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Old 08-04-2013, 10:16 PM   #1
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1991 29' Excella
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Marco Island , Florida
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Paper Floor

I know many will call me crazy but I wanted to share how I finished the floor in our '91 Excella.
After ripping out the carpeting (the worst part of my remodel), I sanded the rough spots and filled in the screw holes with wood putty. After that I painted 2 coats of primer on the plywood.
I bought a roll of white butcher paper at Sam's in the restaurant section for about $18. I ripped pieces about 12" x 12" and crumpled them up. After that the crumpled pieces were applied to the floor with a 4" brush using a combination of about 1/2 Elmer's glue and 1/2 water. While the floor dried it left many wrinkles. That's ok. They eventually settle down and just gave me a textured look. When I was sure that was thoroughly dry I applied a coat of water based polyurethane. Before the poly dried I took a shaker of metal flake and a shaker of fine crystals and sprinkled them all over. I followed up with 3 more coats of poly over the sprinkles. I had originally found the idea for this on YouTube when I saw people doing "Paper bag floors" The paper bag floor was not what I had in mind because I wanted an Atomic Modern clean look so I just kicked it up a notch and a half. We just got back from our first trip which was out West. It performed perfectly. If I tire of it it can always be covered by a more conventional method but I don't see that happening any time soon.
Here are some photos:

http://www.airforums.com/photos/showimage.php?i=34949&c=507
&
http://www.airforums.com/photos/showimage.php?i=34730&catid=member&imageuser=70404
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:29 PM   #2
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I like the clean look and I am always up for something new. I will have to follow this to see about upkeep.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:30 PM   #3
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I've been viewing the photos of your Airstream for several weeks. You have a great eye for design and your Airstream is truly one of the most beautiful Airstreams I've ever seen in photos. I would have never thought of doing the floor as you did but it turned out amazing.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
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Paper floor

Thank you for your compliment. I did put quite a lot of time and effort into my redo. I really wanted to save a bit of Americana. So much is now lost to the new. I'm holding on to what I knew as a simpler, more joyful time. I feel that when I have a cup of tea in the Airstream.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:54 PM   #5
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Very Nice Redo

Patriot I recently admired your photo's in a previous post. Very nice clean streamlined trailer. I previously noted how light the floors were and wondered if I could keep them that clean. After you just posted I went back and did a double take on the floors. Still impressed but even more knowing how you finished them. Which means they could be made a darker color depending on your primer, paper and poly. Beautiful result.
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:13 PM   #6
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Yes, I suppose you would only be limited by your imagination as to how your floor could look depending on the primer color, color of paper (a roll of kraft paper?), matte, or glossy finish etc. The key is getting good coats of poly down to keep it durable once your look is established.
If you go to Pintrest.com and type in "paper bag flooring: in the search box you'll be amazed by the creativity.
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:32 PM   #7
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Here is a sample test board done prior to the job. It was changed slightly when actually executed in the AS.
http://www.airforums.com/photos/showimage.php?i=34703&catid=member&imageuser=70404
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:44 AM   #8
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Rockford , Michigan
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Very, very nice.
What caught my eye in your pictures were the stenciled shades. I want to do a similar treatment. Are yours fabric? Any advice from your (shade) project? Thanks, in advance.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:19 AM   #9
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I believe that the shades that came in the Excella are a heavy vinyl. They feel like fabric because of a texture they have to them. The 1991 shades were very yellowed. I tried scrubbing them with a mix of bleach and water to no avail so after removing the metal pull down hardware piece at the bottom of the shade, I roller painted the shades with a white primer & paint all in one. I wanted to assure that the shades would be operable without a heavy coat of paint. The stencil I used was from Hobby Lobby. It was just one 24" x 24" (?) piece that I used. I purchased an acrylic silver-blue paint to use and a small foam roller. Our basement floor was covered in tarps. I unrolled all the shades on the tarps, rolled them with the white primer/paint, when dry, used spray on removable adhesive on the back of the stencil, rolled the silver-blue paint (used very sparingly, you do not want the paint to bleed under the stencil), moved the stencil up on the shade and did it again then moved on to the next shade to repeat...
Being the perfectionist that I am I realized that I didn't like the blue I used so I did the entire project over with silver paint, that proved too dark so I did it yet again with a very light coat of white paint over the previous 2 colors. Phew...now they were the perfect color and they were subtle enough not dominate the trailer.
Here's the end result:
http://www.airforums.com/photos/showimage.php?i=34704&catid=member&imageuser=70404
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:53 AM   #10
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Thanks so much for the great "step-by-step" info on the shade project.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:28 PM   #11
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Glad I could be of help on the shade project!
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:35 PM   #12
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By the way here is a link to the stencils from Hobby Lobby that can be used for shades or walls...Search Results | Shop Hobby Lobby

Looks like the one I used is no longer showing.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:23 AM   #13
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A closer view of the paper floor:
http://www.airforums.com/photos/showimage.php?i=34724&c=member&imageuser=70404
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:38 PM   #14
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I'm surprised the paper bag flooring technique isn't more talked about on the forums since it is budget friendly and lightweight! I searched it up trying to figure out a game plan for my floors and yours popped up. Love the white in your trailer. I was thinking doing a warm dark brown for my floors then I got to thinking they also make green stain which I've used on some really gorgeous furniture, so I was thinking using white butcher paper and green stain? I'd like a rich green earthy color tho, so I'm not sure how that will turn out. Guess I better do some test panels!
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