Roadtrek Renovations Continued

For the last few months I have been working on making some changes to my home. Both inside and out. I think what really spurred me on is when I broke the bed down to a couch and sleeping area. Adding the 18″ monitor for movie watching and the bistro table to hold my coffee.

Painting the fabric grey and the new carpet, removing the old broken roll up door with new purple panel doors topped off the wonderful new look for my interior. Thanks to my girlfriend Diane for her inspiration, creativity and help.

Even a new drivers seat which is ohhh so comfy!

Comfy new seat

The outside was just as old and broken as the inside. There were rust spots that were becoming holes, the top fiberglass piece was sun faded and the brown basement, well it was brown. Something had to be done.

Let me tell you I am not artistically enhanced but as you know I have been blessed with some really good friends. Tom who I call when anything goes wrong and my friend Mike who if you want the outside to shine you talk to him. When I spoke to him about painting the van he said I could do it and he would give me some very helpful hints. Pretty sure I am up to question number 843. He has been a saint through this process.

We started with the bottom a few weeks ago and painted the basement purple. We chose tremclad paint, which btw does not come in purple but does come in blue and red. Mike mixed them together and came up with a beautiful purple and we painted the bottom with a spray gun, well he painted the bottom with a spray gun. I am dangerous with a roller never mind a spray gun. It turned out beautifully. Yes I cried when it was done and hugged him so tight. What an amazing difference it made in the look of the van.

The top was going to be a huge project. Removing the pinstipping with a hot air gun took 2 days in itself. It was a slow process but with a little time and patience we got it all removed. Next came the removal all the decals. The Chevrolet at the back and the express3500 on the front doors.

Looks so good naked!

It would take at least 4 days in a row of nice weather to get all of the top completed. It is a Lotta van! This week would be the week. It was calling for rain on Tuesday but should be nice until Saturday  so a plan was made with Tom and Mike for Wednesday.

Wednesday morning Tom and I landed at Mikes. Let’s do this! Sanding, scrubbing and masking took most of Wednesday. We managed to get the very top painted as well. Heights and I are not willing partners. I lost my hearing on my left side quite a few years ago and it greatly affects my balance. Climbing ladders and balancing acts are sure to end in a fall. I am a little old for that. Thank goodness for Tom. Balancing with one foot on the ladder and the other on the window with me holding the ladder to keep it from sliding out under him he managed to reach the middle. I cannot express how much I appreciated that. I told him if he fell I would catch him. Probably would result in both of us hitting the ground but I am a little fluffy so at least it would soften the impact. Hahaha!

After a hot day in the sun some rest and cold water was in order. We would start on the middle the next day.

Thursday came and we started painting the middle. Something was not right. It was not laying flat, it had roller marks and stipple in it. We applied 2 coats to the hood and front fenders but it still did not look like it should. Time to break for the day. I decided after Tom left I would give it another couple of coats to see if more paint than I thought was needed would fix it. That did not work. Something was not right and I would wait and talk to Mike. After a lengthy discussion about what could be the issue because frankly it looked like yuck, we discovered I had bought the wrong paint. I had bought 3 cans of paint that day. The white, blue and red. The blue and red he had used to make the purple was an oil based paint which was what I needed. We then noticed the white I bought was a water based paint which explains a lot. When we were applying it on the metal it was drying so fast that by the time you took a second swipe to even it out the first layer had dried a little. It was not the foam roller making the stipple marks, it was the paint. By the time we discovered this it was after 10:00 pm. I could not go get paint now it would have to wait until morning. I would have to sand and clean the whole van again. Friday was going to be a busy day. Saturday it was supposed to rain and by golly it was going to get done.

Friday morning I got up and got moving. I sanded and washed the van then headed out to get the RIGHT paint.

Very important part

Friday afternoon I had a hair appointment. It has been awhile due to covid and was a great relaxation time and visit with Cheryl who has been doing my hair for years.  I love chatting with the old ladies in the salon. It is always a fun chat and some interesting stories. I took the 69 Econoline which allowed me some chill time driving my toy.

New hair! Woohoo!

I arrived back at Mike’s about 6:00 pm. I started on the hood and worked my way around. By 9:00 pm the sun was starting to go down and I was about 3/4 the way around the van. By the time I got to the middle of the panel and the drivers door and fender it was dark. A beautiful orange moon was my only light. I was not sure how it would look in the morning but I hoped I had not missed any or much of the painting surface anyway.

A beautiful moon to paint by! 

Saturday morning I got up and looked to see if it had made a difference. Was it going to turn out the way I wanted or was it going to look like yuck? What was going to do if this did not fix the issue? After making Coffee and having a few sips and holding my breath I stepped out in the morning sun to take a look.

Phewww! It looked beautiful. It needed a second coat but it layer down nicely and being a gloss white glinted in the sunshine. I looked at the weather and it said sever storms by 3:00 pm. I need to get moving on this. Usually I do not start anything before I finish my coffee but the impending rain made me move just a tad faster than usual. It took me about 5 hours to put the second coat on. By the time I was done both the van and I was covered in paint. I have some white paint to clean off the van in spots where it should not be. I am dangerous with a paint brush. Lol!

I absolutely love the new look. I have decals ordered for the front top corners as well as new Roadtrek letters for the front at the top of the cab from my friend Derek (purple of course). The pinstripping for the top has arrived. There is also something else on the way but I will leave that as a surprise.

I could not have done any of this without the love and support of my friends. Kim even made Wardolf Chicken salad for lunch one day and brought it up. I am so blessed with a beautiful home and kind, loving friends! ❤

Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure. Roadtrip in a couple of weeks. I cannot wait!!

See you next week


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