Paper Bag Flooring…Hop in my Delorean and let’s go back in time.

In: Square Pegs.

Okay, so way back when, about a year ago, Tyler and I had this grand idea to do the floor in the classroom with the Paper bag flooring technique.  Everyone all around the internet says, “Oh, it’s so great!  So cheap!  So AMAZING!”


We first saw it on LifeHacker where some people used it on a lanai (an outdoor room that is mostly open to the elements, such as Hawaiian downpours, etc.)  If it worked so great in a lanai, our 3 kids and dog certainly wouldn’t put a dent in it…. Right?


Now, I’m not saying that it isn’t for everyone.  Yeah, I’m sure, there are some people who tiptoe around in fuzzy socks and never spill or drop anything and have dogs who poop skittles, and kids who don’t smell funny, and a completely shiny, immaculate house.  

Well, that just isn’t us.

I’ll give you a quick run down of the pro’s and con’s that we thought about regarding this outstanding feat of human ingenuity:

– Dirt cheap replacement for our cat pee stained carpet (our cat was like 20+ years and obviously had issues with the litter box- or issues with Tyler since it was his office at the time.  p.s.  Kittens are cute, cats are stupid.)

– Steps are pretty easy to follow and seem stupid proof.

– Materials can all be purchased locally

–  Dirt cheap

– It looks like it can be really beautiful.

– Dirt cheap

– Each step takes quite a while with lots of waiting around and literally watching glue dry.

– Now we know, it will not hold up to a 120 lb English Mastiff. (you think we may have thought that before we started, common sense and all, but we swore she would never be allowed in the classroom and she wasn’t, until the day that we do not speak of… until now…

We left her for the weekend in the care of Nana Dar and Uncle Cory, and she busted in not caring one doggy bit that her razor sharp talons cut through the floor like buttuh.

With that ALL said, here is the site I used for step by step instructions at Domestic Imperfection so you can make up your own mind.  Not that I’m trying to sway you.  Her tutorial is really amazing and it worked well for her.
Also, I did about 21 coats of poly over about 4 days with sanding in between so I’m pretty certain that there was enough.

I’ll just show you the pictures already…

Here the floors in the middle of being done.  The top is just the watery glue soaked paper, the bottom is subfloor with patched screws and such:

Here are when they were finished.
Pretty huh?  For $80 they are fricken gorgeous!
The white pages were dictionary pages which looked really cool for our classroom.  The stain made them all old and antiqued looking.
It almost looked like stone with the torn paper.

Anyway… Fast forward to today….

Where the dog took vengeance with her razor sharp talons.  It’s not like she was trying to dig a hole, she was probably just laying down and getting up.  She’s quite lazy.

This is where there were some creases in the paper that must have had a bit too much lift to them.  Now the poly just looks bubbled and opaque.

So…  What have we learned here?

This was definitely a DA-DIY move for us.
(A Dumb-Ass- Do-it-Yourself move)

The one good thing about it is that we could care less how much paint, ink, ice cream, or green jello gets spilled on the floor.

Take it from us, if you actually live in your home, this is not the floor for you.  Give paper bags the finger and leave them at the grocery store- you should already be taking your green bags with you so they really aren’t good for anything.
Especially floors.


  • Jarrett Clay

    What kind of poly did you use? Did you use one made specifically for floors? If not that could be part of the issue. Floor polyurethane is specially formulated to hold up to this kind of thing.

  • Kitty Katt

    I agree the poly you used couldn’t have been the best. Also maybe an occasional nail trim on the pets..that’s a very simple diy too.
    As a fellow Kitty I’m telling you we don’t puke..
    We purrrrrrrge….❤🐱