Monday, June 1, 2009

Renovating Stage 1

Middle of the summer and it is surprisingly cool in St. Louis. I have a theory that St. Louis is going to have a population boom next year if people catch wind of the amazing weather we've been having. Maybe it's been like that everywhere? So while the weather has been nice, the economy has been falling apart. I guess you can't have everything. In light of the current economic fears, I have been busy researching my options and sticking to the most budget conscious repairs. My posts have been few and far between, but my trailer has been coming along slowly and steadily though mainly cosmetic. Below are some before pictures with a whole slew of after pictures coming soon.

Take for instance, a kitchenette with a rusted out stove top... I have removed the range and put everything into labelled gallon zip lock bags and boxes. The stove top is a three burner range. The pieces had rusted and I soaked them in a rust remover over night and they only cleaned up ok. I'm going to keep them the steel metallic for now and see how they look. I'm hoping they'll add a little character to the newly painted stove, but if not there are some high heat tolerant spray paints available for weber grills that I'll use. I'm still deciding on an auto repair shop to sandblast and paint the stove and fridge a pretty 50's teal. A while back, I inherited a motorcycle from an exboyfriend and fixed it up to sell it. I took the body into a shop and in an hour it went from being a rust and blue to a really cool shiny black bike with lots of chrome for less than a $100. So I'm expecting all the chrome in this trailer to pop once I get this stove painted and the formica counters replaced. I'm concerned about replicating the same turqouise they used in the 50's. i want to get the color just right! Same goes for the front door to the fridge, which is basically an old stinky cooler. It's going to be neat to see these old appliances restored.

I've bought marine grade vinyl from a fabric shop for 6.99 a yard in a very dark teal and also some white for a V in the back of the seats. I'm using the old vinyl as a template to cut the pattern. I'll hire a neighborhood reupholstery shop to sew then together for me. For my small dinette, I've calculated about four yards of Teal and 1 yard of white. I'm going to use the old wooden frames and springs, with new foam.

First I tore apart the old vinyl and removed all the oldfoam and cotton batting from the springs. Then I replaced the old foam with new foam from a futon mattress I sacrificed. I covered the padding of the dinette seat with a cheap black fabric. This will act as the frame over which I'll put the finished vinyl fabric when it comes back from the upholsterer.

The first dinette frame went together pretty easy, with new foam and some plain black material and a staple gun. I'll take pictures when I redo its twin for a step by step how to.

I don't have a garage tall enough for the trailer, but I have a large driveway, so I invested in a cheap canvas carport so I could store my trailer under it in the intermittent rains this summer. Now I've been able to take out the aluminum windows which were so easy to take out, but alot harder to scrub clean. Anonized aluminum is the worst. I tried to buffed out the pock marks with very little success. So I'm going to take to an auto detailing and repair shop to shine and clean out the tracks. I'm going to have them professionally done and that's that. I'm also ordering replacement glass from local glass company on Gravois, because the old glass though thick and a pretty green, is scratched up pretty badly.

As for the formica counters, I'm not going to spend much. There are some expensive options out there, for near perfect looking replicas, but they sell for $400 for a 4X8 sheet. I'm looking to spend less than a hundred. But look at these very original looking boomerang laminates from Very tempting.