Wednesday, August 22, 2012

new awning

Big change for our girl this week... a new awning was installed by the lovely folks at Artistic Awning.  The existing awning was incredibly moldy and smelly.  It was also pulling out of the track so had awning tape slapped on to it.  

The new awning is Sunbrella fabric, and is much much cuter.  Every girl wants to be cute.

We have also been fixing up some of the smaller details.  Making sure the lights work (all but one).

Greg and his helpful Dad also made sure all the appliances and whatnot are working, and located the plug-in spot.

I have been trying to figure out what to do with the old speaker fabric.  Above you see what we started with.  I tried painting it, but the fabric is too thick and absorbent.. never-mind the giant hole left from the stereo.  Then I found a tutorial for adhering fabric with cornstarch here so I gave that a try.

 It actually went pretty well (both sides are covered), but it was tricky to stick around the edge of the stereo hole.  Unfortunately when it dried the one on the left went orange in spots.  I'm thinking maybe dye from the old fabric coming through?  The fabric I used is a natural cotton canvas drop cloth.  It's stiff from the cornstarch.  I'm wondering what would happen if I painted it now that it is stiff and smooth.  Ideas?  Suggestions?  Solutions?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

coming along

All the painting is done.  All the oiling is done.  Things are starting to happen people, and none too soon as we are 13 days away from our one and only camping trip this year.  Thank goodness we booked this trip ages ago.  Without a deadline I am hopeless.  I thought I would do a little comparison about where we started and where we're at.

The front:  cleaned, painted, oiled, screens re-installed.  Still to do:  Put upholstery back in, sew curtains, cover old speaker fabric, fix up overhead light, flooring.

The kitchen:  cleaned, painted, oiled.  Still to do:  wax counters, install screen, put in shelf liner, install cabinet doors and hardware, fix lights, clean appliances, get a new fridge seal, flooring.

The bathroom:  cleaned, removed all plumbing fixtures, sprayed (more about that in a second), flooring removed, toiled removed and ordered.  Still to do:  order and install window blind, install toilet (?), buy new taps and instal, flooring, buy and install new light, get mirror put on cabinet doors, install cabinet doors.

Let me just say that this is not ALL going to happen before we go camping.  The flooring won't be done until after because the colour I want is out of stock.  But a lot of it will, after a big home depot trip tomorrow :)

A little bit about the bathroom... we had it sprayed with epoxy this week!  Once again, the pictures don't show the difference much but really we aren't going for a dramatic transformation, are we.. more of a freshening up.  The original colour in the bathroom was almond, and had yellowed quite a bit in certain areas over time.  It was also dull, especially the bottom half.  Don from Resurface Solutions came and sprayed it a custom colour (that sounds fancy, but really it was a mix of almond and white).
Stinky process, and a beautiful result.

Well, enough about that.. as I look at this list I realize that my list is long and time is short.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


We decided to paint portions of the trailer.  Areas that had previously been painted or were not original.  
A coat of Kilz Premium primer went onto everything that would be painted to block stains and provide good adhesion.  The front of the trailer was painted beige, and the wood trim on the upper cabinet was very damaged.  The doors were ugly beige laminate and the speakercloth was gold with holes in them.

I promise to show before and after photos at the end.  This countertop looks to not be original, and was painted bright green (almost exactly the colour of painter's tape!).  The shelf was not original, in fact from what I can tell this area originally had a shallower shelf and by-pass doors.  Like this.
the real deal

Of course inside the cabinets got done.  Less than half of the cabinets were painted inside.

better already!
 This counter was also the beige wood-grain laminate that was original but I'm guessing it faded over the years.  All the counters will eventually need replaced (you can see in this photo that the counter is bulging up in the back corner).  Not this year though.

The paint I decided to use for the counters is porch & floor paint which should be really durable.  I had it tinted to match Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray.  I plan on giving it a coat of wax both to have a non-toxic surface, and to give it more sheen.
the hole is cut in the counter to access the fridge for maintenance. 

The other project I've been up to is oiling all the wood with Watco Medium Walnut oil.  It has made such a difference for evening out the wood tone and giving it a nice soft glow.
on the left.. before oil

on the right.. after
We are not sure what wood species the cabinets are, you're welcome to give me your guesses in the comments.  It had not been clear-coated, which tells me it was a 'premium' wood species.  For airstream at that time that means cherry, mahogany, or walnut.  It also appears to have been stained at some point (not at the factory, it has been done very sloppily).  It has faded but looks reddish.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

little things

Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest difference, at least for me.  It doesn't matter how pulled together a space is if it doesn't look well cared for.  Even though we're in a time crunch getting ready for our first camping trip the first weekend of September, I can't resist the little things or the last minute decisions.
There is a row of overhead cabinets with flip-up doors that run down both sides of the trailer.  On the inside of each the heavy vinyl-type wall covering had lifted at the seam, exposing the old red adhesive.   I used some weld-bond glue and secured it overnight with some painter's tape and voila!

isn't that nice?
So worth the effort, and since I had everything on had I count that as FREE too.  My husband might disagree (we did buy the glue and tape honey...) but it's my blog, and my math :)

A last-minute, just-before-I-painted-it decision we made was to remove the existing folding table.  Now, we are saving as much original as possible but this table had been changed by a previous owner.  The frame was built out of unfinished pine, half of the original table, the hinge and leg were there.  The table used to have a fold out section so it was much bigger when up, but now it just lifted up as is.  Since we didn't love the original table finish (odd pinky-beige wood-grain laminate) out it came!
the old folding table
I can't find a photo of what the original cabinetry would have looked like, but there would have been a cabinet or something to cover where the pipe is exposed.  After we replace the flooring we will get some aluminum bent to replace the pipe covering in this section.

no more table
 So what are we going to eat on you ask?  Don't worry, there's a plan...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

This morning we were outside enjoying the cool morning while I did some oiling on the woodwork...

