Preparing The Floor For Paint

Published by on November 15, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Zack went and picked up the bus last Friday from the shop. They didn’t have time to look at our last issue, intermittently working speedometer controls, but they did fix our ignition issue. Our bus now starts when you use the key. Hurrah!!

We didn’t work on the bus at all last weekend. Zack found another couple converting their own bus about 2 hours away. They needed to finish within a really tight deadline and with the opportunity to meet another couple doing the same thing, we drove to Searcy, AR to help them out. We helped them paint their bus, Stubbs. You should check out their blog TravelingTuttles. They are pretty awesome people.

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Stubbs getting prepped for a new coat of paint

During the week, Zack removed the wheelchair lift and ripped up the rest of the floors, except for under the driver’s seat. After not having the bus for a couple of weeks and spending the previous Saturday helping the Tutttles, we were ready to start really making some progress on our own bus. We are really ready to be done with the “destruction” phase and start building! With that said, our goal was to get the floors prepped and painted with Rustoleum.

We still had to get the rails out of the bus. Zack took an angle grinder to the bolts and then pounded them with a sledge hammer to get them off. We also removed the heater and lines. Our plan is to run the lines under the bus, so as not to have a visible hose running the length of our bus.

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Zack, getting his grind on

Next, the floor prepping began. We didn’t realize how long this would take and how many stages of this there would be. We removed the remaining nails and screws that were left from ripping out the floors. I began using the angle grinder with a wire brush to get the rust off. Thankfully the rust on the floors was not too bad. The worst was around the wheel wells. I did this for the better part of Saturday while Zack took out the driver’s seat and removed that last bit of flooring.

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Half the bus wire-brushed

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Annie, trying to remove alll the rust

On Sunday, in the light of day, we noticed spots that needed to be hit again with the grinder. That was a little bit of a let down, after having cleaned the bus the night before, we thought we were done with the grinding. Zack did that in the morning. And then we cleaned the bus, again.

After getting all the dust and debri gone, we treated the whole floor with Ospho. Originally, we were only going to do around the holes and the rust spots, but it seemed to clean the floor so we wiped it over the entire surface. Ospho chemically converts the rust, turning the metal black. We let that sit for awhile, then we went back and wiped the floor down with water. We let that dry and then began prepping the holes.

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I was taping the holes, while Zack filled them

Zack and a friend tried welding the holes in the floor, but it didn’t work out too well. Neither are welders and for the sake of time, it just wasn’t really an option. So instead, we put drywall tape over the holes and then filled them with some wet patch roof repair. This stuff is like tar. So we worked from the back of the bus, to the front, puttying over all the holes. And there were a lot. We finished this around noon on Sunday and were hoping that it would be dry and that evening we could slap the paint on the floor to reach our goal. But, nothing goes as planned. We also forgot about the floor on the steps. Zack pulled the rubber off those, but they still need to be prepped.

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Zack, pulling the rubber off the stairs

So we fell short of our goal by one step, but I think we got a good amount accomplished this weekend. Now we just need to prep the stairs and give everything a good coat of Rustoleum!

A born and raised Arkansan, Annie has always had the desire to get out and travel. To explore new places and experience new things. It wasn't until she was in college that she really discovered her love for the outdoors: biking, hiking, kayaking. Growing restless with her 8-5 job in a cubicle she and Zack were looking for ways to get more fulfillment out of their lives and to do what they really loved. So what better way than to buy a school bus and travel the country!

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