Easy Camper Table Remodel

When we did the complete remodel of our 96′ Winnebago camper, we decided to paint our dinette table.  But that didn’t turn out so well.

After our disappointment in the countertop paint, we decided to scrape the paint off and try fix the eyesore.

Uh.  Yeah.  It didn’t work so well…Continue Reading

How To Replace RV Flooring With a Raised Slide

How did we replace our RV flooring?  That is a question we’ve received multiple times concerning our RV Remodel.

For materials, we scoured the internet and found that most RVers recommend a vinyl flooring sold by Home Depot, Allure Trafficmaster plank flooring to be exact.

We did quite a bit of reading about the product and started to find alarming reviews, like here and here and here.  There were a variety of issues but the most common seemed to be surrounding Home Depot’s lack of customer support for the product and how stinky the flooring was once installed (off-gasing).

Some people said it took months for the smell to go away and that was with open windows.  Since this remodel was done late in the winter, airing wasn’t an option and we sure didn’t have a few months for it to finish off-gasing before we lived in it.

Ugh.

The more we read, the more we became concerned. In the end we decided to NOT install Allure.

Now in all fairness, I KNOW many RVers use this flooring and have no issues whatsoever.  But we didn’t want to be one of the ones that got a bad batch.

We then looked to our local Lowe’s to see if they had a similar flooring that was not prone to off-gasing issues.  They had something similar, yes, but did it off-gas?  It was possible and we weren’t taking any chances so we settled on the most afforable option out there.  Mark installed sheet vinyl.

Is it stylin’ and amazing?!  No. but it serves it’s purpose only cost us about $300 to do our entire camper.  4 months later, we’re very pleased with the flooring.  It’s held up well and if for some reason we need to do anything to the subfloor, we can pull up the vinyl and place it back down.  Easy peasy.

Replace RV Flooring on a Raised Slide

Replace RV Flooring on a Raised Slide

Our 96′ Winnie has one large slide over the dining and living area.  Because of the year, it is a raised slide and sits about 3 inches higher, (see crappy picture below).

So how do we properly replace the RV flooring on the slide.

When Mark demo’d the camper he took out the booth dinette and couch and ripped out the carpet in the slide area.  We were a bit apprehensive about dealing with a raised slide but after the fact, Mark would tell you it was very easy to do.

Sheet Vinyl Installed - Replace RV Flooring

Once all the carpet and staples were removed, he simply laid the vinyl down and trimmed it with wood against the wall and screwed in a metal transition strip along the top at the front of the slide and in the doorways between the bathroom and bedroom.

He had to deal with the front of the slide, which was originally covered with carpet. (see crappy picture below)

How to Replace RV Flooring on a Raised SlideTo cover the front, he bought 1/2″ X 3″ trim boards to cover the 13 feet of length of the slide.

Our son, Eli, was employed in the sanding of the board and Mark stained the wood a dark color.

sanding-trim-piece
Mark wanted to make sure the slide was sealed so he installed 3/4″ weather stripping all along the slide first.  It was screwed right to that metal strip you can in the picture below.  This is the type of weather stripping that is used on garage doors.

trim-and-transition-for-slide

After the stripping was attached, he screwed on the sanded and stained trim board and lastly the metal transition strip was attached to the top outer edge of the slide (and overlaps the front wood trim slightly.

slide-replaced

The Snag

So this all worked great and looked awesome.  But after taking the slide in and putting it back out we ran into a problem, the front corner of the wood trim snagged the vinyl.  It snagged it good.

rip-in-vinyl-from-slide

Stinkles!

Rather than replace the entire sheet of vinyl, Mark cut out the offending area which was a 1 1/2 foot by 3 1/2 foot area.  He cut some fresh vinyl from the scraps we had and tacked it down with 2-sided carpeting tape.

replaced-section-of-vinyl

In the picture, it is obvious.  But if we didn’t point out to you in the camper, you’d likely  never notice the patch job.

To stop the slide from snagging the vinyl again, Mark trimmed about 1/2″ down the length of the front trim pieces

The  Stairwell

The stairwell was previously completely covered in carpet.  In order to get all the adhesive off of the stairs, he had to spray a product (similar to Goo-Gone) and scrap the glue off.

goo-gone-stairwell-of-rv

The walls of the stairwell were painted with an oil-based paint since the material was metal

rustoleum-oil-based-paint-for-rv-stairwell

 

Lastly, he placed vinyl on the top of each step and trimmed the edges with a metal transition strip.

That open step is where the batteries are housed.  Once the cover is on, you can see the vinyl on those 2 stairs.

