Category Archives: Camper Project

Camper Project: Super cheap flooring

Hey, there folks!! This is going to be a long one, you might want a cup of coffee and some snacks. Get me some while you’re up! One cream, no sugar, please!

I’ll start with what I used, so that you’ll know what I am talking about…or rambling about…or ranting about, depending on the thing.

My flooring materials:

Special note: Stain rags are combustible. Like, crazy combustible. A few years ago, my ex had a fire in his truck because one ignited on it’s own. Notice guys, I said…on. it’s. own. Just the rag with stain on it. Don’t play around with this. Read and follow the stain instructions closely and carefully. Follow the directions for disposal to the letter.

My flooring tools:

Brad nailer (remember, I am using really thin flooring material, I don’t need a standard sized flooring nailer, it would destroy the flooring)

circular saw:

orbital sander:

jig saw:


3/8” brads, paint brush, sand paper, pencils (several), hammer, construction adhesive ( Note: yes, I could have gone way cheaper on this, but, I wanted to find something that fit my needs. After extensive research regarding strength, longevity, adhesion, and a company that stands behind it’s product, I was happy to spend a little more to get what I wanted. Latex gloves (for working with stain), T-Square ruler, tape measure, 6 inch paint roller, clean terry rags, clamps, and paint tray round out my supply list.

Slightly less special note: I prepped the floor ahead of time. I could tell from the cuts I was making on the wood that some edges would be a little wonky, which would expose the awful floor underneath. So I decided to paint the floor to help it blend somewhat better. After repeating the paint selection method from a prior post, I settled on Color Place: Black Bread from Walmart. One coat was all I really needed since it appears to be a Kilz product according to the paint chip at the store.

On to the meat and potatoes of the post

I had decided the look for my floor was going to be some sort of mash up of reclaimed, repurposed, kind of wonky, not quite perfect, minimally controlled disaster. I wanted it to look like it’s been there all along and that it was very worn.

Again, after Pinterest-ing (I think I might need to get myself into a program. Not even kidding) I decided I would tackle a DIY floor using plywood. Search “plywood flooring” there or on Google and you’ll find a bunch of floors using this technique. Plywood is readily available, easy to handle, and pretty cheap, so, there ya go.

For reference, here’s before. The weak-stomached among us should turn away now. Cover the childrens’ eyes. You’ve been warned.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Ummm, yeah. (shudder) Not so awesome. But, we’re going to fix that. As soon as humanly possible.

Off to Home Depot I went where I picked up two sheets of plywood. I had them cut each one in half from 4×8 into 4×4 sheets. That makes them way easier for me to manhandle into the back of my mini van. Not the most or worst of what this vehicle has hauled around. I also grabbed a gallon of polyurethane and the stain I wanted. Next, I ran to the local Walmart and picked up a new package of sanding sheets for my orbital sander and a new plywood blade for the circular saw.

A random note about those two Hyper Tough brand tools (my orbital sander and my circular saw). I got them at Walmart. I have heard and read reviews suggesting that they aren’t of the highest quality or that they don’t hold up. I beg to differ. I have added them to my tool collection after my divorce, as mine went with the ex. I needed something manageable and at a price point I could squeeze into my budget. These fit into my hands because they aren’t super bulky. They help me to get the job done. I am not paying for the bigger name on the tool, but, it’s getting value for the cost of the tool…if that makes sense. Now, many of my tools are those bright red Hyper Tough tools. I am happy with the selection that I have. I will still enjoy my Rigid, Ryobi, and Stanley, but, these really are great. I won’t hesitate to add more to my tool closet. And no, this isn’t sponsored.

Back to the post

I got these sheets home and couldn’t get cutting fast enough. I marked out the plywood into six inch by four foot planks using my T-Square ruler. It’s gigantic. Love that thing. I went WITH the grain of the plywood.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I did one sheet at a time and lost my pencil each time I moved to the next. I have no idea how it happened. I suspect there is a rather academic squirrel who has snatched them to write his thesis up in his tree somewhere. But I have no proof. And I have no pencils anymore.

Using my clamps (also Hyper Tough, btw), I secured my plywood sheets down and used the circular saw to cut them into planks. I got the first sheet done and my arms were shaking. I was really going to do this! Really, really!! I had my stack of eight planks done and three uncut sheets to go. But, for now, I focused on these eight planks.

I pulled out the orbital sander and put 80 grit onto it. I sanded my edges and made sure to be as nonuniform as possible. I wanted wear on the edges, corners and long sides. I gouged at it with the sander and didn’t mind if I went too far. When choosing what side would be the top of the board, I looked for imperfections; knots, uneven color, and … well, character.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Last for this step, I stained the boards. I donned the latex gloves and used an old terry rag that I would be disposing of afterwards. There is a big difference with the stain and I love the color now.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Again, I can’t stress this enough. Pay attention to the warnings that are on the stain can. It’s important.

