Thursday, December 29, 2011

Paper Bag Floors

A few days ago I was racking my brain about what to do about our kitchen. The paint on the cupboards started peeling a few weeks after we moved in. The former owners had just slapped down latex over oil without preparing the surface. In addition, the floors in the kitchen and dining room are bleah. On a lark, I entered "alternative flooring" in a search engine. After looking at a few other things, I stumbled on paper bag flooring and fell in love. It's beautiful!

This afternoon I set to work to make a couple of samples. I took a paper bag, tore it into pieces and glued it to a scrap board with a 50/50 mixture of Elmer's glue and water. After it dried, I painted it with a pecan stain polyurethane. I only did one coat for this. If I actually do the floor, I would use three. I meant to paint half the board with a clear polyurethane and half with the tinted one, but I forgot. It's a little darker than I want, but I sure love the idea. Here are some pictures:

And here's a sample I mocked up using light green stationary. It's a good bit lighter and greener on the original!

Doesn't it look wonderful???

We also learned tonight that the paint on our cupboards does NOT contain lead. Phew! Now I can have fun with that too. I'd like to use paint stripper outside on all the cabinet doors, then either sand and paint the interiors, or sand and decoupage (like above) them. I'm thinking of maybe a light gray paper floor (I know, sounds crazy!), light pink cabinet interiors, pewter gray counter paint on the counters, and bright white everywhere else (walls and cupboards). Or??? I'm sure I'll rethink it quite a few times, but I am having so much fun pondering the possibilities... I think the paper bag effect is nothing short of amazing.

Meanwhile, we're making oodles of plans for the garden. Hundreds of starts to plant in a couple of weeks, hopefully under a plastic rowcover on top of a layer of black plastic. Right now I'm facing a dizzying job of trying to estimate how much of a particular vegetable we'll want (for fresh eating? frozen? can it be canned?), researching what a typical yield per row foot is, and figuring out how much we have to order or, if we already have the seeds, if it is enough. OY! At the same time, I'm making a plan to group our crops and map out a sensible crop rotation so diseases and pests don't develop. It's a little overwhelming to plan it all out. But how fun! 1,000+ square feet of veggies. That's triple what we did last year. Like an e-ride at Disneyland, if anyone remembers those tickets. :)

Back to planning and plotting...

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