Vintage van renovation 2.0; Meet Vonnie

November 12th, 2017 | By Carlene ...


Michael and I have been long time campers, way back from when we were kids but the pace of our lives has been gaining speed in recent years, making it more and more difficult to find the time to prepare for camping trips. You know what I mean, all the packing, all the unpacking! A caravan was the answer. We can keep it stocked, locked and loaded and ready to roll on out of town for short or long getaways.


Last year, we renovated our first vintage caravan, Millie, a 60 year old Millard Florida in need of some serious TLC. Millie set our hearts a racing. She was super cute, practical and her transformation was hugely satisfying, inspiring us to give it another crack, which brings me to the meaning of this post………Meet Vonnie, our beautiful, renovated, vintage Viscount.






Unlike Millie, where we nearly all but gutted the interior (leaving only dining area and wardrobe), with Vonnie we reworked what was there, leaving 85% of the cabinetry and simply painting inside and out using the White Knight speciality paint range.







For the exterior, we used White Knight Rust Guard, which, as its name implies, is ideal for painting metal surfaces and protecting them from rust.







Inside, there was a whole lot of laminate, not only on the cabinetry but on ALL walls, benches and on the table top. We chose to paint all the laminate cabinetry and walls with White Knight Laminate Paint and although we could have painted the bench and table top too, visually we wanted to break up the painted surfaces with some pattern, thereby replacing the benches with a marble-look laminate and a marble mosaic tile on our table top. To add some texture and break up the flat surfaces we installed  VJ panelling on the ceiling which we had custom made from MDF and on the floor we laid vinyl plank flooring from Decorug for its light weight and durability, an ideal flooring for caravans.







Millie’s colour palette was Nautical-inspired blues and whites and paid homage to the Australian coastline in an overt way. And like Millie, I wanted Vonnie’s colour palette to be tonal but more of an interpretation of where the coast meets the Aussie bush/rainforest.








The muted green of the exterior and interior cladding, to me, says vintage coastal (cemented when I found this pic of an old EH Holden, snapped by Kara Rosenlund) and paired with the richer, forest green of the upholstery inside, it absolutely hits my brief.







We learnt from Millie how no caravan is complete without a decal. It’s like putting the icing on the cake or the cushions on the sofa or the bedside lamps on the bedside table (you get it) and it’s hard to go past a fine stripe and a name in cursive font. I’m contemplating whether or not on our next van renovation, we mix it up or if this be our signature look.







I selected the font from Dafont and worked with Advanced Signworks who measured up and superimposed the design on an image of the van so that I could see exactly what it would look like before signing off. These guys also came up with the super cute ‘V’ on the door which I LOVE LOVE LOVE and is so in keeping with the scheme.







Inside, we love that in addition to the dining area, bed, kitchen and wardrobe that this caravan came with the sweetest little nook. It was different from any van we’d previously seen and we loved the idea that it could be used however we wanted; breakfast nook, study nook, dressing table nook…….







The stool for the nook is a $20 stool that I found at an opp shop and I up cycled it by spraying the frame in Satin Gold with White Knight Squirts (the same product that we used to paint the dining table frame) and we covered the top with fabric we had at home.











Well that’s Vonnie in a nutshell but keep following us to see our ‘How To’ videos and we’ll show you how we used White Knight Squirts; Rust Guard; and Laminate Paint to bring this vintage belle back to life. I know so many of you are renovating your own vintage caravans, which makes these videos well worth the watch. I’ll also be posting a more detailed breakdown of the renovation in the coming weeks.






Carlene xx


  • Belinda Bow

    November 16, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Just beautiful guys! I wanted to ask about the ceiling. Did you replace it? It is gorgeous.

    • cedarsuede@admin

      November 20, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Thanks Belinda. We did. It’s custom – MDF that we had routed to achieve VJ panelling.

  • Sarah

    November 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Hi Guys,
    LOVE LOVE LOVE Vonnie ???? can you please tell me when you will be posting the more detailed blog and videos on how you achieved Vonnie?
    Sarah x

    • cedarsuede@admin

      November 21, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks Sarah. Yes stay tuned, we’ll be doing more of a breakdown in the coming weeks (TBA).

  • Libby

    December 5, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Amazing guys!!!!
    Where is your lighr in the study nook from?

    • cedarsuede@admin

      January 5, 2018 at 10:12 am

      It’s from Beacon.

  • Denny

    December 31, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Your beautiful restorations are awe-inspiring and delightfully beautiful… We are looking at doing up an oldie but goldie van ourselves sometime in the near future about the same vintage as yours. Just wondering, how did you manage possible asbestos items in vans of this vintage? Just interested…

    • cedarsuede@admin

      January 5, 2018 at 10:12 am

      Thanks Denny.

      It hasnt been an issue for us at this point but you could engage a Hygienist to come and take samples. You can find asbestos on the back of floor tiles or in the adhesive around the windows amongst other areas.

  • Kimberley

    January 14, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Love it! We have a super cute 85′ Viscount called Louella – at 16ft she’s a little bit smaller than Vonnie though. Will definitely be looking into the White Knight paints for all her laminate inside. Just wondered how you did the kids beds in this one? Bunks or the dining area converted?? Can’t wait to see the next one!

    • cedarsuede@admin

      January 15, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Hi Kimberley

      In Vonnie the table converts to a bed for the kids. With our next van we’ll be doing another bunks design so stay tuned for that.

  • Sarah

    January 21, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Hi guys, just wondering where you purchased the electric cook top from? Looking for one for our van as we speak, but all are too big. TIA xx

  • Millard reno

    March 18, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Hi – just wondering if you had posted your more detailed breakdown as yet! Looking forward to see the next one you create.

    • cedarsuede@admin

      March 19, 2018 at 10:42 am

      We are just about to announce a Facebook live this Sunday 25 March from Vonnie 4pm QLD time. Ask us anything. We’ll be answering questions live @whiteknightpaints

  • Ben

    September 2, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Hi guy’s,
    My partner has fallen in love with Vonnie & absolutely loves the green you used. I’ve read somewhere it’s called Sussex but on the white knights website it just refers to tinting with any number of colours. Can you please provide some more info on which paint manufacturer has Sussex? TIA Ben.

    • cedarsuede@admin

      September 3, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Hi Ben,

      Yes Sussex by Taubmans.

  • Shae

    November 26, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Hi – you mentioned your vj was a custom job – who did that. I am based around the goldy too. Also – you mentioned in your videos you had the van professionally painted due to time constraints – who did you use for this?

    • cedarsuede@admin

      November 26, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      We used Wilson Timbers for the VJ’s. We’ve used a few different suppliers for painting. You can chat to a Smash Repairs in your area.

  • Alex

    April 7, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Hi guys, you mentioned that you had the other vans professionally painted but you painted vonnie. Did you roll or spray it on? Can you give some more details please

  • Edie

    June 14, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    Vonnie is awesome! What is the exterior colour called?? We are looking for something very similar 🙂

    • cedarsuede@admin

      June 14, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      Thank you – it’s Taubmans Sussex.

Leave a Reply