By now, my arms were shaking for another reason. I was exhausted. I did eight boards, Cut, sanded and stained. Great. But, c’mon Missy! Eight??! There’s twenty-four more to go. Thankfully, J was willing to cut the rest for me and those were done the following day. I took the eight I did to the camper to get a visual as to how I wanted them to lay out. Since the supports for the camper go lengthwise to the camper, I was definitely going to go across the floor. It would be more stable. At least that was what I’d learned when it came to flooring houses; go across the joists, not with them. I could be wrong, but, that’s what I was taught.

I was attempting to get my visual, when I remembered this. I needed to get this up and gone before I could do anything. There were two in the camper. This one was destined to go to the recycling center. I used my ratcheting screwdriver (again..Hyper Tough) to get them out. They came out way easier than I was preparing myself for. One will go, one will be returned to it’s spot.


That one had to go. The other one, for the dinette, will be spray painted copper before it gets put back. Now I could see at what the flooring was going to look like:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Now, of course I am going to stagger the boards. But, can we talk a minute about how awful this floor is? You might be able to zoom in and see that these have a wood print on the vinyl. The design is ultra old. And yet somehow very familiar. Probably something form childhood. Unfortunately, because of the wonky edges to my boards, that was going to show through in between. Um, that’s gonna be a firm “no” from me. I sat looking at this for a little while and decided I would paint the floor with something cheap.

Off to Walmart, again. I grabbed the cheapest paint possible, in a flat finish and painted the floor a dark brown color. I grabbed another package of foam rollers to put onto my paint roller as well.  Here’s that:


Not perfect at first glance, but, you won’t notice once the flooring is down (I tested that theory by laying out the flooring on top of it again). Not sure why the color is so washed out. But, there you have it.

On the next day, I sanded and stained  eight more boards. I repeated that for the next two days following and I had all my boards stained and ready to go.

Now was the time to get serious about laying out the floor. My long pieces were just whole pieces and then I cut long boards down to fill the gap between the whole board and wall. Easy peasy. Each cut I made I sanded and stained to match the rest of the board. Some cuts had to be thought out more. Like to fit around the built in seating and such. But, after hunting down more pencils (danged imaginary squirrel!), I marked the boards on the back and cut accordingly. I only messed up eleventy hundred boards. Good times.

When setting the boards, I used the construction adhesive; applied in a zig-zag pattern on the back of the board. I placed the board and squished it in place. I nailed the corners with the brad nailer and kept going. Some of the brads didn’t quite go in far enough, but they were easy enough to tap into place with the hammer. This took me three days to do because of all the miscuts and retries. But, finally, yesterday morning, I got it done. I am not sure what’s up with the color and the boards in this photo, it doesn’t seem an accurate representation . Maybe the flash messed with it a little.


After sweeping and carefully wiping the dust away the next and final step is the polyurethane step. It’s a three part step. The first of which was to use a brush to “cut in” the poly around the edges of the floor and into the hard to reach areas and then to use the roller to spread the polyurethane all over the floor. Let dry completely, according to package directions. The second part of this step is to sand (I used 220 grit) any imperfections and spread out more poly with the roller after wiping dust away. And again, let dry completely. Last part is to repeat step two (as many times as necessary).

And lo, here’s the finished product. Behold!! Are you beholding??

All it needs now is trim added. That’s pretty straight forward, so I am not going to photo and describe it. I used quarter round painted dark brown along all the edges to finish it off. You’ll probably notice that in a photo later on in another blog post. Keep an eye out for that. Kind of a dollar store version of “Where’s Waldo?”.

Now my camper has a better looking floor than my house does.

And I STILL need to take care of all the cushions

Until later,


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Camper Project: Painting

Hi everyone!

There comes a time in every single one of my projects where a little paint must spill. Or at least be slathered around as much as possible. The pure white walls of the camper were screaming at me to give them a little color. “Pure white” is a bit of a stretch. A lot of a stretch. The interior was painted with what I can only assume was white primer. Everywhere. E V E R Y W H E R E. But, it was also splotchy and it didn’t cover well.  I felt like I was inside a dirty marshmallow.

Here are two shots. Right now we will be focusing on the walls and to some teeny tiny degree, the seating area. I will go into more detail on the floor and stove later (umm..yes…my precious little blue stove…). And, I will also go into details of the “command center” that you’ll see in later photos…later, as well. (Those will be two more blog posts at later dates.  Oooh, hey, I am getting the hang of this blogging thing!!) So with out further ado, the before shots:

Meh. Not terrible, but, definitely not me.  So, I went on a hunt to find colors and painting supplies. I found what I was looking for at two places, score! And the prices were within the scope of what I wanted to spend. First, at good ol’ Walmart I picked up the supplies.

