Longest. Winter. EVER.

While it only snowed about five times this past winter, the days just seemed to drag on. Due to our previous apartment/landlord problems which you can read about here, we had to move the bus way out into the country making it harder to work on. The Lowes in our town closed which means that when we inevitably forget something, we have to drive about 50 miles round trip if we want to continue making progress for the day. This is coupled by the fact that we recently lost a vehicle due to a transmission problem while still having to juggle school and work. Think this sounds difficult? It is. Don’t convert a bus.

So… as usual, there are all the excuses for why we haven’t been posting. As much as we love keeping everyone updated on what we are doing, it is just as important to us to document our lives and this crazy bus building journey together. However, if we aren’t doing anything except driving back and forth to Lowes, and waiting for our bodies to thaw out, there’s just no need to force a post.

With that said, progress has been made. We painted!

In between everything we have been doing, including installing a new floor, we painted the bus. Last year for Earth Day we went to the university to show the bus and talk to the students about sustainability. We were invited back this year and really wanted to do something quick and cheap that would make the bus stand out more than during last year’s event.

We started by hand sanding the entire bus to take the shine off and then washed it all down with Dawn. We decided to go with Rust-Oleum Tractor Paint from Tractor Supply. It was about $50 a gallon and we used three gallons of primer, and one gallon of each color. Add in the rollers, brushes, trays, etc. and we painted the entire bus for a total cost of about $300.

It took quite a while to primer everything but it was necessary to cover up all of that ugly school bus yellow. It wasn’t apparent to us until we started painting just how many details there were that needed to be taped and/or removed. Sherwin Williams was super helpful in mixing the colors we wanted but then they had a hard time following their own formulas and when we needed another quart mixed. It’s not super noticeable in direct sun, but you can tell something is a little off when in the shade.

Overall it turned out good and we are happy to be done with this huge task. While we were painting we also were working on making all 16 screens. Although some windows are covered over on the inside of the bus, we wanted to still screen the window to give it a finished look. You can read about how to make screens here.


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