With the exterior finally done, I immediately got to work on the interior build out. I knew that the help from my husband had all but run out, so I would (mostly) be on my own for this part of the truck renovation.. But I wasn’t really worried, painting and interior work is my thang. I thought to myself, I got this! So I drafted an aggressive schedule for the finish work:

Monday – primer
Tuesday – paint
Wednesday – pallet wall
Thursday/Friday – bookcase (I knew this was going to be a project and a half and I honestly had NO idea how I was going to bring it to life!)
(Saturday – outing with my family)
Sunday – flooring
Then the fun part – decorating!

interior_beforepaintMonday morning, I was so fortunate that the weather forecast had taken a drastic plunge towards cooler temperatures! (Oh how bad I feel that all of Jackson’s work was in the scorching heat!) I primered every inch of the interior surface except the floor. I forgot or apparently wasn’t aware how difficult and neck-breaking it is to paint directly over one’s head. Luckily I could easily reach the ceilings without a step stool, but my neck and shoulders paid the price dearly the next few days.

Painting on Tuesday went much faster than the primer had the day before, so I decided to start installing the pallet wall a day early. Me running ahead of schedule, how could this be?! I had already done the majority of the work a month before, so all of the cutting, staining and layout was already completed. (See tutorial here.) All I had to do was glue those babies to the wall with liquid nails (one of my new favorite building materials)!

palletwall_progress_TYPOGRFX

It was actually pretty easy!

This right here? It's called Tosha-riggin'.

This right here? It’s called Tosha-riggin’.

With both pallet walls completed a day early, I decided to start trying to figure out how to convert a metal cabinet that once housed police tactical gear and that was dented, scratched and banged up inside into a book case with crown molding and an extra shelf (keep in mind I knew Jackson wouldn’t want to weld a metal shelf in place – he was done. Period). I have a ton of scrap trim thanks to a neighbor who let remodelers toss all of their waste into a burn pile on the corner of our property, so I dug through my stash to figure out what pieces I had the right lengths of. I figured I had enough trim, but didn’t have enough scrap anything to cover the back of the cabinet. I toyed with the idea of beadboard, covering it with the same pine paneling I made the pallet wall out of… heck, I even considered cardboard, because Lord knows I have a TON of that!

Wednesday morning I headed off to Lowes with measurements in hand to see what I could come up with for the least amount of money. An hour or so of walking around gathering ideas and I was finally ready to purchase two sheets of 1/4″ paintable smooth paneling, only to be told that their cutting machine was ‘out of order’ (for the second time in 2 months!) and I wouldn’t be able to fit the whole sheets in my SUV. Frustrated, I drove across the highway to Home Depot and searched out the same kind of panels. Finding someone to cut them proved to be difficult since their lumber guy “didn’t show up for work” that day, but they finally found me someone who could cut them down into the sections I needed. Why are these things so hard!?

During this excursion, I also had to figure out what kind of sub-floor to use under the sheet vinyl. I didn’t want the extra cost or weight of plywood, so I came up with what I thought was a pretty genius idea: anti-fatigue mat. In my mind, I thought it would be perfect to level out the ridges, while providing a nice cushy floor to stand on during long show days. I consulted with the flooring “expert” at Lowes and she said, “You can’t do that!” while looking at me like I had three heads. I said, “Why not?” And she quipped, “The vinyl won’t stick to that, you HAVE to glue it down!” I tried explaining that it was going in a truck and that I was going to secure the edges with metal trim and screw that directly into the floor, and that the space was only 5′ wide, but the more I explained the more she seemed irritated. So I walked off and loaded up enough anti-fatigue mat and floor trim to get the job done. What does she know about flooring in a mobile boutique anyways?

Back in the shed, I began the audacious task of adding paneling and trim to the cabinet. It’s pretty complicated what I actually did, and I am very confident that no one else will EVER have a project quite like this, so I didn’t take but one picture of the process. Basically, I cut paneling to fit along the back and sides of the cabinet. Then I cut 1×2 boards to the exact length needed to wedge them in tightly with a rubber mallet. (See below the bottom of the top shelf) I used liquid nails behind the boards and nothing else but sheer tightness to hold them in place, which in turn held the panels in place. I also repeated the same wedge-the-boards in there process to create the middle shelf where there previously was not one and I topped with paneling (therefore this shelf will hold less weight than the top or bottom). Using liquid nails again, I glued baseboard trim to the fronts of the shelves. Not knowing what to do with the corners, I made a trip to the local lumber place and grabbed quarter round to hide the small gaps between the paneling. Unfortunately, they didn’t have enough to do all of the seems and I had vowed NOT to make another trip to the city, so I decided I would caulk the rest of the seams. By the way, I have never caulked anything in my life, but at this point, I was willing to try anything to get. it. done.

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Two more days of frustrating trial and error and I finally achieved what I was going for! So I primed and painted it! Because of the quarter round and caulk seams and since I thought it would be too dark, I decided to paint the entire thing white instead of having the green panel in the back. Another note: caulk is my second new favorite building material!

Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!

I laid out the puzzle format of the anti-fatigue mat and layered the sheet vinyl over top of it. It felt like heaven to walk on! Just like I had planned, I screwed the trim down along the edges and it was done! I did learn from a friend who had done something similar in their house that high heels will poke through the flooring since the ‘sub-floor’ has so much give. As someone who doesn’t wear high heels, I decided that I was okay with it. And I made a small note on my “WATCH YOUR STEP” sign about no high heels. Problem solved.

flooring_typogrfx

It was exactly one week from the day I began the interior buildout until it was done and decorating could begin! Before I started piling in my stuff, I took a quick video of the interior. And that’s the last view of the truck until it’s BIG REVEAL! :)