When Adam and I first started planning the RV remodel I was very against painting the walls. For some reason, I thought they would be a giant pain and require lots of prep, plus the spongy brown was fairly neutral and inoffensive.
In hindsight, that was stupid. Adam told me that was stupid, and he was right. It hurts just to admit it, but he was.
We painted the walls, it was super easy (unlike the cabinets) and it looks so much better. It looks less like an outdated travel trailer and more like a tiny house.
Here is the before –
After the cabinets were painted –
Here it is now, with the walls painted as well (and we may have jumped the gun and added some of the rustic wood behind the TV. I love it and can’t wait to add the rest!)
Another angle –
If you have an RV that needs brightening up but you don’t want to spend forever working on it, paint the walls and leave the cabinets. Trust me on this.
So here are the steps you should follow to properly paint the walls in your camper.
HOW TO PAINT RV WALLS
- Sand the walls – you don’t have to go crazy, but scuffing up the walls a bit will help the primer to adhere. A sanding sponge would be easiest.
- Clean the walls – My recommendation for this would be TSP. It is a cleaner and degreaser made to use before painting, does an amazing job, and is dirt cheap. After cleaning, rinse the walls with water and let dry completely.
- Prime the walls– If you want to use an oil-based primer, my favorite is Zinsser Cover Stain (Kilz is also a great choice). Oil-based works best (it’s the only thing that worked in the cabinets) but the clean up is a pain and it smells terrible, especially in a small space like an RV. We used water based Kilz and it worked great (thank goodness, I really didn’t want to use oil based stuff).
- Paint the walls – Cut in first (this is the only brush I use, it’s the best) and then use a small roller to paint the rest of the walls. We used the color Silvermist from Sherwin Williams in an eggshell finish.
Those are the steps you should follow, but here is what we actually did –
That’s it. No prep work, no nothing….just slapped some paint on there and called it good. The whole thing only took about a day, since there really isn’t a ton of wall area to cover.
Here it is with just primer –
And more pictures with the finished walls –
What’s funny is that the paint we used is just leftover paint from the house, it’s the same color that is in our bedroom.
In our house the color is mostly gray. I mean, its blue, but a very muted/grayed out version. The same color in the RV looks quite vibrant…it’s almost a robins egg blue. With the white cabinets it kinda looks like we are going for a 50’s diner look, haha. It just proves that you should never use a paint color without first trying a sample on your wall, because the same color can look very VERY different depending on the location and lighting.
Adding in the other elements should help achieve the upbeat rustic look I’m going for, and less like we are going camping with the cast of Happy Days. (Click here to see the full design plan).
Alright, so that’s the update! The next step is to paint all the countertops, which I think will be super simple.