Thursday, March 22, 2012

Painting RV Interiors

As a follow-up to my last post I thought I'd share the lessons learned from our little DIY, specifically, how I painted the walls.

We used Dutchman paint, latex. All the paint was semi-gloss except for the grey, that was satin finish. If I could do it all again I would have gotten all satin. The semi-gloss is a little too reflective and took a lot more coats.

I read blogs online to prepare, and every one of them said something different. For vinyl walls the most complicated method said to wash, sand with fine sand-paper, wash again, dry, prime, paint. For the living room slide-out I did just that. Then I realized that me sanding and washing the entire camper myself would take forever. I didn't feel like the sanding was doing much anyway, so I skipped that step for the rest.

I washed all the walls with soap and water, primed, and painted. I did two coats of primer on the slide, and one coat of primmer on all the rest... I don't think two coats made a difference.

The green paint took FOREVER. I probably did at least four coats of the green, and touch-ups on spots where you could still see through. I started painting the green with a bristle paint brush, then switched to a flat sponge type one. The sponge one covered way faster and thicker. The rest of the colors only took two coats using a sponge brush/roller.

I didn't tape a thing, just free handed the trim and floor/ceiling.

I will say it's not exactly like painting a wall in a house. The paint seems a little more susceptible to scratches and such. We have the leftover little tubs of paint to make touch ups as necessary.

General Tips:
Use a sponge roller/brush/flat brush thing (don't know the proper term)
Carry a rag with you that has soapy water on it to fix your mistakes
Use an artists paintbrush to get into the small spaces (around outlets, doors, and windows)
Don't be afraid to lay it on thick, but not too think that it creates drips

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The After

Here are pictures of our RV remodel. Enjoy!
New paint and upholstery.
Magnetic and chalkboard paint for the freezer.
One of my favorite things... retractable faucet thanks to Carrick's dad!
Removed the couch and put in our reclining loveseat and book shelves.
You can see our electric heater that works great! We don't use our propane one.
New paint and curtains. I just made that painting today.
We also switched out the mattress for our ultra-comfy but slightly larger one.
Towel storage inside the bathroom door.
New bathroom paint for the walls and fixtures.
Bathroom artwork...
How to be an Artist, and a picture of kids from all over the world
I picked up at an artist's shop in Korea.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What's Not Important to Us: Stuff

While on this search to find what is truly important to us, we have discovered instead something that is not... well, many things to be exact. I'm talking about stuff. By stuff I mean the things that we fill our lives with, spend our paychecks on, and then throw away within the year because it no longer fits, matches our tastes, or is out of date.

We realized, mostly after packing up all our stuff, then unpacking, then packing... well you get the idea, that we spend so much of our time, money, energy on these things that do nothing to make our lives better. We found large discrepancies between what we thought we needed, and what we actually need to survive, be happy, and live comfortably.

I'm sure downsizing into a 31 x 10 ft-ish living space has had a lot to do with this... but I think we were coming to this realization even if we didn't move into a RV.

We've grown tired of the pressure to consume that we feel from society, and although it's hard at times we're on a path to avoid unnecessary purchases. For example, everyone at Carrick's work thinks we're absolutely nuts for moving into a camper, buying used cars, and our general philosophy on life. (I think Carrick has been called a hippie daily). When one of his higher-ups heard we were selling most of our furniture he remarked, "That's good, then you can go out and buy some new stuff that is in style now." Really, I think he missed the point.

No doubt our feelings are somewhat of a reaction to what we see happening around us... Many people experiencing foreclosure and debt because they were caught in this consuming game and needed something without having the money to pay for it at the time.

After doing some research on the internet it's no surprise that we are not alone. There are many people who are working on downsizing and changing there consumer habits. One website I particularly enjoy is

Here is a great video that sums it up:

So here is our plan:

1. Only make purchases that we have the money to pay for immediately (with the exception of our cars). We don't have credit cards and we pay for my school up front which is something we've worked and saved to be able to do.
2. When we do make purchases we have an established need or justified want. We talk about it for awhile and shop around to find the best deal.
3. Buy items that are multi-purpose if possible (this is mostly due to limited space). For example we have a shoe rack doubling as a book shelf and our kitchen table is also our computer desk.
4. Purchase items that add to our lives, will get a lot of use, and bring us beauty (that last part is mostly for me, I'm sure Carrick doesn't care if things are pretty :).
5. Buy used if possible. Buying used saves us money, keeps something from going into a landfill, and and I'd like to think is a disruption to the crazy consumerism cycle.

I'd like also to add that we don't think all things are bad. We highly value and cherish the meaningful things in our lives like family heirlooms, special gifts from family and friends, mementos from our travels... We feel like if we limit some of the meaningless stuff we bring into our lives we are able to appreciate better the things that mean to most to us.