So I have gotten several PM's about how to do this and the post my wife made was burried so I thought I would just make a new thread with just the "how to" and a photo
From Mrs. LoneStarCarper...she typed this up..and did most of the work!
-Postal paper ($5 for 75 sq/ft from Target). We used 7 rolls for 400 sq/ft at our house – to give you some idea of the waste from tearing.
-we used three gallons of Varathane Diamond Finish (a type of polyurethane) to put down the floor and apply one topcoat. It goes a lot further for each subsequent topcoat. I think we were able to put three topcoats per one gallon of Varathane.
-fine bristle brush used for applying polyurethane (no streaks)
-a bench brush to sweep up the dust on the floor and the paper bags between each topcoat
Scrub subfloor with soap and water. Let dry. Fill in all cracks and pound in loose nails and screws
Start in far corner, and using the flat edge of the roll to butt up against the wall. Apply Varathane to one side of the paper with brush, then flip over and press to floor. Brush Varathane liberally over top. Smooth out the best you can (like a flat sheet on a bed)
Paper will start to bubble up – the smaller bubbles (1/4” high or less) will deflate in 24 hours, like wallpaper)
Rip next piece and do the same. I placed mine over the top of the first a little bit. Most of our larger pieces were 2’ by 2’ or so. There are some smaller pieces around the fireplace and walls, as well as scattered throughout the room to break it up. Make sure to pay attention to the angles of the tear – some should be trapezoids, pentagons, and triangles If the pieces get to complicated, it looks less like flagstone and more like particleboard (especially if the pieces get small).
Let dry completely for two hours. You can leave pathways and start/stop without issue.
Reapply coats. We’ve done at least 4 in all areas, and more in high traffic areas like the entry way and thresholds
- Variation in color is the result of using different sides of the paper. I also opened three rolls at a time and worked off of each roll simultaneously. I didn’t know if there would be a color variation, but better safe than sorry.
- I’ve read online you can use contractor’s paper ($10 for 400 sq/ft at Lowes). It is thicker , so it might feel better underfoot. I don’t know if it would have any bubbling issues, or how that issue would resolve itself
- I’ve also read you can use regular polyurethane, and then use Diamond Floor Finish or polycrylic for the top coat. Again, not sure if the polycrylic would give when the subfloor bends, but others have had success.
- online it mentions you can crinkle the paper, and then lay it out flat. I didn’t have success with this – it took more product to make it stick to the plywood.
Also she added the following...
here are my notes for getting the floor down.
it was $.38 per sq/ft to get it down, and $.50 a sq/ft for all the extra top coat I am doing. That might be a few cents higher than it actually was.
If you do it with the contractor's paper and the other polyurethane (waterbased, but not Diamond finish) it would be $.20 a sq/ft to get it down.
If I would have worked at it like it was my job all weekend, it probably would have taken me 15 hours to do the entire floor. It is a pain...but the results are worth it and after living with if for month I am convinced it's the best way to go when on a budget! PM with any questions.