...when the last baby robin in the nest in the carport decided to fly off.  Like the three others that left yesterday, he flew right for the airstream and sat on the ground for a while.  The next time I looked up he was sitting inside looking out the window!
Hello baby! 
Greg was the lucky one to pick up the little one and help it on it's way outside.  So fun!
Bye baby!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

squeaky clean

The pictures may not show it, but goodness that trailer is clean!  Here are some clean shots, and I have to say it is a little disappointing that the difference does not show.  I love that I can touch any surface (except parts of the floor) with my bare hands and not have to wipe them on my pants after!

You'll see in the next photo that there is what looks to be water damage at the backs of some of the cabinets.  Yikes.  For now I am sanding down and hiding it with a coat of paint.

yes, this is after the cleaning :)
The scrub was a big job, and I'm glad it's done.. 'cause now it's on to the fun stuff!  Really, putting stuff back into the trailer is so satisfying, and I am the first to admit that I am dorky enough to get excited about new screen clips.  I may have even clapped a little.  Don't judge me.

and check out the clean screens!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy BC Day to those of you in this neck of the woods.. you may be enjoying your long weekend camping, or sitting on the beach, but we are taking the opportunity to get some serious work done on the trailer.   Let's start off with a pretty shot, 'cause things are going to get ugly.
not a bad way to start the day...
Here come photos of the interior after we had removed everything that is removable, and before the great scrub-down began.  The photos truly do not convey the griminess of this trailer.  Every surface was greasy feeling, and there are parts that I am convinced had not been cleaned since it left the factory in 1968.  That's 44 years of dirt, folks.  That dirt is older than me.

The cushions are gone to the upholsterer.
All the lower cabinet doors that can be removed have been, and are stored in my front entry with other bits and pieces (because nothing says welcome like a stack of dirty cabinet doors and an old toilet).  The green bins and screens were bathed in my tub and are stacked in the living room.  All the hardware and hinges that can be removed have been to be cleaned or replaced.  To the left of the window above the sink we took out a wood piece that was rotten.  We're not even sure why it was there, except perhaps to support some kind of window covering originally.  The filthy venetian blind that was there has been carefully stored in the garbage bin, which *sigh* also happens to be in the front entry.  

There were carpet scraps in the bottoms of the cabinets.  Underneath is the old plywood with leftover adhesive from the original floors.

The back bed.  Check out the funky fabric edge.  This may have been the original fabric for the upholstery.  Super cute actually.  Under these beds a whole lot of dirt is lurking.  And nut shells for some reason.  I did discover under this bed a few pieces of the original flooring, a 12x12 beige lino tile.

And the crown jewel.. the bathroom.  This shot was taken before I removed the cabinet doors.  Greg had the unfortunate task of pulling this room apart.  He was removing the old caulking, when all of a sudden I noticed the flooring had been thrown out the window (literally).  I guess new flooring is added to the list.
pretty, right?

poor Greg
And that's the worst of it.  It has been so long since we have done any renovating ourselves that I had forgotten how rewarding it is to bring something back to life again.  I have to say that now that we are past the dirty bit I am really enjoying it.  Here is a sneak peek at where this is all headed...

soooo much better!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

As you all know, we are starting on a restoration of our 68 Airstream Overlander.  Here are some photos of the inside as it was when we brought the trailer home.  It is almost all original.  The curtains had been replaced, and a laminate floor has been installed.  The counters in the kitchen have been painted, and the table area has had some cabinetry removed.
front end - sofa pulls out into a bed

one side of the kitchen, looking towards the back

view down the middle towards the back where the bathroom is. 

other side of the kitchen, looking towards the back

fridge and stove- both original

command central

kitchen again, the stainless panel on the counter beyond the sink is a 3-burner cooktop


bathroom again.  The original vinyl folding screen for the shower is missing.

center sleeping area, this sofa pulls out into a bed as well

storage in center, closet on right hand side

inside a few of the cupboards are slide out drawers with the original storage bins
Here are some detail shots of some of the things I love... 
the cooktop.. looks to be in great shape!

original lights

there are two vent fans 

reading lights

for the missing antenna
We are so grateful that it has not been painted over the years.  A few of the cabinets have been painted inside, and I will give them a fresh coat.  The cabinets have a thick veneer on them which looks to be Mahogany (?).  Looking at these photos has reminded me how good it looked when we picked it up, although I have to say it wasn't this nice in person.  Up close everything was showing a lot of grime and wear.  Now that all the before pictures are up I can begin to show you what we've been up to!