Tag: flooring

Camper Resources

Camper Resources

We do not get paid for the links listed below, we just thought they might be useful to others renovating a vintage camper. We always look “in the wild” first for items we can repurpose, reuse, or recycle! It’s cheaper, it’s more eco-friendly, and it’s fun, and sometimes challenging, to hunt for those items. We hunt at thrift stores, Habitat for Humanity, flea markets, ebay, craigslist, and yard sales. Sometimes people gift things to us, sometimes we trade stuff. I also make some retro and beach themed items, which you’ll find in my online shop.

EDIT: 5/31/2017: We were gifted a 1999 Georgie Boy CruiseMaster RV on our 11th Anniversary, and we are only doing a “gentle” makeover, so I will be adding a few more products to this page that reflect the items we’ve found for the subtle changes.

SMART TILE (backsplash)splash2
I had heard great things about Smart Tile. Thin, light, you can cut it with scissors, and it is self-adhesive. Use a rubber brayer to really lay it down well, and make sure your surface is super clean! After months, I loved the look the more I saw it on the wall. Almost gem-like. (Edit, 2016: We no longer own the camper, so I don’t know how it sticks long-term.) http://www.homedepot.com/p/Smart-Tiles-11-55-in-x-9-64-in-Peel-and-Stick-Mosaic-Decorative-Tile-Backsplash-Tango-Ruby-in-Orange-and-Red-Box-of-6-Tiles-SM1046-6/205870339?N=5yc1vZ3wr

RV wallpaper bordersI ordered both wallpaper borders for the RV (dubbed “The Beach House”) from ebay. The shoreline border came from The Wallpaper Barn. With a distinctly vintage feel, I thought it might be older, so I wrote and asked Walt, who answered my questions quickly and shipped the border pronto. They also have 2 stores in PA and a nice selection on ebay. The bamboo lattice came from bilchrest, who has a large wallpaper selection on ebayat low enough prices that it was worth paying the shipping from Canada! I would order from either vendor again.

Red Marine Vinyl CushionsCUSHION VINYL
We ordered Zander Cherry Marine Softside vinyl with black piping on the visual side only. NOTE: The color is NOT as bright as it shows on that website – it’s more like the color in our tile above, like a strong vermilllion.

FLOORING: go for the remnants!
Nero537We stopped at our local Carpetland to check out remnants (we only needed a 7 x 9′ piece), and lo and behold, they had a remnant that was the PERFECT color, in the EXACT size we needed. It’s IVC’s “Timeless Traditions”, Color: Nero 537. The right combo of light and natural. BONUS: it was priced $69, and they sold it to us for $40! http://www.ivcfloors.com/Sheet-Vinyl-Tile-Product-Page.aspx?p=82&o=Nero

FORMICA (table top, counter top)
formicabasaltslate03690With an atomic/space era vibe, I wanted utility surfaces to looked like outer space. Black with “swooshes” of white, rather nebula-like to balance against the red backsplash and neutralize the busy curtains a bit. I found Formica’s Basalt Slate laminate way in the beginning of our camper retrovation, when I was still in the daydreaming stage.

The aqua that we used on the exterior of the camper is the actual 1972 Ford truck “Shenandoah Green” color, which is cool, because we have a ’72 Ford pickup! (Really, a deep aqua; PPG equivalent: 2420). We used single-stage automotive paint, sprayed on with a HVLP (high volume, low pressure) paint gun.

72fordtruckSM     15.7.18bx    bp245-26HD

We got the first bundle of pulls superduper cheap from our local Habitat for Humanity store, but they didn’t have quite enough, so I had to order a few more from Home Depot. I HIGHLY suggest checking out your local HFH store, because the prices are super low and the money goes to a very good cause! Home Depot link for pulls.

I tried to order three different fabrics from Islands Fabric, and found each one discontinued (update your damn website!!). THEN, the heavens opened up with the singing of angels, and I discovered the glorious world of Fabric.com! OH. EM. GEE. They have a great GINORMOUS selection, and easy to navigate website with a nifty “design board” feature, and superb service!

