1, the floor was pock marked. 2 the embossing had to have it. 3. Noise barrier. Like installing a floating floor you put an underlayment. This served as an underlayment that hid imperfects, enabled art feature and helped noise and temp. I hope I am being helpful. 🙂

    • I wanted to extend more info. We have done wood subfloor which was not quite right so we covered with ramboard as the underlayment.

      We also did concrete floor. We learned a lot on this. First, be sure there is no vapor barrier issues. If there are, address them, all flooring will be an issue.

      Having said that, the concrete had cut back glue from previous flooring . I needed a smooth surface… ramboard helped that.

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