Van Conversion: Painting Our Van

When converting a van into a camper and painting it, one never really knows how everything is going to turn out – at least, we didn’t. I suspect, though, it’s the same for most people as well.

Sure, you have an idea of what you want to do and each day more ideas form and take shape. Before you know it, you’re trying out new things, allowing your creativity to take the reins.

You’re having fun and totally loving the results.

Who cares what other people think?

It’s called freedom of expression.

Yeah, there may be a fuck up here and there, but it can always be changed or fixed. If not, you can make it work. 😉

White van conversion with fin-like high-roof, not completely covering the roof.

The van we bought was white, and the paint was in pristine condition . . .

. . . But, we’re artists and Kevin is an Aries, born in the year of the dragon, which means when he has a creative idea in his head, he’s going to do it.

One day he told me he wanted to paint some of the panels on our van different colors and give them a rat-rod patina so it would look like we got them in a junkyard off of different vehicles.

I trust Kevin’s work and told him to go for it.

The van could be his canvas. 😊

He started with the hood and it came out great, but when he painted the driver’s side door red, I told him it was too red.

I’m not a fan of red, but we made it work.

We added our Dare to Live YouTube channel logo on it and there’s room to paint around it.

Picture of the van on the driver's side. The door is red with the Dare to Live YouTube logo (a vintage backpack with a bedroll), the colorful mandala and smiling sun with shades on, on the body of the van.

After he was done with the panels, he moved onto painting a cool-ass mandala on the side, next to the driver’s door. Then he made a happy sun.

He did everything with spray paint, paint markers, and a black felt pen.

The artwork took on a life of its own.

We decided that when we meet other like-minded artists while we’re on the road, we’ll ask them to paint something on our van as well.

Each painting will then have a story that will be attached to the artist who drew and painted on our van.

How cool is that?

In the meantime, we’ll continue doing what we’re doing as creative ideas come to us.

A request

Cool cartoonish purple toadstools.

One evening I had asked Kevin to paint some mushrooms on the van and was absolutely thrilled the next day with what he created for me.

He did a fabulous job.

A huge painted OM symbol on the other side of the van with other colorful symbols around it.

On the other side of the van, he made a huge Om symbol with other designs.

The high roof

The high roof on top of the van is goofy looking—one of our ideas that didn’t come out the way I wanted it—but that’s okay.

We’re making it work. 😜

Picture of the yin yang tree of life with scattered purple paint in the background, on the face of the high-roof.

So far, we put a yin yang tree of life symbol on the face of the high roof. Kevin then painted around it. He has more ideas to add to this piece, which I’m looking forward to.

Picture of the side of the white high-roof with three book cover decals on it and a tagline with different color font, in between the first two books.

On the side are decals of my first three books (the Beyond the Eyes trilogy) and a tagline to go along with it. There’s room in between them to add more art, which we’ll do later on.

Picture of the back of the van. The sun was setting so the photo has a golden hue to it. There are stickers on the back of the high-roof and sayings written on the back of the van. Also there's a black peace sticker  on the door.

On the back of the high roof are stickers of sayings and where we’ve been so far. Once we’re full-time nomads, we’ll add to our collection of each place we visit.

On the other side of the high-roof is a decal of the book cover (Ameerah), which is a vintage picture of a 1920s flapper gal.

On the other side is a decal of my book Ameerah. I currently have two more book decals to get to add to that side.

The artwork and decorations on the van will continue to evolve throughout the years.

We’re having a blast and loving it. 😁

We could have left the van white or got it professionally painted a different color, but that’s not us when it comes to this van and any future one or bus we purchase after this ride gets worn out.

Picture of inside the van, taken from the back. Above the cab are vintage record covers of Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and The Cream. The ceiling is covered in a cloth mandala. The inside is built in pine. There is a small pocket shelf that runs against the wall, filled with Taoist and Buddhist books. Another small pocket shelf has a Harry Potter book tucked in it. Felix the Cat stuffed animal is sitting in a corner, on top of a shelf. There are colorful prayer flags on top,

Inside and out, our van has a campy, hippy vibe with pop culture thrown in the mix, which is totally us.

Haters are going to hate

There are people who hate the looks of our van and pegs us for what’s wrong with society.


No matter what you do, people are going to judge you, so live the life the way you want.

Do what makes you happy.

Despite what other people think, we’ll continue to paint our van and have fun.

And if you’re an artist and our paths cross, you’re welcome to paint on it as well. ☮️

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Love it!!!! ❤🕷❤

    1. Hey, thanks! 😘

  2. Wonderful!! It makes that wild hippie chic in me feel like putting both hands in the air and saying “I’m so happy someone is living their dreams! YES!”
    As I set at a corporate desk feeling my soul wither away from lack of expression.
    I love your van ❤️

    1. Hey,
      Thanks for the wonderful comment. 😊 This is our first van build and we’re having fun with it. LOL. Anybody can do this. 😉 It takes a lot of planning and patience but worth it.
      Have a great day! ☮️

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