The picture below shows the trim that Mark placed around the outside walls where the vinyl was placed.

And here is a closeup of the finished stairs with all the transition strips in place.

finished-stepsUp until this writing, I’ve not convinced Mark to remove the cab carpeting and recover the doghouse (the engine cover between the 2 front seats).  Truth be told, we don’t even notice the old upholstery/carpet.  Hardly.

Maybe someday, but for now our flooring is complete.

Until next time,

Updating RV Counters With Giani Granite Countertop Paint

*UPDATE* After several months of use, I have to take back my recommendation of this product.  Please click here for what our counters look like now.

Kitchen-Countertop-After-PaintingKitchen-Countertop-Before

After we did the transformation of the cabinets with Nuvo’s cabinet paint it was painfully obvious that I needed to update the countertops.

In all honesty, I hadn’t even considered the counters when I chose to do the cabinets in Platinum White.

But as you can below, the counters looked dingy next to the updated cabinets.

Countertop-Before-Painting

 

So I contacted Giani Granite, which is the same makers of Nuvo Cabinet Paint, and they agreed to send me a kit to update our countertops.  I decided on Bombay Black for the countertop color.

I got my kit in the mail and was happy to see it came with a practice sheet of paper.

nuvo-countertop-paint-kit

I used wrapping paper and lots of painter’s tape to protect area around the countertop.

There was a little bit of prep work such as sanding and removing the plastic trim around the base of the countertop.

removing-plastic-trim-in-bathroom-for-countertop-paint

 

 

 

plastic-trim-removed

I also needed to apply wood filler to the nicked areas of existing counter, which was mostly around the sink cutout.

nicks-patched-with-wood-filler

I applied my primer coat (which had amazing coverage).  I decided to do the dining room table because we had more than enough primer to complete the job.

primer-coat-for-counter-top-paint-nuvo

 

primer-on-countertop-paint

While the primer was drying, I used my practice piece of paper to try the sponging method.  Now keep in mind, I’m no artist.  I watched the application video, which was very helpful, but I still felt intimidated.  I’ve never done any type of faux painting but I plunged ahead.

Once the primer had dried the appropriate time, I started sponging on my colors.  It went very well I think.  It was hard to visualize the end product and I just kept sponging more colors on.  I didn’t want to have a uniform color so I had to go back and forth with colors a bit.

spinging-on-nuvo-countertop-paint

 

 

countertop-painting-almost-finished

As you can see, someone took the paper down too quickly and the wall got messed up.countertop-paint-in-bathroom

countertop-paint-prior-to-cop-coatcountertop-prior-to-sanding

I sanded the counters after the paint had dried but before I applied the clear top coat.

Countertop-After-Painting

 

Above is a closeup of the countertop after 2 top coats were applied.  The top coats really seem to meld the colors together and make it look more finished.

I’m very happy with how it turned out!  I made mistakes with applying color and noticed them later but everyone I showed the “mistakes” to didn’t notice them.  My mistakes consisted of drops around the edges and splatters of paint.

As far as wear and tear, the paint has held up very well.  You do want to make sure water does not rest on the countertops.  I noticed that when it does rest, it bubbles slightly and has to dry out to go back to a smooth finish.

Would I do the countertop paint again?  Absolutely.  It was quick and it made such a difference in the look of the camper.  I’m very happy with it!  Since we have leftover paint, we can always touch up the paint if need be (we tend to be hard on countertops).

Kitchen-Countertop-After-Painting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RV Window Treatments

Continuing with the remodel posts, today’s post is all about the window treatment.

Main Living Area Windows

When Mark demo’d the camper, he threw out all the old cornice boxes.  They were dated and we didn’t want to recover them.  Instead, we decided that we’d reuse the privacy blinds and I’d sew new curtains throughout.

One of my best friends went with me to Hobby Lobby and helped me pick out the perfect fabric for the camper curtains.  I wanted a fabric that would allow us different color options.  I didn’t want it to be drab or boring.  I also didn’t want it to be an eye-sore.  We settled on this.

curtain-fabric-for-rv

I love that it has an array of colors.  Gray, brown, lime green, mustard yellow, seafoam green, fuschia.

I CANNOT say that Mark loves my choice.  I think he used the word “girly” and accused me of trying to feminize him.

Oh well.

Since I love him, I wanted him to be happy with the camper.  I made a few adjustments and added a gray panel to the top of the curtains.  I hoped it would help.

Curtain Hardware

But before I go into the curtains, lets talk about the curtain hardware.

