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Project 63's Monthly Update | October 2021

As I write this, I'm sitting inside trying to warm up from a week of working in the cold. How fitting that I review October while experiencing the full effect that the month can have on us.

This last two weeks or so has been one downpour after another (if the rain ever stops at all). The power has gone out numerous times. Our noses are raw and toes are numb. However, we did get a wonderful break from the rain today and yesterday. So I guess the rain does stop every once in awhile.

Despite the challenging working conditions, we've managed to get a lot done!

If you've been following along with us on Instagram or Facebook, you may already know some of the projects we've tackled this month. If you aren't following us yet, head to the bottom of the page to see out social media platforms so you can see more of the behind the scenes! Either way, I'm excited to share our monthly recap with you this beautiful October morning.


Finishing the Couch and Dinette Cushions

The bulk of the work for the couch cushions had been done a few months ago. Recently though, I ended up stuffing some more memory foam in each one to make them more comfortable and it made them look a lot better as well.

To learn about how I made my own couch cushions and gets some tips, read this post.

With the front room nearing completion, it was time to make the cushions for the dinette booth seats. That was quite the task as well!

The bottom cushions were basically smaller versions of the couch cushions so they weren't too bad. However, Matthew had a totally different vision for the backing of the dinette seats and I had to figure out how to bring it to life. I think I actually did alright!

It is so fun having all the cushions in the bus! We are trying to be careful about not getting them too dirty though, so we will end up removing them when we start doing heavier work in that room again. Until then, we get to see a glimpse of the finished skoolie.

(I didn't include any pictures for this since we want to do a grand reveal of the room when it's 100% done! Sorry...)

Finishing the "Garage"

Matthew had been waiting for this moment for a long time! He's been dreaming about his tiny garage space and about what sorts of things he can fit in it.

This project was really killing two birds with one stone. In building the floor of the bedroom cabinet on the back wall, we built the ceiling for the "garage".

Matthew has a really gorgeous piano door that is easily 100 years old. He's always had this idea about making it a headboard so he's been waiting for the right opportunity to use it. Turns out it is a little narrower than our queen-size bed so we won't be using it for a headboard. Instead, we are using it as a fully functioning door in the bedroom for some cabinetry. It is definitely the center piece of the room!

So anyways, this piano door is the door to the large cabinetry on the back bedroom wall. That's what we built it all around and so that's what determined the size of the garage. (This is another thing that I'm going to hold off on sharing photos with you...I promise it will look much better soon when I do show you!)

the "garage" space in the back of the school bus skoolie is finished with plywood walls and ceiling
Ta-da! A 16 square foot garage!

The garage itself is accessible via the escape window on the back of the bus. It takes a step ladder to reach, but we're not planning on needing to access it very often.

Installed the AC Unit In the Bedroom. Sort Of.

We bought the AC unit quite awhile ago it seems like. However, we've spent most of our time working on the front of the bus so we just hadn't gotten around to installing it until this month.

With the back bedroom wall cabinetry framed and the garage finished, we were able to finally install it.

Before we did that though, we repainted it to make it more appealing. A big white box in the middle of our gorgeous mahogany cabinetry isn't exactly the aesthetic we're going for.

Since only the front of the AC unit is going to be visible, that's the only part we painted. After removing the front panel, we sanded it all down to give the paint something to stick to. We decided to paint it using spray paint. It was easy and worked really well.

We found a really cool color option of spray paint that we think will look neat in the room. It's a hammered bronze color so it has some texture to it as well. It looks way better than the white and definitely doesn't stand out as much.

The AC unit is sitting in the place it will stay, but nothing is hooked up yet and the cabinetry around it still needs to be finished. Not that we need AC this time of the year in Washington!

Painting The Skoolie Interior

This was a HUGE job! We were super blessed with the help of my grandma on this project.

Even though it is a relatively small room, there are so many corners and weird angles which made it take much longer than expected.

We started to go crazy after the entire room was covered in white primer. It really did begin to resemble an insane asylum after awhile.

We then painted all the white surfaces. This included the window mantles, ceiling, baseboards, upper kitchen cabinets, dinette seats, and the fireplace stand. Painting the bead-board ceiling was rather difficult. Getting the paint in each-and-every bead was a pain but we finally worked out a good system. More on this in a future post.

Our original plan for the room was to paint the walls white and have the trim gray, but we switched it around at the last minute and we're so glad we did.

With that being said, we then painted our walls gray.

Lastly, we painted the bottom kitchen cabinets, the couch, and the cabinetry around the fridge green. We love this shade of green! It's dark and earthy, which adds such a nice feel to the room and captures that outdoorsy feel we are going for.

