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Construction Zone

February 20, 2012

This is temporary. We do NOT need an intervention.

You think this is messy?  Heck, this is the cleaned up, Monday morning version.

If you’re planning on renovating or updating a used RV to live in it fulltime, think seriously about doing the work before you give up your “sticks and bricks” house.  Otherwise, you need to have great patience, the ability to live in a heavily cluttered environment for a few days, and the ability to stay constantly aware that your partner is just as tired as you are.  This is not for the faint of heart, nor the neat freak.

I am not a neat freak.  I am a pack rat.  But I do like for things to be reasonably neat and clean, and my pack rat clutter has almost always been neatly arranged or stored.  I’m serious about this photo being the cleaned up version.  It was awful.  I’m talking about climbing over things and moving things in order to sit down.  I’m talking about hearing the phone ring and wondering where it is.  I’m talking about “let’s go spend the night in a motel” clutter.  Hemi, by the way, spent the entire day watching us very closely, but rarely leaving the safety of that big chair.

When Saturday morning arrived, I already had about half the motorhome taped off for painting.  For the record, a 36 foot motorhome takes slightly over 2 rolls of one-inch blue painter’s tape.  And about a half gallon of paint.  Well, actually a half gallon of primer and a half gallon of actual paint.

We used Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 Primer.  It’s water-based, for all surfaces, interior and exterior.  On top of that, we used Behr Premium Plus Interior Satin Enamel (which cleaned up with soap and water).  The color was from a Martha Stewart chip called Buckwheat Flour.  If we ever paint again, we won’t use those little sponge things they’re selling these days, but will use regular brushes for cutting in along the edges.  We just didn’t like the sponges.  We used small rollers wherever we could roll, which is surprisingly more area than one would think.  We need a second coat in some places, and of course, some touchups, but we are very, very happy with the new paint job.  Gone is that little faint floral pattern.  Now it’s just solid color on a slightly textured surface.

The problem with painting the interior of an RV in which you are living fulltime is that you are severely limited in where you can put things to get them out of the way of the painting activity.  We tried putting everything on one side while we painted the other side, but it didn’t work real well.  What we ended up with was everything piled into the front cockpit area, on the loveseat, and on the bed in back.

The painting itself went smoothly.  The blue tape, as usual for us, allowed some paint to seep under it, but for the most part, it made the paint job look really neat and well done.  The primer dried fast enough that we were able to paint over it the same day, so the entire job got done in one full 12-hour, non-stop day.   Of course, there was the occasional “oops” moment, and the odd expletive here and there, but we did maintain our sanity and our marriage.

Seriously.  We went to a motel

As it started to get dark, the painting was done, but there was no place to sit or lie down, the windows were completely uncovered, and who knew where the towels and pushpins were anyway?  Food of any kind, an uncluttered room and a long, hot shower were called for at this point.  We packed an overnight bag, a change of clothes, got Hemi in the car, and drove about a mile to a Motel 6 with a quick stop at a Subway nearby.  It wasn’t the best night’s sleep, but it was sufficient for us to be rested and ready to tackle another full day of work.  We dropped Hemi off at the RV and, after a breakfast at Waffle House, made a run to Home Depot, where we bought three sets of new white vinyl miniblinds, various sizes and types of curtain rods, and a couple of other things.  We must have been moving slowly, because it was nearly noon by the time we got back to the RV.

Redecorated bedroom, click photo for larger version

We had re-covered the valances for the bedroom windows the night before, so Nell made curtains, and we got the bedroom done first.  In this space, we used a fabric with a backing so that it wouldn’t let light in.  The curtain is mounted inside the valance on a tension rod.  The single curtain can be pulled to one side to allow light and a breeze from the open side of the window.

Then she made replacements for the red curtains we had put up in the kitchen a couple of weeks ago.  There may be some kind of backsplash material in future plans, but for now, this looks really fresh and clean against the new paint.

The rest of Sunday was spent recovering the dining and living area window valances with a blue denim fabric, and trying to get miniblinds attached to the valances.  Nell made side curtains for the dining area window, and aside from ironing the curtains, the dining window is finished.  She also recovered the two chair seats with the same blue denim material.  Still to be done are side curtains of the same blue and white material for the window over the loveseat.  Bless her heart, she has to get it done, because the sewing machine is borrowed.  The red lampshade may have to go, but we are really happy with this new look.

I am under orders not to do any work today, but the valance and miniblind for the small window by the door is ready to be installed if I can do it without someone holding it up while I run the screwdriver.  And I’m having trouble getting the long miniblind attached to the valance that goes behind the loveseat.

Then again… the message on the note she left this morning was pretty explicit:  “no work today!”.

She did ask that I talk to Barry the RV Repair Guy about replacing the sink and faucets in the bathroom, and I’ve already done that.  I think I could have done that job myself, but we are under some time restraints now and need to get it done.  Done right.  The first time.  Barry has already ordered the parts and should get all that installed in the next few days.

No work today.

We’ll see.

UPDATE:  I did get the valance and blinds installed on the little window beside the door.  And…

After having the little lamp on during dinner, and after dark, I’m thinking the red lampshade just might survive.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2012 7:05 pm

    That’s what Motel 6’s are for! Nell has been so busy…. I love that she has her sewing machine out. The big question is….are you guys still speaking (lol)……

  2. Rita permalink
    February 20, 2012 9:26 pm

    Really impressed with all the changes you two are making. Keep going …. we’re learning from your mistakes! 🙂

    • February 24, 2012 3:10 am

      Thanks Rita! There’s lots to learn, because we’re making lots of mistakes. but we’re loving it.

  3. February 21, 2012 1:05 am

    Wow! It all looks fantastic The all-at-once approach may have been trying, but you’ll be so glad to have it done to enjoy. Nothing like having your home feel like “your space”.

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