Vanagon Sunset

Vanagon Sunset

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Interior Panel Rejunevation

Ferdinand is 34 years old and his interior panels are original.  When I bought him, he'd been sitting in a field for 2 years and was missing some windows.  Needless to say, moisture had gotten in and warped some of the panels.  The paper coatings were bubbling and looking bad, but I didn't really care at the time because I knew that I was going to rip them all out at some point and replace them with an upgraded material.

However, once I got him home and started to strip him down to bare bones, I found that most of the panels were still in pretty good shape aside from the paper coatings (I call it wallpaper) coming off.  I left this project off the initial priority list because I didn't care about the aesthetics so much as getting him running and trustworthy.

Well, a few weeks back I was satisfied with the progress and decided to develop a plan for making the interior looking better.  I spent an hour or two peeling and cutting away old paper off the panels before deciding to pull out the heat gun.  Once I fired that up, things really started to take action.  Using a razor blade and a small putty knife, I was able to get all of the old coating off the interior to expose the raw panel in all its glory.

The material had an interesting texture and appearance that reminded me of bamboo or tweed, or a mixture of the two.  At any rate, I kinda like it and for now, I'm leaving it.   When I'm ready, I'm going to be pulling each panel and applying some sort of paint, but I need to decide on a texture, color... or potentially I may decide to try and apply some fabric using a high-heat spray adhesive.

I really like some of the aftermarket interior kits you can buy, but I get more satisfaction out of crafting something on my own, not to mention the cost savings.

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