How to Paint Interior RV Walls
Looking to paint your RV’s interior, but don’t know where to start? We’ve outlined all the steps on how to paint the interior of your RV.
There are infinite reasons you may have decided that you have to paint your RV’s interior. Wanting to make your RV your own, a cozy place to call home, or to cover up an aging interior are all examples.
You might also be forced to paint if there was previous water damage that needs to be covered (after being repaired!).
If this is your first RV renovation, check out the expense report to see how much it costs to paint a 30′ trailer. The total includes paint for the walls, ceiling, and cabinets. Here is a breakdown of the amount of paint 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)
Instructions for how to paint RV interior
Clear your RV walls
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.
Be sure to remove any wallpaper borders.
To remove RV wallpaper borders
- Use a heat gun and heat the border for easy removal
- Apply acetone to remove any remaining adhesive
Note: Do not try to remove the full wallpaper from the RV interior wall panels. It adheres really well, and you risk damaging the plywood.
Patch the walls
Fill in any old screw holes or dings with DAP wood filler.
If the surface is raised around the screw hole:
- Use a razor blade to scrape the raised material
- Apply the wood filler
- 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.
Clean and degrease
Cleaning the surface of the walls is a critical step when painting your RV’s interior. You should use a high-quality solution to prevent bubbling, fish-eyeing, or other imperfections in the paint.
Use TSP and wipe down all the walls. You want to remove any oily residue to ensure proper paint adhesion.
Caulk the interior seams
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: Use a paintable caulk that has a lot of flexibility since campers flex while going down the road.
Just like when painting the RV’s exterior, you should caulk to any seams or gaps to ensure a clean finish and keep your RV sealed.
Tape or mask off any areas
With Frogtape painters tape, tape off any areas that you don’t want to get paint on like:
- Light switches
- Window frames
- Console panels
You can also use 3M masking film to mask off larger areas.
Note: Are you team blue or green? I recommend Frogtape because it gives you cleaner edges with little to no paint bleed.
Apply 1-2 coats of primer on all the walls that you will be applying color.
Once everything is primed, go through and putty any missed holes and caulk any visible gaps. You want to make sure all caulking is done before painting because a lot of caulk brands will yellow with UV exposure.
Plan your RV renovation accordingly – you need to wait 24-48 hours before applying your first coat of paint.
Important: Do not skip priming! This step is important so that your paint doesn’t flake or scratch off in time.
After waiting at least 24 hours after priming, it’s time to paint your RV interior.
Let your first coat of paint 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.
Tips for getting the best finish when painting RV walls
- Get 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 for a flawless finish. If you opt for a sprayer, we recommend the Graco Magnum paint sprayer.
- To hide any brush strokes, roller marks, or even to get a spray finish smooth as glass, it’s highly recommended to use Flood Floetrol. Mix 8oz in 1 gallon of paint.
RV interior paint recommendations:
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 fully cure and have a durable finish.
More RV Renovation Ideas
After painting your RV walls, you may be on a roll with your RV renovations. Luckily, Happy Glamper Co is an expert in all things DIY RV renovation and has tons of guides to help with your next project.
Not prepared to put the RV valances back up? Upgrade your RV window treatments with DIY curtains.
Love the look of shiplap but not the price tag? Try this $1 Sharpie Shiplap for a timeless look.
Ready to tackle your RV cabinets? Check out this complete guide for painting RV cabinets.