We were overdue for a decorating post, yes? Ahhh but a little surprise awaits you!
Today boys and girls, we are going to decorate a firetruck!
Don’t you wish you could follow alongside someone during their workday just to see what they do? Well now you can! Whether you want to or not even.
Seriously, it’s my hope that by sharing my tools of the trade and what I do, there may be a few tips you can use within your own DIY world. I use many many MANY of my work techniques when decorating or creating.
One of my clients is a major firetruck manufacturer I’ve worked with for the past 16 years. Awesome bunch.
I start the workday by dumping my tools in a fav spot on the floor. LOVE this toolbox and have had it forever. (Rubbermade I believe?) The drawers underneath can be removed if I desire a lighter case, but it’s perfect as is for all my riff raff. It even came with a long handle resembling a luggage carrier. No idea what happened to it.
These pumps are the BOSS. They are pressurized sprayers so you don’t have to squeeze squeeze squeeze. You first pump then compress the handle. They aren’t cheap, at about $40 a pop wholesale, however when they’re you’re bread and butter, you get the best. I use them for my cleaners and application fluids.
First order of business is the resident coffee machine. Best coffee in town and this is the only place I drink the stuff all day. (bays tend to be abit coldish) Now, if you’ll look abit closer at the mugs, they are labelled so yours doesn’t go missing. I’m here so frequently that someone made one for me too. Care to look closer at mine?
Should I be offended?!?
At least it doesn’t read “Dan’s Pee Cup” like the other one does! (I confess, sometimes I grab that ‘other’ cup because desperation tells me coffee simply tastes better in a non clown mug)
Back to biz. My cute little iPhone tells me the time as my watch is forever missing. Look how LARGE the time reads! (they cater well to the half blind) That iPhone is my hero on a workday as it’s how I stay in touch with all of you during lunch breaks.
I’ve designed all the ‘well designed’ work orders to make sense with my line of work. Graphic designers are a tad anal that way. My work orders are PRETTY. Even if my writing is not.
This is a common outfit all the firetrucks are wearing these days. We call it chevron striping and even the red is a reflective stripe. You could even say I wallpaper firetrucks for a living. Not so off topic after all, eh? All the bells and whistles on the trucks are removed before I stripe and are replaced later when I’m done.
Ahhhh, but here comes the more funner part. All these open doors are roll type that need stripes, so I make the kits work on little itty bitty metal slats.
Am I boring you? Hang in there. I’ll show you the newest craze in work bay jewelry in a moment.
This is a fancy dancy S kit I’m going to install. It visually joins lower sitting stripes on the cab with higher sitting stripes on the body. See the masking tape around my wrist? My personal bling. I wear these everywhere in public because, quite frankly, I forget they’re still on. Vibrant green is my other brand.
All my straight edges (rulers) are metal with cork backings, which keeps the ruler from slipping and also protects delicate surfaces.A dot fader kit is applied in the ‘folds’ of the ribbon to create a shadow of sorts. .25″ black pinstripe is applied last to finish it off. The reason you see the stripes dangling on the left is because you have to layer them in the right order for proper wind protection. It’s sort of like braiding, you go from one to another.
Squeegies are used to burnish (press) the decal into place. They resemble a thick credit card and are made out of nylon so you can actually sharpen one against another. For unprotected stripes, I like to cover the squeegee with a soft cloth in a poly cotton blend so they slide around easier. 100% cotton grips abit too much. The cloth protects the stripe from scratches. I call these guys ghosts.
A total must in a world of vinyl are stainless steel blades. They are difficult to find but if you can locate them, they cut so much cleaner than the non stainless variety. The case I prefer is very slim so you feel like you’re holding a pencil as opposed to a chunk of wood, critical when you trim freehand.
You cricut owners will recognize this. These are computer cut vinyl decals I create on a bigger scale. The reflective letters are layered on top of black cut out shadows for a 2 tone effect. I have NO idea why I didn’t take a picture of that part.
Common sight in these parts. Many a day I’m dancing around all these blue legs and black boots. These guys are like my brothers. They are the coolest bunch ever. If I ever have a truck or tool question, these guys are right there looking out for me. My bay full of big brothers they are. Wanna see one of my ‘brother’s’ inventions?
This, my decorator friends, is a tissue dispenser. You remove the inner core and pull from the inside. I
laughed gasped when I discovered this and thought it was BRILLIANT. In a bay kinda way.
And there you have it. Get any tips out of that? I learned the most with the tissue one myself.
So, what do you do by day when not blogging?
If you have a link to one of your workday stories, throw the url in the comments so we can have a peek.