Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pantry Floor

We have been working on the pantry floor for quite awhile now. It has turned into a labor of love and luckily, since it took so long, we like how it turned out even though some of you may think we are a bit nuts for our choice in flooring.

We started out with a pretty rough base. We had different floor types and it wasn't completely level.

So we picked up this

and put a nice skim coat on the floor to smooth everything out.

Once the skim coat was dry, we were able to put down our thinkingoutsidethebox flooring. We wanted a unique floor that had some interest to it but didn't overpower the room and be durable. To achieve this we decided to go with burlap. Now you must be thinking, burlap? That can't fall in the category of durable right? Well, it is now finished and it is more durable than our tile kitchen floor (which for some reason cracks if you look at it funny) and it is more durable than our hardwood floor which scratches. Here's how we did it.

I will let you know that we were nervous about this idea so we did some testing on scraps of wood. We tried a few different methods and landed on this one as the best choice for us.

We first rolled out two strips of burlap. We used gardening burlap that you can get at Lowe's for about $9 for a large roll. We overlapped the two strips in the middle because we liked the look of a thicker seam better than the line we would have gotten if we just put the strips next to one another.

Then it was time to adhere the burlap to the floor. We wanted to keep the burlap look but wanted to smooth the peaks and valleys a bit so we landed on using this

We had used this as one of our test runs and it dried to a color that was just a shade different than the burlap which we liked and it did a great job both adhering the burlap and smoothing it out without losing the burlap look.

I used the smooth side of a trowel to spread the adesive over the burlap and pushing it through the burlap. I scraped the top to remove any excess adhesive and kept going until I ran out... unfortunately that was at this point... with a bunch more floor to go. This is what I learned. If you are using a product for an unconventional method, don't trust the sq. ft. coverage info on the label.

By the time I got back from Lowe's with more adhesive, the part I had already applied had dried which resulted in a weird line where the the two sections met. (This was after everything had dried)

To fix this I did one more coat of adhesive making sure to thoroughly scrape the top to make sure every spot on the floor had the same amount. This got rid of the awkward line once everything dried which made me feel less bad about almost ruining the project.

Just when I was patting myself on the back for saving the project, I made my next big mistake. Since the burlap was securely adhered, it was time to make it durable. We decided to use a floor grade oil based polyurethane. We decided on oil based because it has a more golden finish than water base which enhanced the color of the floor.

On to the mistake. I have polyurethaned so many times before and yet I forgot to stir this can before I started. I was so exited with how much richer the color was when the poly when down (can you see the strip near the back?) that I must have forgotten.

The big consequence to this mistake was that the floor took FOREVER to dry. The first coat took about a week to harden which of course just prolonged this project. Luckily I realized what I did wrong and was able to correct my mistake without any damage to the floor but for an impatient person, this was really annoying. 

Here is the floor with one coat of polyurethane on it.

And here is a close up. You can see how you can see the texture of the burlap.

Tomorrow I'll show you the complete finished project. If you pretend that the next 24 hours is really 2 weeks then you'll get an idea of how long this project took.