I saw this pin on Pinterest about how you can make cheap curtain rods.

cheap-curtain-rod

I went with it because I loved the look.  Now in all fairness, I didn’t do it exactly as the website suggested. I bought some beautiful drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby for 50% off.  Dowels would come from the hardware store but I found that I’d have to buy hardware to attach the curtain rod dowel to the wall. That pesky hardware drove my cost up per window and turned out to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

For the each window, the price broke down as follows:

$2 – for the Dowel (average)
$3 – for 2 Drawer Pulls
$3.80 for Hardware to Attach Curtain to Wall

$8.80 Total/Window

Now that may not seem like a lot but when you consider that we have 8 windows. It adds up to $70.  I was even willing to pay that price because those drawer pulls were gorgeous.  My MORE frugal husband put the brakes on and said that was not worth it.  So I bought these cheap curtain rods for $3 to $4 a piece (depending on the length).

cheap-curtain-rod

So it cost me just $28 for our (initial) curtain hardware.  Initial means I’ll go into that later.

Curtain Design

First, let’s go back to the curtain design.  I have to tell you about this VERY cool blog, Ana White.  She has a tutorial up about how to make hidden tab top curtains.  I loved the look of her curtains!  So clean and a simple way to sew in hidden tabs.  The design makes it so the fabric is not bunchy at the top. (I may sound slightly picky) I decided that was exactly how I wanted my curtains to be and I pressed ahead on making them according to her tutorial.

As I mentioned earlier, I tried to tame down some of the wild colors of my main fabric and appease Mark by adding a gray panel to the tops of the curtains. They were a little more work, but I was sure the results would be worth it.

The problem was, I hadn’t considered the fact that the privacy blinds would be visible when the curtains were open.  Once we got the first curtain up, I realized it would not do.

rv-privacy-blind privacy-blind-visible

Bummer!!  I really didn’t want to have to put a valance up and I wanted the benefits of the hidden tabs. I just couldn’t stomach seeing the privacy blinds all day long when the curtains were open.

Valances

So I made valances, not my first choice obviously but I’m happy with them today.  I used the same gray color that was at the top of the fabric and my valance hangs down about 7 inches.

But now we had a problem with the cheaper curtain hardware we had bought.

The valance would need to go on the cheap curtain rod and we needed something for the curtain panels.

Hidden Bungee Rod

Hello Pinterest!

I found this pin that talks about using a bungee cord for making a curtain rod behind a regular curtain rod.

bungee-cord-slipped-curtain

The pin actually links to some expensive curtain rod, but the description is all we needed.

So Mark went out and got about $16 worth of bungee cords.  We got them about 5 or 6 inches shorter than the curtain rod so there would be enough tension to hold the curtain up and snug.

But we found that the bungee cords did not stay on the ends, instead they slid along the curtain rod like this…

bungee-cord-slipped-curtain

Our fix?  Screw in a self-drilling screw to the end of the rod so the bungee cord can hook to the screw and not slip.

screw-to-catch-bungee

Here is another view of a self drilling screw tip for those of you who may be as unfamiliar as I was.

self-drilling-screws-bungee-cord-curtainHere is a snippet of the before…

old-cornace-for-96-winnebago-adventurer(Oh how I wish I had taken better before pictures but you can’t really undo a renovation) And after pictures are here…

RV-Window-Treatments

I do like how the hidden tabs make the curtains lay underneath the valances due to the hidden tabs.  In a regular stick built home, I do the same tutorial in a heartbeat.

Front Window Curtains

So that covers our main window treatments but we still needed to update the front window curtains.

The original fabric before was like a seafoam/blueish embossed rose color.

original-fabric-for-96-winnebago-adventurer-rv-curtains

I decided to layer a chevron fabric onto the existing curtains because I wanted the added insulation and didn’t want to have to reinvent the wheel in this area.

I’ll tell you that I laughed at the person who sewed the original RV curtains. Yep, I did. I thought maybe they had a rough night or they got trained on the particular curtains that went into our RV. Pride. You know what they say, pride comes before the fall, (which I’ll go into in a bit).  The curtains were sewed so sloppy and they were a mess when it actually came to taking off the curtain hardware.

The hardware I’m talking about is the glide tape.  I really couldn’t work with the existing glide tape because the plastic was cracked, brittle, and falling apart. I had actually hoped I could glue it and patch the glide tape but it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t possible so I got out my seam ripper and went to town to remove the tape and rig something up.

damaged-glide-tape-for-rv-window-treatmentsSince it was so old and hard to remove, I wasn’t able to salvage it.  I ended up ripping the glide tape off.

removed-glide-tape-from-RV-curtains

I ordered 3 packs of 72 inch glide tape from Amazon. The 2 curtain panels measure 86 inches each.  So we needed to use part of a 3rd glide tape for each of the panels.

