Maybe because Adie is a sleeper bus, maybe because I once visited the Sistine Chapel—beats me—but I love a nice ceiling. I’ve seen the muraled types and the bare metal, traditional headliners (like what I have in the pop top) as well as bamboo. But for Adie, I chose a tongue-in-groove board painted white. Simple, elegant, and surprisingly easy to install.
I removed the old ceiling (some mdf boards) and found the wooden ribs in the ceiling. I wanted to continue the chrome rivet look of my upholstered door panels, so I selected a screw that matched. One box of Hakwood gave me just enough to do the entire ceiling (plus the groovy little stereo bezel I have in the front ceiling). Hakwood makes a quality product—not a single warped piece in the box. The wood is smooth and ready to take paint, so no sanding required (though if you want less wood grain, you’ll want to sand lightly as these planks are quite thin).
But here’s the most crucial part: start in the center of the bus and work your way out to the edges. This will keep your pieces straight and symmetrical. When you get to the edges, you might have to do a little work with a table saw or trim out some pieces. That is the nature of woodwork, my friends. Also, your bus is slightly oval-shaped, meaning that your wood needs to have flex and will be really tight in the back corners. This is another advantage of Hakwood—the pieces are the thinnest I could find and are scored on the back so they have lots of flex.
It will be an all-day project once you have your boards painted, but the results will transform the look of the bus.
Bonuses: The lightweightness of the boards is ideal for a camper, which is already top-heavy. Soft wood like pine is great for noise absorption, making my stereo system sound cleaner.