A paint roller set, brushes, disposable liners, replacement rollers, and a paint can opener. Easy, Peasy. I got in and out pretty quick. I found what I was looking for and spent more time in the check-out line than I did looking for my supplies. Which wasn’t really bad, either.

Here are links to some of what I got:

The kit I got had this in a six inch size, But, I can’t find the kit in stock:

Here’s a similar kit, with larger rollers.

I should have taken photos of what I got, but, I didn’t even think of it. Anyway, they also have a three piece brush set that I picked up as well.

From Lowes I was careful to find exactly the paint I wanted. I wanted a good brand, and found Valspar Signature. I wanted a paint that would hold up to some cleaning and I didn’t want crazy shiny, so, I chose satin. Now for the color. I didn’t want white. Dear God, no more white. My color scheme was going to be my favorite colors. Not all of them, but, some of them. Kind of a fall palette. Browns, oranges, grays, red and copper accents. I figured the gray would work as the background to showcase the other colors. And it came down to what kind of gray. Blue-gray? Green gray? Purple gray? Just shoot me now.

I spent way too much time looking at the color choices while wishing I could just be anywhere else. I didn’t want to be that color person. You know, the one who scrutinizes ever aspect of a color nose up in the air. “Archibald, this isn’t the same color as the mane of the award winning stallion in the last derby we attended (said in a nasally, annoying, condescending tone). Oh, we must tell Winston the third of this quaint little  blah, blah, blah”. I don’t know why, but, in my head it’s super uppity, and not what I wanted. So I closed my eyes and thought of the color that would be most soothing and when I opened them I saw “Madison White”. Urgh, “white”  but, against white it was very much a soft gray. and definitely not white. So, perfect! Moving on. I needed a deeper accent gray that I would use for some trimmy (not a word) bits and for doors and drawer fronts. I employed the same method of closing my eyes and trying to imagine the color already in the project and what that would look like. This time though, the color didn’t jump out at me. I had to dig through the paint chips and eventually found what I was looking for. Granite Dust. Okie dokie. Two quarts of the former, one of the latter, please. And I was out of there.

We removed doors, took them outside onto the patio and began to paint. We were very nearly finished. And then it happened. The skies opened up and and each form of precipitation dumped down. The roof of the patio was already Swiss cheesed from the last wind storm that dropped a branch from the neighbors tree on it. so we had to get them inside in a hurry.  Rain, sleet, hail, and snow all dumped down alternatively in the span of ten minutes. Colorado weather. We quickly moved them inside the house and thankfully there was very little smell to the wet paint.

The next day we tackled the walls of the camper. As mentioned before, the drawers, doors, trim over the windows and accents were done in the Granite Dust and the walls and large remaining areas were done in Madison White. We rolled and brushed it on without worrying about drips on the floor as I plan on re-doing the floor later. We were, though, extra careful around the ceiling. Though it’s white, it was well done and just enough white to show the color of the Madison without the marshmallow sarcophagus feeling.

A special note regarding the drawers, cabinets, and doors: I knew that the awful drawer pulls that were on there were going to be replaced. So with only the bathroom door as an exception, I removed that hardware and used filler to fill in the holes left behind when the hardware came off. I let that dry, sanded it and then painted. More on that in a later post.

I have to tell you, with the whole interior of the camper painted, it looked and felt a billion times cleaner, fresher.



It looks like the walls are Granite Dust like the cabinet doors, but, it’s just the shadows.

After getting that done, I took all of the vents off (all covered in white primer from previous owner) and tried to decide on what to do with those. There were three. One partway covered by a cabinet door (??) and two under the fridge. I took them all out and painted them using this copper colored paint. It worked exactly as I wanted, fitting into my color scheme plans perfectly.

We had some leftover paint from a project inside the house (a chalkboard wall in the office room). So I pulled that out and we painted the refrigerator door and the insets in the storage/bunk loft area. So we have a few fun areas to use, too.


Unfortunately, some of the color looks washed out. I don’t know if it’s my skill, phone, or the lighting. Promise you, when it’s all done, I will do a video walk through and you’ll see the actual colors better.

Until then,


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Camper Project: Penny Table

Hi there everyone!!

