Newspaper Floor

As requested, here are some photos of the paper mache floor in my old house:

When I lived there my aim was to fix and decorate one room per year. First I did the bedroom, which only required a paint and the making of a roman blind with 100% blockout because the street light was right outside my window.

Then I did the hall, painting it in bright yellow to remind me of a writer’s retreat I’d stayed in. Such a cheerful colour, especially when the sun came in of a morning. I had the hall here painted in a similar colour.

When it came to the floor I had to rip up two different kinds of carpet, and then I found that only half of the house had floor boards, while most of the hall was masonite, so I was going to have to put down some sort of covering. I had vinyl in mind because I was broke and it was cheap. But then my car broke down and my budget was gone.

So I googled ‘paper mache floor’ and came up with these instructions:

Clean floor and hammer in any protruding nails. Mix a solution of 50/50 pva glue and water in a large flat container (a cat tray is perfect). Take sheets of newspaper by two corners, lay in solution and wet both sides, then gently place on floor. Smooth out any air bubbles very gently or the paper will tear.

I happened to have a great stack of newspapers I was intending to use under mulch on the garden beds to suppress weeds, so I was able to go through them beforehand and select articles that amused me, like a review of the last season of Buffy, the plans for the Queen Vic Building, and predictions of the future design of cars. I also added pages from the local paper. Anything I thought would be interesting to read in the future. On top of the newspapers I also stuck down movie tickets, postcards and the wrapper from my favourite sort of chocolate.

Then I sealed it all with varnish, mixing in some tinted varnish to give it all a golden, aged look.

Unfortunately, five years later it had begun to lift and peel a little. The masonite sheets tended to shrink and swell depending on the season, which had caused the newspaper to split along the seams, and the paper was a bit brittle there. Maybe another coat of varnish would have helped stick it down again, but I suspect the new owner will just put down new flooring… if he doesn’t bulldoze the place and build a mansion.

Another little project that the beau and I did was this:

The cat door, which went through several evolutions because the cat kept finding ways to force his way out. The sliding doors did the trick, and had the added bonus of keeping out the wind. And boy did we get a lot of wind up there on the hillside!

3 thoughts on “Newspaper Floor

  1. That’s a great idea! I wallpapered our entry hall with brown craft paper, ripped in odd shapes overlapping each other. It looks like leather, especially were I crumpled it in places. I like the sliding door idea on the cat doors. I’ll pass that along to my friend who is having a problem with a large doggie door.

  2. Avril has a wall in her kitchen that is like your old floor. Looks very funky!
    Lime n Violet looks great!

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