MMillerF100fabric.comhappyhour0336497 holidaybreak0333656  jug0329901  sticks0289060

1. Michael Miller “Modern Atomic” 2. “Kanvas Happy Hour” (my mixin’ cocktails apron), 3. Michael Miller “Holiday Break” Grey, 4. Michael Miller “Jug Or Not Retro Framed” Vanilla (pillows), and 5. “Sticks” (propane tank covers – I got it on clearance; no longer available).
https://www.fabric.com/buy/fr-100/michael-miller-mid-century-modern-atomic-turquoise https://www.fabric.com/buy/0336497/kanvas-happy-hour-iii-tropic-cocktail-black

Sailrite has the most incredible yardage calculator online! Input your dimensions, fabric width, and fabric repeat, and it not only calculates how many yards you’ll need, but also plots out your cutting map on a pdf to download!! They have calculators for cushions, pillows, awnings, umbrellas, tarps, window treatments, and upholstery. FABULOUS! And they have a wonderful video library for how to sew these projects! Thank you, Sailrite! http://fabric-calculator.com/

This color-changing star lamp from Amazon is battery-operated. Oddly, there is no switch on it. It remembers what time you inserted the batteries, and will stay on for 5 hours, then come back on the next day at the same time! The colors changes are really quite lovely. The star is about 8″ tall. http://amzn.com/B003TJ952S
BONUS: I found a string of mini lights shaped exactly like this light at Big Lots ($12, summer, 2015), so they’ll hang on the edge of the shelf above the bed, and the big star will be sparkling smack dab in the middle of them. SWEET! (shown below)

Lola shows off the lights starlight.amazon  The star light.

The sleek black and frosted glass wall fixture in our dining area is from Lowe’s. I believe it’s still around $20. It looks absolutely stunning in the recessed part of the overhead cabinet! http://www.lowes.com/pd_294377-43501-FB08-034_0__?Ntt=294377&UserSearch=294377&productId=3031021&rpp=32

TUFF STRIP (shown below) by Crown, from Lowe’s, used to strip the paint from the quilted metal on the exterior of the camper. Worked well, but did need additional coats because of the massive layers of paint. http://tinyurl.com/l7novyp

STAR TREK DOOR “CHIME” (shown below)
What else COULD we have in an atomic era lounge? Can you imagine stepping in to take a peek at the camper Lounge, and hearing the iconic Star Trek door swoooosh? omg!! I implore you to watch the video! We played with it for about 20 minutes when we unboxed it. It’s a HOOT! We used Command Strips with the “nail” on them so we can take this off the wall when we travel. This is now the door alarm in the RV. http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e9b8/?pfm=Search&t=star%20trek%20door

Star Trek swoosh noisemakercommandShermanWilliamsminwaxtuffstrip

STAIN (above) We got a custom “Golden Oak” color mix recipe from a local handyman who had redone a woman’s doors to look like aged MCM wood. Sherwin Williams Interior Wood Classics Oil Based Penetrating Stain. Thanks, Sherwin Williams! The color is warm, vintage-looking, and makes the birch SING. Absolutely gorgeous.

VARNISH (shown above) MinWax Wipe On Hand Rubbed Finish (Gloss). They recommend 220 for sanding between coats, but that seemed a bit heavy, so we used 320, and applied three coats. If your wood is very dry, it may even take more. Some folks do 6 coats as a standard practice. With 47 pieces, plus the interior of the camper, even three coats was a LOT of pieces to stain and varnish. (TIP: a very experienced handyman told us that for his last touch, he uses a brown paper bag to “sand” the finish to a spiffy shine – it really works!)

PATIO MAT Many places do not carry smaller mats. We certainly do not need a 15′ or 20′ mat with a 13′ trailer. After trying to order a really pretty fern mat (out), a terra cotta border (out), and a classic border (color turned out to be wrong), I broke down and ordered a newly-discovered 8′ x 11′ espresso fern design from Walmart. 552791403espresso It was almost impossible to find on their website.

sleeprevolution5milanoMATTRESS: SO many mattress choices. I ended up selecting a Sleep Revolution Euro Mattress 5″ Milano from Walmart for the camper. No shipping charges; store pick up. Aug. 15th: First night of sleep – very firm (which I like). Good sleep. (EDIT: not currently available as of 6.17)

SHORT QUEEN FOR RV: Zinus Hybrid Spring 8 inch mattress infused with Green Tea extract and castor see oil (to retard odor and bacteria) from Amazon. Comes compressed and rolled in a box. Put it in place, snip the straps, and look out. 😀

OUTRIGGER RV STEP RUGS – a great addition to our porch step.
LOCTITE FUN-TAK – I’ve used this to put items up on walls (the small signs in the potti closet, for instance), and they’ve been up for months in the heat with no issues.

