Should you paint camper cabinets? I say yes! I'm pretty sure I've always wanted to brighten up the camper by painting the kitchen cabinets. After painting my oak cabinets in my home some 10 years ago, you would think this would be an easy job. To be honest, it was easy, but not as easy as I expected it to be.
I had actually considered painting the camper cabinets while I was on a camping trip. Oh, so glad I didn't do THAT.
I hope my quick guide to painting camper cabinets will be very helpful.
Why I Painted Camper Cabinets
I didn't take before pictures, but if you have an RV, travel trailer or camper, you're familiar with everything being the same color! Yes, the cabinets, walls, and the floor. I was ready for a change.
How to Paint Camper Cabinets
- Move everything out of your way (quarters are too tight to climb over stuff)
- Take out all curtains, cushions, rugs etc. (or pile them on the bed)
- Use a screwdriver to remove door and drawer handles (more on this later)
- Pull the drawers out of their spaces.
- If you're a perfectionist, remove doors and hinges (I did not)
- Clean or Degloss all surfaces before painting (especially if you're not the original owner)
- Gather your paint and supplies (see below)
Supplies to Paint Cabinets
- All In One Paint
- Assorted Paint Brushes
- Sponge Roller (not shown)
- Painter's Tape (not shown)
- Paint Rags (for wiping up spills etc)
- Baby Wipes (also great for small mishaps)
This All in One Paint from HTP is the same paint I used on my countertops in my home. Remember if your cabinets are dirty or oily, use their deglosser first. This is NOT a sponsored post and I paid for all of my supplies.
The small Deco Art Paint Brush is so fun and easy to use. The Zibra Square Paint Brush holds more paint. The small piece of sponge is part of an old true applicator sponge that I cut up. For the large areas, after applying the paint with a brush, I alternated between using the Sponge Roller and the full sized true applicator sponge. I love both of those items for a smooth, perfect finish.
I recently shared this antique table makeover, using the same Colosseum paint color. In this photo you can see that it looks white until you see it up against a shade of white.
Apply Light First Coat to Camper Cabinets
The first coat may look a little scary. But don't be fooled. Two plus coats of light coverage is SO much better than putting on any paint too heavy.
NOTE: I removed the handles. It was too tedious trying to paint around them.
I did not have the patience for THIS. Remember I said I thought this would be a quick and easy project?
More time wasted, applying painter's tape--only to have it remove the paint. Why? Operator error. I didn't use a deglosser. It would have given more "tooth" for the paint to stick. Lesson learned.
I timed my project in between camping trips, while the weather was still on the warm side (before it got too hot) so that the painted camper cabinets would have time to start curing.
What did I learn while painting my camper cabinets?
- Use Deglosser
- Remove Handles
- Be Patient, it looks like a quick and easy job, but it's difficult working in tight spaces
- Allow up to 30 days for the paint to fully cure
- You will see places you missed, take touch-up paint with you on future camping trips.
See more camper ideas here
How do you get the smoothest finish?
- Get the first coat on the best you can
- The small spaces will be the most challenging-use small sponge for stippling
- Use roller for second coat wherever you can
- For last coat roll paint on and use the large sponge to stipple. NO paint stokes visible.
The new space makes me smile every time I walk in the camper! One of the most difficult decisions is where to STOP. That brown wall to the right, goes around and down the hall. I'm not sure I want to paint the entire camper . . .
Here's an old picture from a couple of years ago. Notice the changes?
- New curtains
- Removed the original wall paper border
- Turned the dinette area into a day bed, with pillows to match the curtains.
- Swapped out original sink and faucet
I painted the camper cabinets in June, and they have held up really, really well. I highly recommend the HTP All In One Paint. Follow them on Facebook, and watch Paula paint everything. By the way, they are a local company and super nice people. I hope to stop by and see their new space at the end of September while camping nearby.
One last pretty picture of how I turned the dinette into a daybed. It's soooo perfect for lounging.
See more camper ideas here
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.