School Bus Conversion

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We’re painting the exterior of the WOW WAGON, a 25 ft International Bluebird School Bus. We’ve chosen Rust-Oleum’s Claret Wine! Two of the side panels will be painted with a black chalkboard paint and the roof will be white. The weekend of April 10th will be dedicated to prepping and priming. She’s going to be looking mighty fine and different once the paint job is completed.

We’ll start by removing all hardware (i.e. rearview mirrors, side panels, tail lights, etc). We’ll cover the wheels and anything else that we don’t want painted. Thankfully, we don’t need to worry about covering the windows as we intend on replacing every single one. This fairly simple task will be followed by the more daunting one of sanding the WOW WAGON.

Please don’t forget your protective gear. Goggles and masks are a must especially when working with dust and metal particles, paints, and aerosols. We’ll use 120 grit sandpaper in circular sheets as well as square. We’ll apply these to a Dewalt electric palm sander and Harbor Freights’ circular sander. Once we’ve done a decent job at getting rid of the gloss from the original yellow paint, it’s time to prime.

WOW WAGON's Profile in Yellow School Bus Paint

Time to Prime

We’ll be using multiple cans of Rust-Oleum’s spray primer in grey. After she’s good and primed, it’s time to paint the roof in Bus Kote. This is a white acrylic roof coating by Hy-Tech Thermal Solutions that is UV and weather resistant. It’s designed to insulate, seal, waterproof, soundproof and protect. We’ll do two coats. We’ve heard good things so we’re hoping it lives up to its expectations.

It’ll probably require more than one weekend to complete the painting of the WOW WAGON’s exterior in effort to allow the primer and roof coat to dry properly. While the primer is drying, we’ll prep the side panels with Rust-Oleum’s Charcoal chalkboard paint. Finally, it’s time to paint!

Painting the WOW WAGON Claret Wine

We decided painting the exterior of the WOW WAGON was the next best step due to the fact that we are planning on replacing every single window. Some are cracked and others just don’t have the type of insulation we need to live in it full time and quite possibly in extreme temperatures. More on windows later.

I did an Instagram poll giving everyone three choices of color (all in the red family) and the majority of the votes were for Rust-Oleum’s Claret Wine. It’s a spray paint plus primer and it just so happened to be my favorite too. It’s going to take multiple cans, as well, as we will definitely do two coats.

We’re graphic artists by day so it’s only expected that we’d draw up blueprints and layouts. Here’s a sneak peek of a rough prototype we’ve put together of what we imagine the WOW WAGON will look like from the outside once we’re finished with the conversion.

WOW WAGON exterior profile illustration

What many of you don’t know yet is that the WOW in WOW WAGON actually stands for…wait for it…Wine on Wheels. That, and I figured most peoples’ reaction to the idea of my partner and I living in a school bus full time would be just that – WOW. It was also my first reaction when I saw all of the work James and his father completed on the interior last week.

Everyone who knows me well knows that wine is one of my passions and we have greater plans for this tiny home on wheels – stay tuned!

1 Comment

  1. Bus Conversion Progress| The Road Linds Travels | Wow Wagon

    May 9, 2021 at 2:12 PM

    […] the subfloor and removing windows and then we were grinding down metal and sanding the interior. Priming and painting is still on the agenda but it just didn’t happen when we thought it […]

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