Sunday, November 3, 2013

RV Remodel - painting

I knew from the day we bought our camper that I didn't like the color scheme.  Brown, brown, and more brown.  Yuck.  We did, however, like the floor plan, so we bought it with the intention of removing as much brown as possible...asap.

a couple pictures from this spring to kinda show you where we started...

...brown overload

Well, as I mentioned in this post, we moved into our camper in a bit of a whirlwind with no time to change anything (less than a month from deciding to full time to hitting the road).  The place we bought our 5th wheel from had to have it delivered from another lot across the state, so we didn't actually get to see/take possession of our camper until the week we moved into it.  I think we had it sitting in our driveway for 3 days (as we were moving out of our house) before we officially lived in it.  Crazy quick and no time for changing anything.

The months that followed were no slower...we were go, go, go.  The brown bugged me, but I lived with it.

Finally!  When we were in Florida the day came to banish a bit of the brown.  Yippee!!!  We were living in a rental house and the second I got that camper back from the shop I was in Lowe's (or was it Home Depot?) picking out paint colors.  I gotta say, I'm really glad I didn't try to paint it while we were living in it.  I made a big enough mess with it empty...I can't imagine how it would have gone with stuff everywhere.

I didn't even have time to take a "before" the time I got out to the camper Dan had tossed aside the dinette cushions and had half the wall border down.  I was grateful for the help, though (very :)!)...


good riddance!!!

We had talked about just taking down the border and the ugly curtains and calling it good.  Nah!!!  Anybody that knows us, knows we never do the minimum (hehehe).  Go big or go home, right?  Right.  So...wall border came down, curtains and cornices came down, couch came out, dining table and seats came out.  All the main living furniture....out.  I sold every bit of it on Craigslist.  (we didn't stop there, but that's a story for another day...stay tuned).

Ok, I'm finally getting to the painting (I know I ramble...can't be helped).  When we removed the wall border, it left behind a lot of glue.  We had heated it up with a hair dryer (not to mention that we were doing this in August in Florida, so it was already a sauna in there) before pulling it off to try and get the glue to turn loose better.  It did help some, but there was still a bunch left on the wall.  This stuff was HORRIBLE.  We tried olive oil, goo gone, mineral spirits, magic erasers (getting desperate), scraping it with a putty knife...pretty much anything we could think of that might work.  Ya'll, it didn't work (well, it sorta worked).  This is what it did...

It took the color right off the wall.  We had read somewhere online that this might happen, so we weren't surprised.  Had we not planned to paint and were just trying to get the glue off, we would have been sick over it.  As it was, no biggee.  But, after all that, there was still some glue stuck to the wall.  Seriously.  At that point I didn't care and just decided to painted right over it.  Shh...don't tell anyone ;).

i also sanded and spackled the screw holes from where we removed the dinette and curtains

To tell you how inexperienced at painting I am, I thought I could free hand it and get by without taping.  HAHAHA!!!  Funny.  I very quickly realized that taping would be required.  So, I took myself back down to the store to get some tape.  I had intended to get Frog Tape (green stuff), but the paint dept guy talked me into getting Painters Tape (blue stuff).  Don't do it!!!  GET THE GREEN!!!  I used the blue on about half the taping and when I ran out I picked up some green to finish just so I could see the difference.  The results when it was all said and done?  The blue didn't want to come off the wall.  When I was pulling it off, I had to be super careful because it was taking part of the paint with it and making an ugly mess.  Lots of touch ups :(.  The green?  Pulled off nice and pretty, easy peasy.  Learn from my mess...go with the green, even if the paint guy says otherwise.

boo, blue tape!

if only i'd run out of the blue sooner...

yay for green tape!

So, for paint...first I primed with Kilz (after I washed the walls and let them dry).  We had the paint people mix in some mildew resistant stuff just because campers tend to "sweat" in the winter.  This sounded like a good idea just to try and prevent mold/mildew.

a floor cloth was a must for this messy painter!

For the actual paint, we went with...white!  Yep, good 'ole white (well, a shade of white...antique white or something like that, a little warmer than just white).  In such a small space, my main goal with the wall color was just to lighten/brighten things up and this does the job nicely.  It also provides a clean back drop for me to add color through art, curtains, pillows, etc.  We like it :).

just starting to paint the final color, a warm white

Final verdict on painting?  Ya'll, it was harder than I thought it'd be!  Maybe I'm just a wimp...I don't know.  I do know it was a huge job!  I'm glad (oh so glad to be rid of some of that brown) we did it, but'll be a while before I want to tackle that again.

These are obviously progress pictures...check back with me later to see what else we tore up, I mean "remodeled", hehehe...


  1. We love fulltime RVing in our fifth wheel and have been considering painting as well. We've done a lot of customization in the past few months, but we continue to put off the painting. The transformation of yours make me want to get right on it, though :) Looks great!

    1. Hi Chad! I was just checking out your blog and it sounds like our families have a lot in common, I can't wait to read more :)! Thanks for the compliment on the's amazing at the difference it really does make in here. Feels more like "home" :).

  2. We are ripping out our lame couch and dinette next week. Love the painting idea, nice work!

    1. Thank you :)! Best of luck with your remodel!

  3. Actually, you've got a wonderful camper. It’s just that the color scheme did not visually make a good balance, because it made it look monotonous and gloomy. Good thing you decided to repaint it. It looks more vibrant and inviting afterwards. Cheers!

    Liza Pilon @ Prairie City RV

    1. Well thank you very much, Liza :)
      ...and I agree with you, it is definitely more bright and cheerful now :)

  4. I agree. The new color scheme is more pleasant to the eyes than the old one. It looks cozier and more inviting now. Anyway, do you have photos of the final outcome? I would love to see them, if it's okay. Cheers!

    Christina Hamilton @ Mount Comfort RV

  5. Good color scheme.I am very happy to read this article. Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk through. I appreciate this post.