Build Stage 10: Painting the walls and filling the joins

Once we had all the wall panels up, we couldn’t help thinking how messy it looked. We wanted to find the best way to fill in all the panel joins which could withstand being shaken in the bus while driving. At first we decided to keep our saw dust we had accumulated from our circular saw and mix this into a paste with PVA glue, this was very thick and quiet difficult to use, we had to leave a lot of paste hanging out over the screws and wall joins to sand over. It did sand very well, we would recommend this method for covering screw heads but not for the wall corner joins, as it is so strong it is difficult to remove from angled wall and ceiling joins.

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Next we tried wood filler, this was too soft when it was dry and a lot fell out when we sanded over it. We decided to try specific flexible wood filler instead; this seemed to work very well for filling in the panel joins and wall corners. We did have to apply several layers of this over a couple of days.

We then sanded all the joins with an electric sander. The flexible filler sands a lot easier than the sawdust/PVA combo. Next we had a really good clean of the bus to ensure all the dust was hoovered away and we lay down dust sheets to cover the windows and floor. Basically if you can get to this stage and keep your sanity intact then you are doing better than we did.

We decided to use Homebase’s Contemporary shade of Extra Durable Emulsion paint (£28 for large tin). We were happy with the colour, but the paint didn’t seem as durable as it claimed to be and we had to do about 4 coats. We will have to do a few final coats when the rest of the bus is finished to ensure a smooth finish with no scratches.

Essential Equipment for this stage: PVA glue, saw dust, flexible wood filler, spatula, electric sander and paper, dust sheets, paint, rollers, brushes

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