After I pieced my chevron fabric together to get it wide enough I sewed the panels to the top and sides of the existing curtains.

Next I sewed on the first 72″ strip of glide tape and then I started at the opposite end of the curtain top and sewed the other glide tape on (going towards the direction of the already attached tape).  I did this to make sure the bracket was positioned near the edge of the curtain and it wouldn’t sag at the end.

So this is the part where I describe my fall after pride. Sewing on the glide tape was comical. For the life of me I couldn’t keep it straight.  There is really no way to pin it to the curtain since the plastic on the tape is so thick.  You just have to wing it.  I tried 3 different feet for my sewing machine and finally settled on my zipper foot.

It was tricky and it wasn’t pretty, but the glide tape was attached.  Once I hung the curtains, I pinned the bottom hem up, removed the curtain and sewed along the pinned hem.

front-rv-window-curtains-closed

The front curtains are busy, crazy and make me twitch.  I love chevron, but this was too much.  I’m hoping someday I’ll muster the time to add a solid panel somewhere in there.  I think that may help stop the motion sickness when the curtains are closed at night.  But during the day, they don’t look half bad.

So here is the before and after of the front curtains.

96-winnebago-adventurer-rv-window-curtains-before 96-Winnebago-Window-Treatments-After

Curtain tie backs were added later to keep the curtains contained.

Now I have one last thing to show you about window coverings.

Fabric Covered Roller-Blind

We have a roller-blind at our door and it was just a plain white plastic.  I know I sound slightly obsessed with Pinterest, but this time, it failed me.

roller-blind-pin

When I covered my roller-blind, I ruined it.  The Pin above is for instructions on how you use hot glue to adhere the roller-blind to the fabric.  Nope, that doesn’t work.  The glue is too thick and it makes it so the blind will not actually retract due to the bulk

I had to take as much glue off as I could and remove the fabric.  Since I put most of the hot glue on the edges, I actually had to trim the roller-blind edges away.  The only way I could find to adhere the fabric effectively was by using this spray adhesive.

spray-adhesive

And here is the after of the roller-blind when it is down.

chevron-covered-roller-blind

The reason why I have a green trim on my edges is because I was using fabric scraps.  So I just sewed trim on both edges of my chevron piece to make it wide enough.  I centered the blind over the fabric and voilà.  A fabric covered roller-blind.  The fabric is bunchy and I’m not happy with it.  Basically this just so show you how this doesn’t work.  Someday I’ll figure it out.  But for now, it works fairly well.

When the blind is rolled up, it tends to get lopsided like this…

uneven-fabric-roller-blind

We have to readjust the blind by tugging it when it’s rolled up.

straightened-roller-blind

Kid’s Bunkroom Curtains

One area I haven’t addressed is the kid’s bunkroom.  Honestly, I don’t like the curtains in there.  I could go on an on about why I don’t like the curtains but just trust me, it’s not worth sharing.

I may redo the curtains in there, but for now they do the job and the room is fairly dark, (I did use blackout fabric).  Since that was the goal, mission accomplished.

So that’s it on our window coverings.  Our friends call us hippy or gypsy-ish.  I have to agree, it has that feel.

If I ever get tired of the curtains, I’ll go with more neutral curtain fabric.  I still love that it gives us decorating options with all the colors and you know, we are sorta gypsy-ish.

Blessings,

Julie-Signature

 

 

 

 

How We Painted Our Cabinets Without Fuss

When we bought our Winnie, she was full of old light oak cabinets and a lot of fake wood panelling.

Drawers-with-Fake-Wood-before-painting

 

Even the fridge had paneling.

paneled-fridge-prior-to-painting

I’m not a big fan of light oak or fake wood paneling, so I urged Mark to paint the cabinets.  Continue Reading

Updating RV Cabinet Hardware

I’m so excited to finally share some more of the updates we did to our 96′ Winnebago Adventurer.  I see the BIG REVEAL in our near future…very near.

But for today I’m going to share an update we did to the hardware.

Our cabinet drawer pulls, hinges, & struts were a sort of copper color.  They were old and dated and spoke 1980’s even though the camper is a 96′.  Let’s just say they were ugly.

hinges-before-spray-paintingThe cabinet painting that we did really dictated that we needed to update the hardware. On deal sites, I had read about buying new cabinet and drawer pulls off of eBay.  But surprisingly, I found this super deal on Amazon.

