Interior wall painting

Bobby A

Well-known member
I don't see a direct question unless its buried in another post. My question is, has anyone did an upgrade and paint the walls in there RV ?? We are starting a remodel project and wondered if anyone has done this ?? Just wondering what the process is and what kind/brand of paint and or primer. Thank you. Bobby A


Active Member
Copied this from a article:

How do you paint the inside of an RV?
When it comes to giving an RV interior new life, there’s probably no better tool than paint. It can make your space look cleaner and brighter, and adds a modern touch to outdated decor. But painting the inside of an RV isn’t as simple as grabbing a can and getting to work.
Painting isn’t difficult, as long as you avoid rookie mistakes. Buy high-quality paint that’s specific to the surface you’re painting. Invest in quality, brand-name brushes and rollers—like Purdy or Wooster—for easy application. Keep in mind that temperature and moisture can impact the way your paint dries, so plan to do your project when there’s less humidity and moisture, or use fans and dehumidifiers.
Can I paint over the wallpaper in my RV?
Painting over wallpaper in an RV is typically a lot easier than trying to remove it. Remove any borders that are stuck to the top of the wallpaper by spraying a mix of water and fabric softener on the area, or by using a heat gun to loosen the adhesive.
No matter what surface you’re painting, it’s important to prep it beforehand. In the case of wallpaper, clean off any grime with an all-purpose cleaner or diluted vinegar and let it dry. Then, lightly sand the walls so the paint has something to grip, and either start with a coat of primer or choose a paint with a primer mixed in.
Can I use wallpaper in my RV?
You can absolutely use wallpaper in your RV; in fact, most RVs come with a specialized vinyl wallpaper bonded to the interior walls. Because it’s not really meant to be easily removed, the easiest way to update it is to put new wallpaper over it. If you are planning on updating it again in the future, consider using peel-and-stick wallpaper. While the adhesive is strong enough to stay put, it’s also designed to be easily removed.

How do you paint an RV cabinet?​

It can be fairly quick to paint RV cabinets with a nice roller and a brush or two, but it’s surprisingly easy to mess up. Most RV cabinets are made of laminate, which means they need to be sanded and primed before painting or the paint won’t dry correctly. Worse, if you use latex paint with no base coat, the color will eventually bubble, crack, and peel right off. You can avoid these mishaps by taking the time to clean, sand, and prime with a high-quality primer (try Kilz or Zinsser) that’s designed to make surfaces paint-friendly.


Prolifically Gabby Member
Bobby, years ago there was a frequent poster by the name of "SouthernNights" on previous versions of this forum that had done just that. Unfortunately, the links to his original posts with photos no longer is available. Never painted our rig, but for the house, I prefer Behr brand paints.
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Active Member
My wife has painted both our RV’s. The wallpaper seems to take the paint pretty well, just make sure you clean it first for proper adhesion. It usually takes two coats depending on the color of the paint and the wallpaper it’s going over.

She used the Behr Marquee in a satin finish so we can scrub it after the kids put some kind of dirt on the wall. If your seams are sealed between the walls and ceiling, the paint does not like to stick to the silicone, so it’s best to avoid painting on it otherwise it looks splotchy.

If you plan on painting the wood pieces, good luck! Those were a real pain. She wanted our previous RV to have black cabinets, so we sanded everything down, and then stained it. It worked pretty well and looked great, but took forever and was very tedious. If you try painting directly on the wood pieces without sanding, you may find the paint easily chipping off.

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If you want a long-lasting finish, General Finishes Milk Paint is the way to go. This paint is scratch-resistant, but it requires a lot of priming and sanding before you can use it.


Well-known member
If you're painting or putting up wallpaper on the vinyl covered walls, one piece of advice.

Pre-prime with "Kills Adhesive" primer. This is not the regular Kills, and the big box suppliers don't carry it for some reason. Get it on-line at the big "A" site. This is the only primer I use for everything will stick to anything. Good luck.


Active Member
A note on surface prep, if you really want your paint to last don't just paint over the wallpaper. Use a primer. We've had really good luck with Zinsser B-I-N. It's a shellac based primer so it dries fast and it solves some problems like areas where there might have been wood knots or sap (in wood trim/surfaces/cabinet doors) or oil (fingerprints, residue from the construction process, etc.). I'm not shilling for them, there are plenty of other good products, but whatever you use, picking a primer designed to seal sub-surfaces will give you a much better finish no matter what paint you use.

This is just my personal opinion but I'm not a huge fan of water-based latex paint primers. They can help cover dark base colors if you're top-coating with something lighter but I feel like they don't do much for sealing over "problems".