So…This Happened

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That’s right folks…you are looking at a picture of me ripping up the ceramic tile in my kitchen.
About a month ago, we came home to a flooded kitchen.  That little water hose from the back of the refrigerator had busted while we were out of town.  I cleaned it up, thinking “whew, thank goodness we have tile and not wood floors.”  Until last week when I noticed moisture on my floor.

Honestly thought it was my little dogs.  I even told the hubby that we had Houdini dogs because I had put training pads down and thought they were going on top, then kicking them up and peeing underneath. ..I owe them an apology.

One of the tiles ended up cracking and when I saw the moisture last week, I popped that tile off  and found a mess.

Did I  mention that the previous owners of our house didn’t use cement backer board. .. they used plywood.  Do you know what water does to plywood?   It soaks it up like a sponge!!!  It’s not pretty.

I had to keep pulling up tile until there was no more damaged areas.   Hubby was out of town and not happy with me, until he got home and saw what I was working with.

Good news is that since pulling up those spots, there is no more water.  It’s dry as a bone, whew!
I’ve contacted my insurance company and they are coming out this week, hopefully this will be covered.

We had planned to redo the floor in the kitchen in a couple of years, so it may end up being sooner rather than later.

Have you had to patch tile before?  Ever had water damage?  It stinks!
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Spray Painting Outdoor Planters

I heart spray paint.  There… I said it.

I have several of these mismatched planters.  Red and green…it looked like Christmas on my back porch.

The plan was to give the planters a coat of this Rust-oleum flat black primer – see what that yellow stripe says? “Also Bonds To Plastic!”  Perfect!!!  Then I was going to go back over the planters with my Oil Rubbed Bronze.

I painted the outside first, then went back and painted around the inside portion.

Something great happened.  I finished up the primer and liked it so much I decided NOT to paint the Oil Rubbed Bronze.  Here they are drying.

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DIY – How to Install a Transition for Uneven Floors

After I installed my paper floor, I needed to work on the transition from the wood floor in the entryway into the dining room.

There was about a 3/4 inch difference!  Let’s just ignore my dirty wood floor.  That’s another story.

I did a little bit of research and found something fabulous called reducer molding.

Holla! See that little lip? It sits right on top of the wood floor!  Then you just use wood adhesive to glue it down!!!

While at Home Depot, I went to the aisle where the floor transitions are and stood there for about 5 minutes and didn’t see it anywhere.  I flagged down a very nice gentleman and asked if he knew where the reducer molding was.  It’s in the hardwood floor aisle!  FYI, it’s labeled as MPR (multi-purpose reducer).  Prepare for sticker shock.  Are you ready?  One 80 inch piece is about $28.  But… I had to remember that when it comes down to it, I had saved so much with the paper floor vs. hardwood, that this was nothing.

I got the molding home and immediately got out my Dremel and began sanding.  I got the Multi-Max about a month ago and  have definitely gotten my money’s worth.  I love this thing!  I have a Dremel 3000, but never used it because the parts were a pain in the rump to change out.  This Multi Max is 1000 times better!
Anyway, it has a sanding head, so I sanded the full length of the molding.

I measured, then measured again (you know the rule) and took it to my saw to cut.

I then took it inside and fit it in to place to make sure I cut it correctly.  It was a perfect fit!  here is a close up of the molding in place – before stain.

Yay!  I think it looks great!  Now it’s time to stain.  I took the molding to my garage to stain, because I am messy.  Very messy.

If you’ve never stained before there are some things to remember.  First, always sand your piece that you will be staining.  You need to give the stain something to grab on to.  Also, sometimes they put a glossy coat on these wood pieces (this one had one) so you need to dull that a bit before staining.

I used Rust-oleum’s Kona stain.  I really have fallen in love with this stain.

Next, I always use my husband’s old t-shirts to stain.  I cut them up, dip a corner in stain, and apply a liberal amount.  Then you’ll want to wipe the excess off.  When I first started staining, I would wipe most of the stain off during this step.  Just the excess folks!

Here is the stained piece in place!  I love it!  AND, it has 100% convinced me that I need to stain this entry floor (my hubby will love that I am planning a new project). It’s ready for some love.

I gave it a couple of coats of polyurethane and now the molding is ready to be glued down.

I used Liquid Nails and just put a swirly down the length of the transition piece, then stuck it to the floor.