Loctite Outrigger RV step Rug Outrigger RV Step RUgs

I admit freely that I’m a big kid, and I love having silly things around! TIN TOY ARCADE has the coolest retro fun stuff!
We have a huge flock of rubber duckies, so I was tickled to find übercute SPACE DUCKS, a Robot Head Timer in the Aquatomic Lounge colors (edit 6/30/15: they no longer carry the timer), and a fun chrome-y ROCKET TEA INFUSER!
teainf spcducks bottmr space ducks
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Use Your Resources

Use Your Resources

Use your resources! Nurture contacts in many fields of endeavor, as it really does enrich your life to learn something new from others, and folks are usually very helpful if you have specific questions. Be polite when asking for information, though! Don’t overwhelm a possible mentor by asking “how to paint a trailer” (because the process is hundreds of steps) but perhaps ask, “what’s the first step in a good prep for painting?”
The exchange of information and assistance has been absolutely magical during this project. Blogs, builders, haulers, historians, family, Facebook groups…you name it, we’ve looked it up, contacted folks, asked questions, and shared our info with others, too!

Some of the old wood we pulled from the camper.

The latest picking of brains happened because “John knows a guy…”
Actually, our neighbors had their kitchen redone by a father/son team, and John got to talking with them one day, and it turns out the son lives next to a good friend of ours. In this small town, everybody knows everybody!
The guys had recently installed some custom work in a woman’s house, and she wanted the wood to look like mid-century aged wood, so they custom-mixed a stain to match aged birch. The men were kind enough to come to the shop and grab some of our wood samples to take home to stain so we could see the custom color. They delivered them back to us, walked us through the steps for new products we’ve never used, and gave us the code for their custom “aged” mix! Such neighborly kindness from these gentlemen was greatly appreciated, and saved us a lot of time and trouble. Though hard to see with the various lighting in these photos, the color is almost identical to the wood we pulled out of the camper! (l – rt: staining, interior, stained cab parts)

150613_stain1 150613_stain3 150613_stain4
So, we’re in the midst of very unusual freaky 100+ degree days here in Danville, VA, and we are staining all these parts in a metal building. Whoa. It’s brutal and humid. I overdid it on Saturday and ended up with a migraine on Sunday, so that shot my day. But now, mid-afternoon rest back at home in the cool air, lots of water, and frequent breaks help a lot. Plus, the fact that we are seeing such a huge change in the wood keeps me going. It is going to be stunning after we go back with hand-rubbed varnish a couple more times.

Custom ID Placards

I just finished the placards for our upper shelf bins so we’ll know whose is whose. Pretty easy to figure it out, don’t you think? The Jetsons are perfect for the Aquatomic Lounge theme!

Storage map (in progress).
Storage map (in progress).

I also began a “storage map” of the camper so we’ll know exactly where everything goes. Yes, I’m kind of an organization freak…except for my studio…creativity needs a bit of chaos! *wink* EDIT: Having the map has really helped to have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. I am SO glad I did this!

Time for a big “shout out” to my Pops who always drew out plans so neatly for every project he ever tackled. I learned a lot about measuring, materials lists, and thinking ahead from him. He’s still cranking out the projects at 80 years old! Love you, Dad! I think his project drawings are one of the reasons I got into drafting class in high school. As artsy as I am, drawings are sort of like having a safe and neat road map from which I was allowed to veer if necessary. A project drawing is a comfy lily pad – you can stay there and have everything work out nicely, or you can hop to another pad and change things up a bit. I like having a plan, but I also like to deviate from plans. That’s where creativity grows for me.

150615_backsplashhere curtains, backsplash, table/counter

Backsplash news: after refusing a bad order (the two packets didn’t match each other), the replacement arrived. I love this stuff! Lightweight, easy to install, gorgeous color. It is going to kill me to have to wait weeks for the stain to cure before installing it!

And a last bit of news: John also brought Formica and WilsonArt samples home to see if I liked the black Formica Slate countertop/tabletop material I originally chose. Yup. So, THAT’S a go, too. Flooring is the last decision! Well, the dryer is buzzing, and inside of it is the curtain fabric, so I need to rock n roll, because I’m cutting curtains today! Yes, I wash and iron my fabric before sewing anything. You are supposed to do that.

On any project, do yourself a favor and remember to USE YOUR RESOURCES!
Everybody, and I mean, everybody “knows a guy”…!
Eclectic Dawn
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