Have you ever wanted to spend some quality time with your talented husband, hoping it will bring you even closer together than you already are? Then skip this article. IN THE BEGINNING We did a minor remodel of a small pop-up camper, some paint and cushion recovering. Nothing big, took maybe a weekend. We got a lot of good use out of it, but our boys were growing, and we needed more space. So we sold the pop-up and found a great deal (or so we thought) on a 1979 Prowler, twenty-two foot home away from home.
The seller told us he had used it for hunting but everything worked. He had taken out the couch and put in a queen-sized mattress. We thought it was a steal, and then we got it home…. DEMOLITION My husband pulled out the mattress and noticed some water spots in the upper front corner. He started pulling out the paneling and the water damage is was much more extensive. Hubby started demolishing everything. At one point, I was convinced he was just doing it because he was connecting to his inner destructive child.
I don’t know why, but hubby got to demo and all I got to do was clean up after him. Several times. Just like everyday. Anyway….next step was caulking leaks, and replacing the walls we tore out. We found sheets of paneling called “luan.” Did I mention my husband is a handyman? For real. That’s his job. It helps.
Yes, even pulled the sink, cupboards and table out.
Once we did this, we were ready to prime. And we primed everything! The raw wood really soaked it up. We used Bulls Eye Primer from Rustoleum. A lot of it. The nice thing about priming everything? No cutting in, no worries about getting paint on something you shouldn’t.
I already had all my colors picked out. That’s one of my biggest downfalls. I set my mind on something and that’s what I want. So I took lots of samples; fabric, floor, paint chips..you name it. But don’t get your heart set on things. Be willing to be open minded, willing to make concessions…I didn’t so much, let to a lot of arguments. Moving on.
The one thing that did stay steady throughout was the paint colors. I had 2 picked out, they were next to each other on my paint chip and were neutral enough that I could pick my complimentary colors later. I picked “Agreeable Grey” and “Anew Grey” from Sherwin Williams. Seems appropriate. We bought latex…
Here’s the thing…our latex paint stayed tacky…for like 2 weeks. So I went to the internet and it said we should use an oil based paint. Urgh. I had to realize this AFTER both colors were done. So I went back to the store and found oil based paints. The downfall I found with this is 1) you need paint thinner to wash your brushes 2) it stays wet for at least 24 hours 3) it only comes in glossy (at least that’s what the guy told me). So things are super shiny.
Soooo…I had to repaint…one color a day. That sucked. But it wasn’t tacky any more.
The next thing was cupboards. After looking at the space we needed to fill and how many we needed, not to mention color – we decided to build our own. Otherwise, they ran about $100 a shot and we’d need 4. I certainly wasn’t going to pay over $400 for cupboards. We used melamine with iron-on edging. Cut the cost almost in half. Getting them perfectly square was a challenge. And nicks along the edges can be more prominent on white. Shawn’s brother had some great tools to make the job easier, including a saw that ran on a track and a tool that cut the edges.
Needed help getting started, so enlisted Shawn’s older brother who does this stuff for a living.
Keeping them level.
Next came the counter top. Remember the concessions I told you about? This was one of them. In order to keep costs down, we had to choose from laminate counter tops that were kept in stock. But hey $60 for a 10 ft. piece? I think it was worth it.
Counter without sink in it:
Closeup of colors – had to add some gold/browns into my color scheme after this.
Once the counter was in it was time for some fun things like fabric and tiles. I just took the old cushions and found a “no sew” way to recover them on pinterest. We did see that the peel and stick tile was supposed to be great for use in campers, but I went with traditional tile because I couldn’t find a stick on one that was what I like AND affordable.
Using a coupon from Joann’s Fabrics that allows you to take 50% off an item, and even more if you give them your email, allowed me to purchase all this fabric for only $40.
Tile choice for the area behind the seats.
Backsplash tile. This was on sale also at Home Depot.
We combined it with peel and stick tile to cut costs as well. The peel and stick was less than $1 a piece.
Then we cut a hole for the sink. We cleaned and reinstalled the old one.
I was pretty proud of this. This is the same old crappy table that came with the camper. I primed it with gray and used black Rustolleum on top of that. I got 2 colors of metallic paint and dipped a plastic grocery bag in it and tapped it randomly on the table for the marble look. After that, we put something on it like a bar-top lacquer which made it really shiny. Also from pinterest.
One of the final steps was to add the flooring. It was the peel and stick kind as well. This was called “Iron Wood” and it was the one thing I did not compromise on. It really pulled everything together.
The curtains were the very last step and this will be the one thing that people will either love or hate. I wanted a pop of color and went very dramatic. I like it, but it will definitely not appeal to others. I was going to do a no sew curtain as well, but it didn’t go well. The fabric wouldn’t stick, or you could see the rough edge through it and the glue would soak through. So I dug out a sewing machine we had inherited, read the manual and attempted curtains. They certainly look homemade, but they’ll work for this.
The last thing we needed was a bed. After a lot of debate about whether to make one or buy one, we just opted for a futon. I couldn’t be happier and I’m sure it saved us from a lot of cussing. It was amazingly hard to find a queen size, so we went with a full size and I’m glad we did, it would have been too tight on the sides otherwise.