The price was right too! In reality, the price seemed too good to be true and I wondered if the quality would be low. But they are very nice! I can honestly say that we would still be extremely happy even if the pulls had cost us triple what we paid.

For one 25 pack, it cost just under $27. We had to order 2 of them because RVs have tons of cabinets and drawers.

So we had figured out a solution for the pulls, but still had hinges and struts to contend with.  (Struts are those little levers that hold overhead cabinet doors up so you don’t bonk your head)

I REALLY didn’t want to buy new.  The existing were perfectly fine, they just didn’t match. Since they were not hidden hinges, we needed to do something about them so we opted to spray paint them.

How We Spray Painted Our Hardware

1.  The first step in the process is to clean them really well.

This is important!  Don’t skip this step.  Mark actually found a stray hinge and tried spraying it without cleaning it first. It was a mess and we ended up stripping it down to start over again.

My cleaner of choice for this type of job? Orange oil.

In case you didn’t know it, I LOVE orange oil.

Have you ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding?  Remember the guy who was obsessed with Windex??  He used it for everything.  Well that is me and orange oil.  I used it to clean the labels of those containers for bulk storage.  It’s great for cleaning nasties and cuts through grease and build up.

I soaked the hinges in orange oil and a little bit of water for about 10 minutes and then wiped them clean with a microfiber cloth.  Easy.  And no elbow grease.

orange-oil

* You can buy larger quantities of orange oil online or from greenhouses.  I bought mine from Garden Ville in Texas and it’s lasted me several years.

hinges-soaking-in-orange-oil2.  Next, spray the hinges and struts with a thin layer of Rustoleum’s Metallic spray paint.

**The key here is to spray 2 to 3 thin coats of paint.  If you spray too heavily, it will run and be a junked up mess.  Don’t spray heavy, take it easy, and apply a few coats. Let the paint dry about 15 minutes between coats, flipped them, and do it all over again.

3.  Buy new screws to match your metallic paint.  Just do it.  It’s easy and you don’t need to mess with painting screw heads.

hinges-after-1-coat-of-rustoleum-spray-paint

In choosing the paint, I actually followed this website’s tip (which I found on Pinterest).  I didn’t try any other paint.  Rustoleum worked perfectly.

finished-hinges-and-struts-for-cabinet-doors

Here is a snapshot of our updated hardware.  I know it’s not the BEST picture but I’m trying to do a big reveal so I don’t want to show you too much.

updated-pulls-and-hinges

From the picture, you can see it looks clean and classic rather than dingy and dated. I love it and it was very cost effective for us to do.  This update cost us just over $70 and made a huge difference.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  

Victory and Defeat – Our Issues with the Slide

Today had been a great day on the RV remodel.

I posted this to our Facebook page because I was so happy with how it was coming together.

IMG_1597

 

The entire camper was cleaned up spic n span and we even started moving some of our things into it.

Since we were out of propane, Mark decided it was time for me to drive her.  White-knuckled I pulled our 37 foot camper into the Flying J for a fill.  Whew!  I made it.  Mission accomplished.  I didn’t kill anyone and I drove over 50 miles an hour.  Yes!  I am woman, hear me roar.  😉

Mark drove her home (I think my slow driving was getting to him).  He wanted me to do the entire setup once we got to our site.  Everything was going well except the fact that the kids were tired and needed to get to bed.  Eva hadn’t taken a nap and that always makes for a pleasant experience for everyone in a 1 mile vicinity.

I put down the jacks and went on to the moving the slide out while Mark observed.

Yelling, rippling, & buckling ensued.  Oh my horror film!!!  Right in our camper.  For the next 10 minutes we moved the slide in and out to try to get the ripped up vinyl out from under the slide.  The slide’s trim had caught on the vinyl and snagged it.  Crappy iPhone picture below…

IMG_1599

There was just a sinking feeling in my gut.  I can’t describe it.  The closest thing I can relate it to is a car accident, but on a smaller scale.

So by now, the kids are really crying and I’m crying (not really but I wanted to).  Everyone is tired and we’re 1/4th moved in.  I take armloads of sleeping paraphernalia back to the 5th wheel to get the tired munchkins to bed.

Mark came in shortly after I did, calm as can be.  What can you do?  Guess we have to roll with the punches.  I foresee new vinyl going in the next day or 2 and the transition strip being cut down so it doesn’t touch the vinyl.  EVER AGAIN.