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RV Interior Paint Ideas to Make Your RV More Like Home

RV Interior Paint Ideas to Make Your RV More Like Home

Why a post on RV interior paint ideas? Well, most RVs are fairly drab inside because the interior design from the factory uses neutral colors in an attempt to appeal to a majority of buyers.

When people shop for an RV, they’re looking more for the features, amenities, and living space they desire for their style of travel and camping. Interior colors aren’t usually first on the list of things to consider.

Also, when an RV sustains minor damage from leaks or other issues over time, it’s possible that some minor wall repairs and freshly painted RV walls can make the space like new again.

If you’re interested in giving your RV interior a lift and making it more your space rather than just another rig with brown tones, the easiest way to do that is to paint parts of the interior to personalize your rig and give it an RV makeover. Whether you’re into a bright colorful space or other paint colors, the world is your oyster.

Can I Paint My RV Interior?

You can absolutely paint your RV interior! And there are lots of incentives to do just that.

  • Painting the interior is the easiest way to make your RV your personal space reflecting your own tastes and creative flair.
  • Adding accents to those typical neutral tones can be a quick way to give the space a lift.
  • RV interiors are small spaces. Lighter tones make a space look and feel bigger, while dark tones do the opposite (which is why we always ask, “Why Are RV Interiors So Ugly? Please Give Us a Modern Design!“)
  • Certain paint tones are more inviting and can even help RV residents to feel more relaxed.
  • If you’ve got areas of staining or damage on any of your RV’s interior walls, repairing and repainting them is much easier and cheaper than a full RV renovation.
  • You can raise the value of your RV (as long as you don’t do anything crazy like give your walls zebra stripes or yellow and red polka dots).

A few things are important to remember as you prepare and proceed with an RV interior painting project, but it’s absolutely possible to spruce up your rig with a can or two of paint.

How to Paint Your RV Interior

The three most important aspects of any paint job are:

  1. Prep
  2. Prep
  3. Prep

This is true of any paint job, interior or exterior, whether you’re talking about a house or an RV. Proper preparation for a good paint job generally involves all or most of the following, depending on your painting surface and its condition.

Scrape and/or Sand

Scrape and/or sand, fill, and thoroughly clean the surface you’ll be painting. This key preparation stage provides a professional result and helps the paint adhere well for long-lasting improvement. Never skip this step, and don’t cut corners here.

For sanding, you’ll want to use fine-grit sandpaper in the 200-220 range to lightly sand surfaces you intend to paint, such as walls, trim, cabinets, etc.

Fill/Repair

If any holes or cracks exist, now’s the time to fix them. Fill holes and/or cracks with wood filler, then allow plenty of time to dry thoroughly. Then, using your fine-grit sandpaper, lightly sand the areas of repair so they’re nicely flush with the surface.

Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler, 16 oz, Natural, 16 Ounce
  • STAINABLE WOOD FILLER – Minwax Indoor/Outdoor Wood Filler is a stainable and paintable latex formula specially formulated to accept all Minwax...
  • REPAIR CRACKS – The durable wood filler is ideal for repairing cracks, small gouges, nail holes, knot holes, and other defects in all types of...

Clean

Wash all surfaces that will be painted with TSP (trisodium phosphate). This will remove grease, mildew, dirt, and even rust. Rinse the surfaces when you’re finished cleaning them, and allow them to dry well.

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Savogran All Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner Clean Surface for Painting
  • Removes deposits of grease, grime, smoke, soot, stains and chalked paint
  • Suitable with most washable, floors and woodwork including decks and siding

Tape

Use good-quality painter’s tape to mask areas you want to avoid getting paint on. Painter’s tape is designed with light adhesive, allowing it to release easily after the painting is done.

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FROGTAPE Multi-Surface Painter's Tape with PAINTBLOCK, Medium Adhesion, 1.88" Wide x 60 Yards Long, Green (1358464)
  • Premium grade painter’s tape for most common paint applications
  • Treated with PaintBlock Technology that seals tape edges for very sharp paint lines

Protect

Protect the area around where you’re painting by using drop cloths to cover the area beneath the surfaces to be painted. Be sure to also set your paint on a surface with a protective covering like plastic or a drop cloth to prevent damage from accidental spills.

Use the Right Paint and Primer

Your RV interior paint ideas are yours and yours alone. You can choose your own color scheme to brighten or lighten the space. You can paint the cabinets, walls, trim, accent walls, etc.

But it’s important to choose a paint that will adhere well to RV surfaces, cure well, and remain in good shape for a long time, especially in high-moisture areas like RVs. Using water-based latex paint that’s flexible, durable, and easy to clean is a good idea.

If the interior of your RV is in good shape and you’re not dealing with areas of mold and mildew, you can save yourself some time and use a paint that contains a primer. If you do have tough areas to treat, you’ll be better off taking the extra step and priming the surface with a product like BIN, Zinsser, or Kilz.

