Looking to paint your RV, but don’t know where to start? Below I’ve outlined all the steps on how to paint your RV walls successfully. Also, check out my expense report to see how much it cost me to paint a 30′ trailer. The total includes paint for the walls and cabinets.
Breakdown of the amount of paint I used for a 30′ trailer.
- 3 gallons of Gripper Primer or Kilz Adhesion Primer
- 4 gallons of white (Frost by Behr)
- 1 gallon of green (Pewter Green by Sherwin Williams)
- 1 gallon of black (Broadway by Behr)
Remove any blinds, valances, or other items screwed to the walls. It’s easier to paint without having to cut around items on the walls. Also, be sure to remove any wallpaper borders. To remove the wallpaper borders, use a heat gun and heat the border for easy removal. Use acetone to remove any remaining adhesive.
Please note: Do not try to remove the full wallpaper from the plywood wall panels. It adheres really well, and you risk damaging the plywood.
Patch. Fill in any old screw holes or dings with DAP wood filler. If the surface is raised around the screw hole, first use a razor blade to scrape the raised material. Then, apply the wood filler, and once it’s dry, sand with 220 grit sandpaper. You only need to sand areas of the walls you’ve patched—no need to sand the walls entirely.
Degrease. Use TSP and wipe down all the walls. You want to remove any oily residue to ensure proper paint adhesion.
Caulk. If you have any small gaps along the ceiling and walls, use Dap Extreme Stretch Caulk to fill the gap. Wipe any excess off.
Important: You’ll want to use a paintable caulk and has a lot of flexibility since campers flex while going down the road.
Prime. Use a good primer like Gripper, which can be found at Home Depot or Kilz Adhesion. Do 1-2 coats of primer on all the walls that you will be applying color. Wait 24-48 hours before applying your first coat of paint. Once everything is primed, go through a putty any missed holes and caulk any visible gaps.
Important: Do not skip priming! This step is important so that your paint doesn’t flake or scratch off in time.
Paint. Get a good quality paint. At least an eggshell or satin finish is recommended. Use a brush to get in the corners of the walls and use 3/8″ nap rollers to apply most of the paint. You could also use a paint spray. I recommend the Graco Magnum paint sprayer. Let your first coat dry for about 24-48 hours, then apply a second coat in the same manner. Again, wait 24-48 hours, and once the second coat is dry, be sure to lightly sand and wipe down between the coats.
Remove any painter’s tape and put everything back on the walls. Be careful with the freshly painted walls for about 2 weeks. They take a while to cure and have a durable finish fully.