I pushed a chair up to the molding to hold it in place.

Don’t step on it for 24 hrs.  Then…voilà!  Uneven floors – BE GONE!

Have you used reducer molding?  Any other transitions that you’ve used to fix these uneven floor issues?

This post is linked up to the following sites:
Not Just A Housewife
Sweet Haute
Lamberts Lately
Thrifty Decor Chick

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DIY- Adding Trim to Baseboards

When I installed the paper floor in our dining room, I was faced with a problem…wall gap!

I had previously done a board and batten treatment and the bottom piece had been acting as my baseboard. The paper floor is significantly lower than the carpet was, so I was left with about a 3/4 inch gap.

[Read more…]

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DIY Brown Paper Floor – Part 2


I was featured on Remodelaholic

It’s done!  I could kiss someone, I’m so happy!  The carpet is finally out of the dining room, the paper floor is complete and I have put down new molding…all in time for the sweetest boy’s 9th birthday party!

I shared here, how we ended up choosing paper floors.  Now it’s time for the steps, what went WRONG, how we fixed it and the final result!

Let’s get started!!

Materials Needed:

  • Box cutter (for removing carpet)
  • Twine (for binding rolled carpet)
  • Elmer’s Glue All
  • Rit Dye in Dark Brown
  • Water Based Polyurethane – designated for floors (NOT OIL BASED)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Paint brush
  • Brown contractor’s paper
  • Stain pad
  • Extension pole (I unscrewed mine from my broom and just used that)
  • Large bowl or pan
  • Measuring cup

1.  Remove the carpet
I’ll be honest, I don’t do this part.  Remember when I told you about my demo hubby?  He is THE best!  He went to the store and got a box cutter and twine and had this step complete in about an hour!  If you have trim/baseboards that need to be removed, do that first.  Next, cut the carpet in about 3ft strips.  This allows you to roll the carpet and padding up into manageable sized rolls.  Secure the roll with twine and haul it to the trash.

2.  Prep the sub-floor

Now that the carpet is out of there, it’s time to remove the tack strips, staples and hammer down any nails sticking up.  Once that is complete, I rolled Killz over my entire floor.  This is not necessary if you don’t have any stains, but I wanted a clean slate.  It helped too when placing the paper, because the unpainted sub floor would get dyed very easily and blend in with the paper, so I didn’t realize there were some spots that were not overlapped enough.  Foreshadowing alert, this was one of my issues!  

Once the Killz dried, I went over the seams of the sub-floor with thin fiberglass mesh tape.

3.  Rip up the paper
Iron Man 3 was on, so I ripped paper while that was playing.  I won’t lie, my hands hurt!  I may wear gloves if I do this again.  I ripped pieces anywhere from 6 inches to 16 inches, then crumpled them up and laid them out flat again.  Be sure to have 2 separate piles.  One for edges and one without.  You’ll place the pieces with edges around the perimeter of the room.  It takes A LOT of paper, so when you think you finally have enough…rip up some more!  Then, get a good night’s sleep because you are going to need it.

**Please note:  There is a front and back side of the paper.  Using dye or stain will help with making it more uniform.  If you don’t use either, make sure you know which side is the front and which side is the back because one is more absorbent and it may appear splotchy depending on your paper.  This is why the test boards are important.

4.  Mix the glue/dye mixture
Put on disposable gloves (you’ll thank me later for this one).  The ratio I used for each batch of glue/dye mixture was the following:

  • 2 cups of warm water (I found that the glue dissolved better in warm water)
  • 2 cups of glue
  • 2 TBS of Rit Dye

Once I combined all of these, the dye turned the mixture purple.  I would have 100% freaked out, but I had read from Marilyn at 4 You With Love’s blog to expect this, so I kept on going.

5.  Start placing the paper
Begin in a far corner of the room and work your way out, through the doorway.  Our dining room has 2 doors, so I just made sure I didn’t block myself out of any areas.  I took each piece of paper, dunked it in the mixture long enough for it to get saturated, but not so much that it would fall apart.  Pulled it through two fingers to get any excess off and placed it on the floor.  Be sure to overlap each piece about an inch because it will dry and shrink!

