Van renovation – before

The Van Renovation

Spoiler alert: Oh, these first pictures are gonna gross you out!

The previous owners of the van were a couple of artistic young people who traveled extensively and had a great time – I know this because the van interior was worn… and stinky!!  Tobacco (and other un-named) smoking products made the carpet and fabrics REEK!  Black SHARPIE drawings and quotes were a delightful… cough, cough … break from the boring tan fabric of the ceilings and walls and seats and sun visors…

I could appreciate the lyrics to “I’ve been everywhere”, and the heart-tugging suggestion of “May the four winds blow you safely home” was nice, but I wasn’t a big fan of some other suggestions left in full color.  Someone’s mommy had taken another black Sharpie and covered some phrases and pictorials before it was sold to me.  Good thing, this was not what I wanted my young granddaughter to start reading! All in all, I decided boring tan with black Sharpie was not my creative style.

First job, ripping out the stinky carpet. After just pulling up the middle third, the van smelled soooo much nicer!  It was great when the urine areas were out, and I had a clean dry floor underneath.  I could actually breathe deeply again.  Disgusting work, but it was over quickly. (Will cover with a Pergo-type floor when I get to that step!  Fortunately my son has some left-over from when he refloored the master bedroom of his home – YAY!  Love that price!)

Then I started with the ceiling fabric and foam.  The ceiling was connected to boards all around the sides and windows, and each one had to be unscrewed, the fabric ripped off, and the piece re-screwed back in place before going to the next one.  I was tempted to just leave it all in pieces, but remembered past experiences with “Sure, I’ll remember how this goes back together – after all, I took it apart!”  Sure, and I will remember for about 2.5 minutes and then it’s all guesswork with random screws and boards left over! By this point, I had scratches and bruises all over my hands, my back and arms were aching, I was popping Aleve, and I had created “Ode to my Ratcheting Screwdriver” – will post that later.

Once I figured out how the window shades were configured, I took them all apart and let them soak for a few hours in a bathtub while I babysat my grandchildren for the afternoon. (NOTE TO ALL GRANDPARENTS:  Enjoy a grandchildren play date and let parental units have an adult-only date!  Best gift of the week!) The first bathtub drain after ten minutes of soaking left a dark ring that took half an hour to clean off the tub.  It was a few soak/rinse/soaks before the water stayed clear!  When the shades were thoroughly rinsed and I could see the lovely pattern of the fabric, I hung them back up on their window mounts to finish drying for a few hot days in a row.

I found some wonderful marine upholstery fabric on sale in my favorite color (aqua) to recover the ceiling and sides.  Will probably just purchase seat covers when nearing the end of the renovation.  After two months of work, the renovation is almost complete.

Scout — out!

What book are you reading now?

From the bookshelf…

“I have a feeling you’re going to do your ancestors proud. You know, that’s how the Chinese see it — your accomplishments bring glory not to your descendants, but to your ancestors, in recognition of the fact that it was their sacrifices that put you in a position to do what you do…”

–The Rowan Tree by Robert W. Fuller, 2013


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