So you’ve just bought a van and it’s not the beautiful blank canvas you imagined? Us too! This is a step-by-step guide to help you completely gut your van so it’s at the perfect starting point for a van conversion.

Prerequisite: Buying a van – discover what van we think the best van for converting right here.

 

Materials

Hammerite Direct to Rust Metal Paint – Smooth White

Hammerite Kurust

Assorted Sandpaper

Quantity

1

1

1

 

Price

£7.46

£7.53

£3.73

Link

Materials

Hammerite Direct to Rust Metal Paint – Smooth White

Hammerite Kurust

Assorted Sandpaper

Qty.

1


1

1

 

Price

£7.46

£7.53

£3.73

Link

Materials

Hammerite Direct to Rust Metal Paint – Smooth White

Hammerite Kurust

Assorted Sandpaper

Qty

1

 

1
 

1

 

Price

£7.46
 


£7.53
 

£3.73

Link

Link 
 



Link
 

Link

time

3+ hours

Price

£18.72

INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1 – RIP IT OUT

Time: 1+ hour
 

Rip everything out! This is the most obvious step and undoubtedly a very messy step indeed. Your two best friends will become a crowbar and a screwdriver. Unscrew every screw you find. Our van had a hell of a lot in the floor. If the screws are too difficult to remove don’t be afraid to use a bit of brut force! Honestly ripping things out with a crowbar is pretty fun! – Don’t hold back. A trip to the skip will be NECESSARY after you strip the van of its former life.

STEP 2 - DEEP CLEAN

Time: 30 minutes

Once you have removed everything from your van its time for the dreaded big clean! Don’t be afraid to get into all the nooks and crannies. Scrub Down every panel with warm soapy water until its glistening. You’ll (hopefully) never see these panels again once the van is completely renovated – it’s peace of mind to know that everything underneath is spick and span!

You need to give the van a good scrub so you can spot the difference between dirt and rust.

STEP 3 - REMOVE RUST

Time: 1+ hour

It’s so important to completely strip the van so you can deal with any hidden surprises. You don’t want to spend thousands on equipment and furnishings and put them in a rusty box. 

In most vans you’ll come across some sort of rust. It’s inevitable. Anywhere that water could sit is a potential rust spot. Look out for the areas that the ply was screwed to the body of the van or any joins in the bodywork.

Get rid of the rust! The tool of choice here is sand paper. We used sheets of P60 sandpaper to target larger areas and small sanding drill attachments for the tiny, awkward areas. Keep on sanding the rusty areas until the metal beneath shines through. If the rust is stubborn you can enlist the help of an angle grinder but this is not essential.

STEP 4 - PROTECT THE VAN

Time: 15 minutes

This step is definitely the most satisfying part! Use Hammerite Kurust on all of the metal areas you have removed the rust from. It comes in a tiny little bottle and paints on exactly like nail varnish. The Kurust goes on fairly clear and dries black and is very obvious. This stuff should prevent rust from returning to these areas.

Once all of the Kurust has turned black its time to paint over it. Use Hammerite metal paint to do this. As well as covering the black, the paint will also help prevent rust coming back (belt AND braces!). We used the smooth white one to match our van. This is hands down the best part – the Hammerite glides on like a perfect full coverage foundation, a little goes a long way. Cover all of the exposed areas and wait for it to dry. This is the perfect time to take a step back and admire your perfect shell of a van!

This may not be the most exciting part of converting a van but its so important! Got to sort the foundation before building the dream.

You are now officially ready to begin your van build! Its an uphill battle from here but it will all be worth it when its finished!

 

Feel free to ask us any questions about the van, whether it is about materials, price, time, or whatever else. You can always find us in the comments

 

NEXT STEPVAN FLOORFITTING WINDOWSSOUNDPROOFING

 

 

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A step by step guide to stripping out a van in preparation for converting it. This post discusses what precautions must be taken prior to diving in to converting a van. Consider you empty van a foundation - you cant build the dream (tiny home) on a poor foundation! There is also a cost and time breakdown so you won't be in for any nasty surprises should you choose to use our method. Whether you are planning on becoming a full time "vanlifer" or just using it occasionally, this easy guide will help you get the ball rolling.
A step by step guide to stripping out a van in preparation for converting it. This post discusses what precautions must be taken prior to diving in to converting a van. Consider you empty van a foundation - you cant build the dream (tiny home) on a poor foundation! There is also a cost and time breakdown so you won't be in for any nasty surprises should you choose to use our method. Whether you are planning on becoming a full time "vanlifer" or just using it occasionally, this easy guide will help you get the ball rolling.
A step by step guide to stripping out a van in preparation for converting it. This post discusses what precautions must be taken prior to diving in to converting a van. Consider you empty van a foundation - you cant build the dream (tiny home) on a poor foundation! There is also a cost and time breakdown so you won't be in for any nasty surprises should you choose to use our method. Whether you are planning on becoming a full time "vanlifer" or just using it occasionally, this easy guide will help you get the ball rolling.

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