After about an hour on the floor, my knees and back were killing me, so I went out in the garage and pulled out my rolling garden cart.  It’s fantastic!  You sit on it and it has wheels, so you just roll from side to side.  I love it!  I just had to make sure that I only rolled it on the exposed sub-floor and not any parts that had already been papered.

Are you ready for this?  It took 8 hours of non-stop work. I did this all myself and don’t think I could handle doing it again alone.  There were times that I wanted to quit, scream, throw all the paper and dye in the trash, punch a hole in the wall… you get the point.  It’s a lot of work… A LOT.

As the paper begins to dry, the purple fades and a beautiful dark brown color shows through.  After 8 hours, I was beginning to see the edges and certain spots take on a personality of their own, with the dye gathering in the areas where I had crinkled up the paper.  I was loving it.

Then I went to bed.

When I woke up the next morning and walked hobbled in to my dining room, I gasped.  It was BEAUTIFUL!! The floor turned out so much better than I had ever imagined! I wanted to finish it up that day, but OMG I was so sore!  I decided I would pull a Scarlett and worry about it tomorrow.  I spent the majority of the day laying down and watching movies with the sweet boy.

The next morning, I couldn’t wait to get the polyurethane on it!!!  I did see a few spots where the paper had shrunk and the white Killz floor was showing.  No problem, I thought…I’ll just mix up some extra glue/dye stuff and create a patch.  Here are all the places I put patches.


The “patches” dried a completely different (lighter) color and where the glue/dye went past the edges, it turned super dark.  I was crushed, I ruined it.  I was so mortified that I didn’t even take any pictures.  Hours of tedious labor, down the toilet.  I tried darkening it very precisely with a paint brush, but no luck.  Finally, I went to my toolbox and pulled out my box cutter, then proceeded to cut out all of the patches and original paper under those patches.  I remixed and re-papered the patches and waited overnight.  It was an improvement, but I still was not satisfied.  My hubby (being the level-headed man he is) said, “let it sit for a couple of days, think about it and move on from there.”  I love him.  🙂

6.  Apply the polyurethane

After 2 days, I decided to go ahead and put the first coat of polyurethane on the floor. If the spots were lighter…then so be it.  I was going to put a rug down anyway and no one would really notice. I read where a lot of people brush the poly on with a paint brush… there was no way I was getting back down on that floor! I used a sponge applicator made specifically for finishing floors (about $6 at Lowes) and just screwed it in to my broom handle.  It was fast and it worked perfectly!  Here’s the other thing, after the first coat of poly, it looked better!  The spots were still visible, as you can see below, but it was definitely an improvement.

I waited a full 24 hours before putting the 2nd coat of poly on because, I had an idea that I thought would work. Now that I had one full coat of polyurethane on the floor and nothing was being absorbed by the paper, what if I added some of the leftover Rit dye to my next coat poly.  And that’s exactly what I did, it blended all of the spots beautifully!  I added a 3rd coat with more dye and the patches are now, not noticeable at all.  The last two coats of polyurethane were dye-free, so that’s 5 total.

Tip:  Looking back now, I should have taken the time to sand between my first and second coat of poly. There are a couple of places on the floor that are a bit uneven where a corner of the paper must have raised up.  

7.  Wait
I waited 7 days before I moved my furniture back in to the room and when I did, I didn’t move all of it back. I really like the open feel of the room.  The dark floor and white board and batten made the room look much larger.  This also gave me time to order a rug for the space.  I fell in love with this one from Target.

After the last coat of polyurethane, I installed trim around the bottom of the board and batten.  I also bought new 2″ white blinds today and am going to put those up tomorrow.  Then I’ll be able to keep the panels open and it will show off the DIY Craftsman trim I installed around the window (it use to be all dark wood trim in this room).

All in all, I really like this floor.  I’m so glad the carpet it gone.  Would I do it again?  Yes, but I would want company so I don’t lose my mind.  I’d also NEVER patch spots with large pieces of paper, small is definitely the way to go.

Have you considered brown paper floors?  What other flooring options have you used?  As far as cost, this room is 12×12 and the total cost was less than $100!  I still had a ton of paper left over, but I used all of the glue and the polyurethane (poly was about $50).

I’m linking up from these FAB link parties:

I installed the blinds today.  Below are two of the final pics!  I am FINALLY ready for my boy’s party tomorrow.  After that, the table and rug will go back to the middle of the floor.
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