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John and Mandi

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Working on the Floor

Jun 29, 2014
by John

Last week we decided to take out the BedRug that was in the van. We knew there was a little rust near the back doors but after we pulled the rug there were obvious surface rust spots under the paint in the center of the cargo area. We are eventually going to put down Fatmat for sound deadening but today we started on the floor by taking a wire brush to it. The plan was to knock off the flaked paint to get to the rust so we can add a couple coats of POR-15. We used it to seal the cuts we made for our awning windows and we are definitely impressed with the stuff.

The floor after we pulled out the BedRug

The floor after we pulled out the BedRug

We started with a wire brush attachment on our drill and took turns going over the floor. It's not an exciting job but rather one that requires fairly descent control over the drill. We don't have a second handle so controlling it is a real challenge. Reversing directions does help to get into the grooves without the drill trying to fly away. It took several passes to get all of it knocked down the way we wanted. We did take breaks to vacuum up the loosened debris with a shop vac. There was also a lot of dirt that had been living there for who knows how long so sucking it up was necessary to prevent the sand blasting effect it caused.

Before we could coat it we needed to clean the surface of anything else that was left. Instead of any industrial cleaners we just used warm water, a little dish soap, wash cloths, dry towels and good ole fashioned elbow grease. Fortunately the van is only so big so this didn't take an inordinate amount of time since it's not our favorite thing to do. It was quite tedious to get all of the remaining surface dirt, it was more like clay, removed but once we made it about 75% to the back Mandi switched up to start applying the POR-15. I finished the scrubbing since she is a more patient painter and I can get really anal retentive about dirt, go figure.

We got a late start today so we were only able to get one coat so it'll probably have to wait until the end of the week before we add the second. We like the way the black looks so we may do parts of the walls. There are some scratched up areas we need to get anyway so we'll decide when we get there. At the least we'll be ordering more of this stuff since we only bought a quart, didn't know we were going to do the entire floor. Mandi said you can see it absorb into the surface rust so we may be doing three coats. We also haven't pulled the front seats yet so the front will be an entirely separate project.

Wire brushed about 75%, the diference is quite noticeable

Wire brushed about 75%, the diference is quite noticeable

The great paintress hard at work!

The great paintress hard at work!

First coat down, gotta love the dirt line down the side of the wall

First coat down, gotta love the dirt line down the side of the wall

Mandi also managed to get the final coats of paint and clear coat on our Shelf-It overhead storage shelf. We're not absolutely sure we're going to keep it but after the hours we spent grinding off all of the felt covering we will at least be installing it to see. At the least, it was a good test of using the wire brush (brushes really, three to be exact) and for seeing how good we are with rattle cans. Our idea of how we want the van to look has really taken on a life of it's own and we are really getting into doing it all ourselves. We're gonna try and keep the overall design a secret until we are done but glimpses will obviously appear in the photos.


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