Van Ceiling Panel – Part I

Much of the ceiling has been covered by 1in – 1-1/2in insulation and it’s time to cover it up.

I plan to use a 4′ x 8′ (~120cm x ~240cm) sheet of 3/16″ (~5mm) thick plywood covered with an automotive tweed fabric, which I also use on some of the walls and around the windows of the van. On some parts, the sheet is trimmed to fit between the cabinets; other parts are the full 48″ (~120cm) wide. That means, I have to use some narrow filler boards to span the entire ceiling. These boards will also support the edges of the panel.

Now that I have fitted the panel, the locations of the ceiling lights are transferred to the plywood. In the workshop, the holes in which these lights are placed, are pre-drilled and sanded, in preparation for the final installation.

The top side of the plywood, which faces the insulation, receives a coat of Poly-Urethane, to protect it from moisture and to create a firm surface for 3M tape to stick to later on.

In addition to the support boards along the walls, the center of the ceiling panel will be held up with 3M Dual Look, a heavy duty type of Velcro. It consists of only one type of ‘hook’, which you’ll use on each surface. I use the medium-duty #250. The flat metal surfaces of the ceiling members are cleaned very thoroughly with Isopropyl Alcohol, before the 3M tape is applied. The J-roller will improve the tape adhesion to the surface, which will e fully cured in 72 hours.

Now the panel is ready for a finish; I use an automotive tweed fabric, that closely resembles the fabric of the front seats of the van. The 3M 77 spray glue is specifically suitable for the use of fabrics and works great on the plywood and tweed.

3M Dual Lock Fastener
Gray Automotive Tweed
12V Puck Lights
3M 77 Fabric Spray Glue
Hole Saw
Jig Saw
Isopropyl Alcohol

*Some of the links above and in the video, are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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