Dixie the Ducato

Sealing the Ceiling no more… let’s just call it Day 4!

Let’s stop calling this renovation that ceiling related name now that it has grown so much bigger ok? Ok. 😊

Day 4 was warm and bright. After late breakfast (and another sad goodbye to the uni-bound offspring ) we set out with shopping list in hand to pick up what hopefully was the last of our hardware shop expenditures, DIY can be extremely taxing on the wallet and although we have saved around €100 on fuel by barely moving a mile this week, we will have undoubtedly spent twice that once we have deemed this work finished.


Yellow we had decided yesterday was definitely the colour for Dixies kitchenette wall but who knew there are so many shades…. Luckily, without any public arguements we chose a glossy wood and metal paint called Sunflower. We picked up some tough felt pads from the discount bin too, they looked ideal to patch up the bracket holes, and some tiny brushes to fix up around the moulding and in the tight corners.

We have been talking about painting clouds up onto our Mr Bluesky roof. I have always been fascinated with the shapes clouds make and the colours too, the subtle layers of whites and greys and darker grey lines perpendicular to the horizon. Every cloud of course has a silver lining, and the shadows they cast on the ground and on each other would be great to look at on the wood above us as we lie in bed. These clouds over Dublin today looked beautiful against the blue sky, fluffy white but grey and dark in places too.


We have been searching for something to sit between the van seats as we drive, something that can house the often tangled mess of the various electronics and chargers and wires and invertors and plugs in our lives. Whatever it is would need a flat top too, to be used as a table as sometimes we have our coffee in there, depending on the direction of the view. After 7 months of trying different ‘solutions’ (and thereby crossing each useless one off the ‘solutions list’) including plastic drawers (not strong enough to withstand being leaned on constantly), an open-topped fold-up box designed for carboots (too messy, too small and it quickly became a bin), and nothing (that is possibly the worst storage solution ever but great for minimalists 🤣), today we came across this big sturdy toolbox on sale. Yes, I’m ‘that customer’ who sits down fully on items in the shop before she buys them and I can happily report the toolbox is very sturdy and can double up as a seat, for little me at least 🤣 It also fits perfectly into the space, it will have to move regularly as we don’t like to leave anything valuable in the front while we sleep. The box is bigger than necessary too, a bonus! Plenty of room in there for all the electricals, our notebooks, maps and other assorted driving paraphernalia.


In this photo you can see the extra golden hinges we attached to the bed when we cut the metal to make a couch configuration possible.  Now we can have two single beds, the big double or a couch along the door with two side seats. As soon as the painting is done we will shown you all three setups, although I have my doubts about whether our old mattresses will ever enter this new improved Dixie again 😉

Typically, the felt boards we bought were just a half an inch too short to give full coverage over the holes. Back to the drawing board on that idea, unfortunatly not back to the shop for a refund as discounted stock is what it is, a bit of a risk 😉 We will find another good use for the pads somewhere else in this van, or as William suggested, we may cut out the pieces ourselves to fit in to the holes to level everything up.


On the drive back from the hardware shop we spotted these clouds hanging out quietly over the retail park, these ones appear almost cartoonish, drawn by a child and organised according to size and shade. We can imagine having clouds like these drawn on our roof, we might stay in bed all day then 🤣


After dinner, just one coat of Sunflower on the kitchen, the dish drawer and back doors and Dixie already looks like a new van! This gloss takes a little longer to dry and may take 3 coats.


Again, the last photos of the evening make the blue AND the yellow appear darker than they really are. We love the kitchenette in yellow! Not bad for four days work huh?!


Ps- we decided to give you a sneak peak below of Day 5 to highlight the very bright door colour better. What do you think?!



2 thoughts on “Sealing the Ceiling no more… let’s just call it Day 4!”

  1. I just found out your mother is my Aunt, my mother has the same name as her. I think it’s real neat what your doing and would have loved to that when I was younger. I always found milk crates perfect for between seats as an extra seat and storage. you can even cut a piece of wood for the top to sit on and secure a coffee holder. they also work great as pull out drawers for under the bunks. i’m in Canada and those plastic milk crates are everywhere.


    1. Hi David! Elizabeth here. I think you mean my Dad Mark is your mums brother! Thanks for getting in touch with us, great to connect with You! Have we ever met or have you visited Ireland?


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