While perusing the Pinterest boards for inspiration I was struck by a floor done all in pennies. Search “penny floor” there and you’ll surely find it. I was looking for “copper tabletop ideas” and stumbled upon that gem. Once the idea clicked in my head…you know, to smash the two ideas together…floor and table top…I couldn’t shake the idea out. No amount of “That’s a literal waste of money” or “You’re defacing the coins!” would loosen my brains determined grip on the idea. So, I justified the idea these ways:

  1. Refinishing a table was going to cost money one way or another. At least this way I get to keep it (the money) in my possession and can go look at it any time I want to. Encased safely in its epoxy cocoon.
  2. You aren’t defacing the coins, as they aren’t going to be used as currency again. Ever. Really, they’re not coming back from this.
  3. This is an opportunity to do a project with my children that we can all have a part in.
  4. And lastly, a defiant, “You’re not the boss of me!!” just for good measure.

So, with intent and a plan, we pulled out the table and began to prep it. We started by cleaning and sanding it. We peeled off the edge bits. No idea what those are called, so, henceforth I shall refer to them as edge bits. Here’s what the table looked like to start, for reference purposes:

penny table before

I mean, it’s not that awful. It’s just rather…plain. Very plain.

We got started in a hurry. We cleaned it with every cleaner we could find, sanded it, and as mentioned, we removed the edge bits. Then, we went off to Home Depot and purchased … um…new edge bits. Honestly, I am stinking at this blogging thing, I have no idea what these are called. They were very thin pieces of wood, maybe an eighth of an inch thick, two inches wide and three feet long. I picked up three super cheap. I also grabbed some black Krylon Spray paint, some refills for my staple gun, two containers of bar top epoxy (this is it in case you wonder: ), and some silicone adhesive. On the way home I stopped at the bank and changed a $20.00 bill into the pennies I used.

And here’s where I lost some photos. you’ll have to imagine that they were very detailed in showing exactly how we got this thing going.  And that suddenly I was an amazing photographer.

We painted the whole top of the table black and let it dry. Meanwhile we set the new wood edge bits into the bathtub in warm water to make it more pliable. Once the paint was dry we took the bendy pieces of wood out of the bathtub and bent them around the edge of the table, leaving a higher lip up top to hold the coins and epoxy once we got to that step. We used silicone adhesive to hold the edge to the table and tacked as we went with the staple gun. Then I remembered that once the wood dried, it would shrink back some. Ugh. Instead of ripping it off and stating over when it dried, I filled in any gaps I saw with some silicone and moved on with my day. We spray painted the whole thing again. I let that sit overnight.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The next day we got busy spreading out our penny fortune. We tried to follow a pattern. Then we didn’t like how it laid out. So we followed another pattern. And we didn’t like that either. We settled on the “ok-we’re-over-it-already” pattern and liked that good enough to move on. We did, though, make sure that we had some interesting ones to kind of play “Where’s Waldo” with spread all throughout the field. One from each year of the last 30 years. There’s wheat pennies, Canadian pennies, different ones all over the place for the kids or guests to look at.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

We then poured the epoxy per the instructions on the packaging. We ended up using both containers and frankly, could use a third. But, because of the timeframe, we stopped at two. We can add another at a later date.

At this point, the thing had to dry. and did so in the kitchen of our house for two days. Have I  ever mentioned that I have cats? Cats who’d love nothing more than to be where we don’t desire them to be? Yeah, we do. So after spending a lot of time chasing them out of the kitchen, we took the table outside and let it finish drying in place in the camper.


Remember that we are pretending that i am a fabulous photographer


Hrrrmmm, now I HAVE to do something about those seats…

And, in case anyone wants to know…. $12.87. It took $12.87 in pennies to cover the top of the table.

Until later,


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Biggest project that I have had yet!


Hiya folks!

It has been a crazy year of divorce and court and not so fun… um, fun. But, it’s all turned around and I am in a great place now, mentally. I am happier than I have been in a billion years. And lots of happy things are happening.

One of those things is finding out that it is OK to enjoy doing things thatwant to do. Crazy, huh? I have always wanted to redo a camper. By that I mean, remodel one to fit my needs. One that I can do without fear of being shot down for every single idea…something that won’t become a storage locker for tools, car parts, unfinished projects and etc. Something that will be mine, that I can enjoy at my schedule, my desire. Kinda liberating.

So to start that, it was ok to fine one that was a little…erm, rough. Here’s what I found, it’s a video tour of the camper formerly known as “Jolene”.

That was in September. I adore this camper and all the potential that she has. The name has gotta go. So we’ll come up with something better later.

There are lots of plans for her.  Fresh paint, penny table from a Pinterest DIY, recovering the cushions, painting the stove (which, admittedly drew me to her, so blue!), repairing parts, new floor…the list goes on and on, my friend.

Obviously, I am a raging amateur at it and I am not going to do this at all “right” or professionally. In the end, I believe I will be happy with the results. And, if not, so what? It’s mine and I can take it of, off, repaint, and start again.

If you are interested in the progress, follow along as I reboot the PineconeCrafter blog and share this project as well!