Painting the Interior of an RV

Painting an RV interior is an inexpensive way to personalize the space and refresh it. For full-time RVers, painting their RV interior can mean the difference between having an RV and having a home.

There are four steps to successfully painting an RV interior:


Step 1: Wall PreparationMaterialswall compoundsmall putty knifefine grit sandpaperTSP or other degreaserpainter's tape and/or trim guardMost RV interior walls are composed of vinyl glued to paneling. If the walls are not prepared properly, the paint will not stick to them.

Start by filling in holes and other imperfections with wall compound, let dry, then sand.

Next, gently sand the walls to remove the shine. Then, wash the walls with a degreaser, such as TSP, rinse, and let dry.

You may then wish to tape off the areas that should not be painted, but beware of two things:

painter's tape will lift the finish on fiberboard cabinets as this finish is little more than paper;painter's tape does not adhere well to the plastic trim found in most RVs.A better solution is to use a trim guard.Step 2: PrimingMaterialswater-based primer, such as Kilz (TM)good quality small brushesgood quality small rollerssmall paint trayOnce the RV interior walls are clean and prepped, it is time to prime the interior of the RV. Apply a thin layer of primer using small brushes and rollers as needed.

Allow the primer to cure for at least a day, more in damp climate.

Step 3: PaintingMaterialslatex paint with a mildew agent added (most bathroom and kitchen paints come with this agent)good quality small brushesgood quality small rollerssmall paint trayRV interiors are small, so it is possible to buy high-quality paint at very low cost since less paint is needed. You may be able to buy pint- or quart-sized cans of paint rather than full gallons. Since dampness is often a problem in RVs, using a paint with a mildew agent added will help to protect the walls.

Begin by cutting in, using small brushes and then roll over large surfaces.

An RV interior wall is much smaller than the wall of an average room and will therefore require less paint. Be sure to not overload your paint roller as it will apply too much paint to the wall and then drip.

Allow the paint to cure for several days, more in a humid climate.

Step 4: Clean UpMaterialsdish soapragscotton swabsold toothbrushLatex paint is surprisingly forgiving. Wet paint can be cleaned up, depending on the quantity, with rags or cotton swabs dipped in water mixed with dish soap. A toothbrush can be used to scrub if necessary.

There are many steps to painting an RV interior, but the end result, a personalized space, makes the effort worthwhile. Try it today!

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