Home Sweet Bus Part I

This is not the post where you get all the before and after pictures – I’m just letting you know that right now. That will come next. This is the background post where you get to know all the behind the scenes gory details about the work that has gone on around here over the past week or so. That way you can fully appreciate the final scene when it arrives. Which it will. Eventually.

You will also discover that there are aspects of this project that have come together in a beautiful way that we have actually had little or no control over whatsoever.  We had lots of plans for what we wanted to do and most of them wound up completely derailed – but with total harmony in the results. There have been things happening the whole way through that we couldn’t have orchestrated any better had we tried. Which, okay, we did try. And we failed. So, you can draw your own conclusions from that one or you can wait until we post our conclusions at a later date.

We’ve already covered how gross the bus was and how Noah sanitized everything (strictly following the CDC’s guidelines for cleaning up after rodents to avoid Hantavirus and then some – they only specify a 1/10 water to bleach ratio whereas Noah used 50/50).

Because we have to be out of our rental by the 15th of March (as per the 60 day notice we received in January because the owners are selling) we have a bit of a time crunch. Noah’s work was flexible enough to allow him to work remotely Thursday and Friday so he could put in some extra hours over here and boy, did we make them count.

Noah’s sister Hei Dee (the best baker I know and founder of Ding Dang Cake) came over a day after being in urgent care and pretty much stayed the whole weekend to help paint


and scrub and polish everything, including the grubby bathtub:



Sorry it’s blurry, but you get the idea

and the dash:


Her husband, Steve, was here all day Saturday helping Noah put the flooring in:


Then their oldest daughter, Reagan (that’s a link to her YouTube channel) came by with her boyfriend Addison (sorry, no pictures 🙁 )and added contact paper to shelves and helped wax the paneling:


Do you see that amazing difference?? We used Howard Feed-N-Wax (that there is an Amazon affiliate link – if you click it to check out the product that is responsible for the phenomenal difference you see in the photo above and decide that your OWN wooden furniture would benefit from a similar treatment and then purchase said product from Amazon through that link we get a [very] small percentage of that sale). It made the whole bus glow from within and smelled like sheer bliss.

All we had to do was rub it on with a clean cloth and the wood just soaked it up. I was thoroughly blown away. Thoroughly. PLUS it’s all natural, so if you have any small children who are prone putting their mouths on things (not that any of MINE every do. Ahem.) they won’t find their tongue shellacked.

You might recall from my Cry for Help that I was thinking about painting the trim and you all unanimously told me to keep it simple and stick to the white on the walls. Well, thank you for your wise, wise advice. You totally win that one.

Plan Fail #1

I mentioned in the video tour that we got 10 gallons of paint off of Craigslist for only $40 (just another one of those great deals I’m always talking about). I thought what we were picking up was just a plain, bright white, which is what I thought I wanted. Instead, though, it turned out instead to be a lovely, warm almond color that really complimented the wood that the original owners built everything with.

This turned out to be a very good thing, because (Plan Fail #2) although I had originally wanted to paint or stain all the wood paneling and trim, we discovered after testing that we would need to strip off every last bit of finish off of it before anything would stick. After sanding down a whopping TWO walls I quickly resigned myself to the paneling and thanked the Lord for the happy accident in paint color.

My arms are so buff now!

AND I thought that the wood color that was already there was going to totally clash with the laminate:


But, much to my surprise, it doesn’t!

So, if anybody is looking for design and decor ideas: just ask me for advice and then do exactly the opposite of whatever I say and you’ll be golden.

Anyway. There was all sorts of other stuff – we spray painted all the hardware for the cabinets and drawers. They were originally all mismatched in every way except level of tackiness.


I scrubbed out the mold from the fridge and the cooked-on gunk from the stove:


That magic was made with with merely SOS pads and elbow grease (no affiliate link available).

Noah put down vinyl tiles in the bathroom and added trim around all the walls while I sewed curtains for each window:

That’s twenty panels!

Throughout all that we also picked up a hot water heater for $175 and a futon to use as a couch for $25 (both off Craigslist, of course). Last night I ordered this futon cover here

and I’m hoping it goes well with my bright red curtains.

I’m probably leaving out some important detail somewhere; the last five days have kind of become a blur. I don’t think we’ve been in bed before 1 am in at least a week, Noah still has paint in his hair and for some reason I can’t seem to turn my head all the way to the left due to a mysterious neck pain.

At any rate, now you have an idea of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into all this thus far. And soon you will see how it has paid off.


Is there anything in particular that you all want to see pictures of in the next post? Let us know in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Home Sweet Bus Part I

  1. I’m so tired from reading what you’ve been doing that I’m going back to bed. My hat is off to you all! (and I was just kidding about the nap – you’ve inspired me to go do something!)

    1. The paint, floors and finishing stuff all took about 4 days, but that’s not including all the cleaning and disinfecting and we’re still doing some little stuff here and there…

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