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Home (South Africa) - - NEWS - Com­piled by Kim Arendse

On the paper trail

Joné Bezuiden­hout of

Bloem­fontein writes In Home Ren­o­va­tions 2015 the Ester­huizens glued brown paper to their ce­ment floors and sealed it with yacht var­nish. I love the look and I’d like to do the same thing in my own home but I need some ad­vice…

Home­owner Rachelle Ester­huizen an­swers Joné’s ques­tions: Q: How much brown paper will I need? A: Each square is roughly 30 x 30cm; mea­sure the size of your room and cal­cu­late the num­ber of squares re­quired to cover the floor. Q: Did you use reg­u­lar brown paper from an arts and crafts shop?

A: We got brown paper sheets from my moth­erin-law’s butch­ery – it’s thicker than nor­mal, which means it doesn’t tear as eas­ily. I’m sure you can buy some­thing sim­i­lar at a sta­tionery shop.

Q: How did you go about stick­ing the squares down with cold glue?

A: The squares were pre-cut. The cold glue is then mixed with wa­ter to make it more runny (about 2 parts glue to 1 part wa­ter). Mix enough to fill a large flat bowl by at least 1cm – the paper squares must be able to lie flat in this. The squares are then ‘dragged’ through the glue mix­ture to drench them com­pletely – but be aware that too much glue may cause the squares to tear, so you must work very care­fully.

Then po­si­tion each square on the floor and ap­ply a layer of glue over them by hand. Gently smooth each square flat to re­move all the air bub­bles. You can also make use of a sponge roller to ‘paint’ the glue over the top of the squares.

Af­ter about five squares, you’ll get the hang of it and then it’s fun to do. Q: How did you en­sure that the paper re­mained in po­si­tion? A: Once the en­tire floor has been cov­ered, it must be al­lowed to dry undisturbed for at least 24–36 hours. Yacht var­nish, ap­plied over the brown paper floor with a paint roller, is then used to seal the en­tire sur­face. We used War­rior Woodtreat Yacht Var­nish; it must be al­lowed to dry for a fur­ther 24 hours be­fore a sec­ond coat is ap­plied. When the sur­face has dried once again (24–36 hours), the floor is ready.

Im­por­tant The floor will not with­stand pud­dles of wa­ter; how­ever, I mop my floors with­out any prob­lems. Mov­ing fur­ni­ture may re­sult in scuffs on the floor – put felt un­der the feet of your chairs and ta­bles to pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing.

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