In terms of paint, quality brands are a good bet. Consider Benjamin Moore Regal Select, Sherwin Williams Duration, and Behr Marquee or Ultra Scuff Defense.

While you’re at the paint store, you’ll want to pick up some high-quality paint brushes and rollers, too. Angled brushes are best for cutting along lines, corners, and edges. Rollers work well for larger areas.

Sale
Pro Grade - Paint Brushes - 5 Ea - Paint Brush Set
  • Paint Brush Set Includes 1 Ea of 1" Flat, 1-1/2" Angle, 2" Stubby Angle, 2" Flat & 2-1/2" Angle
  • Paint Brushes For Interior Or Exterior Projects. Use Angle Sash Paint Brush For Cutting Crisp Lines.

RV Interior Paint Ideas

Now that we’ve gotten prep and products out of the way, let’s get to some RV interior painting ideas.

Brighten Up the Galley

RV kitchen spaces can be dark. And because they’re generally small, dark cabinets, backsplashes, and walls can make them appear even smaller. So here’s an RV interior painting idea:

Brighten up your rig’s kitchen with some white or light-colored paint. You can paint the backsplash, all or some of the cabinets, walls, or even the ceiling to give your RV galley a fresh new look.

Bonus Tip: When you’re finished, add pops of color with accessories like area rugs.

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Choose from a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns to complement or accent your home. And when they get dirty, just pop them into the washer (even your RV's washing machine!) to get them clean.

Read our post & watch our video about My Magic Carpet washable area rugs

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Brighten Dreary Cabinets

You can make your RV kitchen pop by adding a bolder color to the bottom cabinets and a lighter color on top.

A woman painting lower cabinets with color

Painting lower cabinets a more intense color than lighter, more muted upper cabinets can really make an RV kitchen pop.

The contrast created with this approach can really make a kitchen come alive. Bonus Tip: When you go bold in painting your RV, keep resale value in mind. It’s okay to use fun colors, but stay reasonable in your approach. You can make your living space pop with tasteful colors.

Take a Unique Design Approach

A fresh coat of paint goes a long way to brighten up living spaces, but you can also take a unique approach to redesign certain areas of your rig. For example, if you’ve got an artistic flair, you can use chalkboard paint on a surface and use colored chalk to draw or write notes that you change periodically.

You could also use stencils to give an area a unique flair or even accent an area with a neat decal that reflects your personality. This can be a fun idea for kids’ bunk walls, too.

DILIBRA Hummingbird on The Tree Branch Wall Sticker, Green Leaf and Flying Bird DIY Art Vinyl Wall Decal, Self-Adhesive Wall Decoration for Garden Living Room Bedroom Kitchen Playroom Nursery Room
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Repair With a Flair

If your RV has a wall that has sustained considerable damage or staining at the bottom from a leak or other issue making it difficult to address with just wood filler and a couple of coats of paint, consider covering it and painting the covering.

Once you’ve thoroughly addressed the problem (such as a leak, or any mold or mildew that has resulted), consider covering the stained or otherwise damaged lower area of the wall with wainscoting, or create a shiplap wall. Then paint your new wall in a color that gives your rig an extra clean lift.

Paint Trim

Just painting the trim in some areas of your RV can bring a snap of color or a fresh bright white to your living space with minimal work and minimal paint.

A person painting trim in white

Painting trim in a contrasting color can make a space pop and give it a fresh new look. You can use w white or a nice color that you love, and accent the space with accessories like pillows, coasters, shades, or curtains.

For example, you can paint the trim around your slide-outs to give your living room a new look. Add some accent pillows to your sofa in the same color.

You can paint the trim in your RV bathroom with a nice pastel to brighten up the space. Hang a hand towel and add a bath mat in the same color to accent the room.

Final Note About RV Interior Paint Ideas

Painting your RV interior is one of the easiest ways to renew your RV and make it more like home. You can use the colors and paint finishes you like, as long as you pay attention to good preparation and protect the surfaces of your RV.

Our friends Tom & Cait of Mortons On The Move painted the interior of one of their rigs and it looks great! We hope some of these RV interior paint ideas are helpful as you think about how you want to give your rig a lift.

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Greg & Ellen

Tuesday 18th of July 2023

It's good to remember that an RV is a small living space, so one should be concerned about the paint fumes that will be present and you will be breathing.

When we painted the walls in our RAM ProMaster camper van conversion, we used Benjamin Moore Eco Spec paint. Eco Spec® is their “greenest” interior premium paint. With zero VOCs and zero emissions, Eco Spec® is the perfect choice when an environmentally responsible paint is required and is tinted with Benjamin Moore's proprietary Gennex® zero VOC colorant system.

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