When we decided to paint the fridge cabinetry green, we didn't realize we'd be getting an amazing accent wall out of it. Iit just worked out that way.

After getting all the paint on, we ended up going around the room again to do some touch ups. Inevitably, we got gray paint on the trim or green paint on the wall...

It all looks good now so that's what matters!

Installing the Live Edge Desk

The minute the paint was dry we started adding those exciting details to the room that I've been waiting to add for so long now! First to go in was our live edge desk.

A few days prior to this we found a killer deal on some bar stools at Habitat For Humanity. We got each one for ten dollars! We each sat in one and held the live edge up to get the perfect height.

Bar stools at live edge desk counter top in living room of skoolie conversion
The bar stools are super comfy and look great!

Matthew found this really cool hardware for it. They are super strong and hold the live edge perfectly. The cool thing is that you can push a button and make the desk fold down! This will be nice for when we need extra floor space for things like exercising or busting some awesome dance moves.

Live edge epoxy pour desk table folded down in living room in skoolie conversion
Here it is ready for our dance party!

We are so happy with how our live edge turned out. It took a lot of work but is absolutely gorgeous and provides us with extra counter space.

The color pops against the gray wall and that shiny surface just makes you want to rub it all day!

Celebrated My Birthday!

That's right! I am another year older. It's okay though because I got a weekend of partying out of it.

It was nice to take a break for the weekend and just enjoy family, friends, and the beautiful outdoors.

On Sunday, Matthew and I randomly decided to hit the road and drive into Olympic National Park for a hike. Like I mentioned before, it's been raining cats and dogs for quite some time. Considering we were in a rain forest in fall, there was no shortage of rain. In fact, there was wind and surf warnings!

After our hike and some amazing photo opportunities, we made another last minute decision to car camp for the night. We found a free campground near the Hoh Rainforest which we had to ourselves.

On the way in, we drove through a puddle in the road and didn't think much of it. However, after 8 hours straight of heavy rain, the puddle turned into a river. We had no idea that was happening since it was pitch black outside and we were trying to sleep...

Since there was only one way out of the campsite, we had to drive through it.

Large puddle in the olympic mountain rainforest. Olympic national park in Washington state
Here is the puddle-turned-river we had to drive through

We figured it was about 2 feet deep and 5 car lengths long. After careful calculation, we figured out the best way to tackle the river and made a go for it. We did make it safely and were able to continue our adventures home.

We got to see the surf warning firsthand at Ruby Beach. The Washington coast is a crazy place this time of the year but makes for some great views!

Tiling the Fireplace

Awhile ago, we bought white tiles to use for the kitchen backsplash and the fireplace. After looking at it long enough and changing the color of our walls, we decided to use this tile in the shower instead. So back to Lowe's we went to buy more tile.

We came back with a really nice tile and a whole lot less money... We definitely splurged a bit.

I'm really glad we changed our tile choice. It gives a nice brick fireplace vibe and the light gray looks great with our color palette.

The tiling project is probably 80% complete.

Before we could even put the tile up, we had to add an air gap in our wall. This air gap is another layer of protection from the heat of the wood burning stove. It requires us to cut a hole in our wall and sandwich some layers or sheet metal and cement board inside. It all came together well and I was able to tile over it just fine.

Sheet metal air gap for insulation protection in fireplace for wood burning stove in skoolie conversion before putting in tile and grout
We reused sheet metal from when we did our roof raise so it had some light surface rust.

The tile is physically on the wall with tile adhesive, but the gaps are not filled. We are hoping that this will have a little bit more flex to it than a typical grout would. We didn't like the look of the gaps being filled with white so we are going to find a gray alternative. That will be a project for another day though.

Putting in tile with tile adhesive grout for fireplace in skoolie conversion
It was so exciting to see it coming together!

Looking Forward

While we are looking forward to all the projects we get to work on next, we are not looking forward to the increasingly colder weather.

With the front room mostly done, we can move on to work in the bathroom. Which means finally tackling the shower. This is both exciting and nerve wracking.

We are really excited to see what we finish up next and to share it with you!

As always, Matthew and I are really happy to see all of you following along with us and supporting us in all the different ways you do.

We're hoping to get our YouTube channel started shortly, so you can be looking forward to that!

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Meet the Author


Hey! I'm Kaitlynn, a lover of the outdoors and all things travel. I quit my job to travel full-time with my husband, Matthew, in our skoolie. 

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Matt & Kate

Project 63 

Bringing you travel information and inspiration as we travel to all 63 National Parks.

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