Saturday, May 7, 2016

Painting RV Cabinets and Walls

I have wanted to do this for SO long!!!  We've owned quite a few RV's throughout the years, trying to find the one that fits us just right.  I've never been a fan of ANYTHING in RV decor, and have always wanted to change .... well, basically all of it! lol

However, with the considerations of year, cost and resale value, we limited our DIY projects a bit.  With our latest purchase, due to the age of the rig I was thrilled to get the "go ahead" from my darling husband to do whatever I wanted to spruce her up!

I'd been researching the proper way to paint the cabinets and walls in an RV for a long time, and I took into consideration everything that I had gathered from reading blogs to hearing about "fails" and good vs. sloppy preparation, quality of paints and primers, etc...

In order to hopefully save you some of the research and maybe some heartache.. I'm going to share what I believe is the "best" way to prepare your surface and apply your paint.

The prep for the walls and the cabinets is the same, no matter if it's vinyl wall paper, laminate, wood, or plastic trim (I had gold plastic trim on my cabinets and painted right over them)... even metal can be painted!  Just PREP!

You will want to allow several days to complete all these steps.

What you will need:

*Wall putty (for filling holes and cracks) - also wood putty if needed (see below)
*Sandpaper - 80 grit and 220 grit
*metal putty/drywall knife
*TSP cleaner and disposable lint free rags (or an equivalent TSP substitute)
*Painters Tape
*Kilz OIL BASED primer - not the water based, trust me here.
*High quality "Paint and Primer in one", (pay the price for the good stuff) 
I used Behr Premium Plus Ultra 
For the walls I used Satin
For the Cabinets I used Semi-Gloss
*Trim brushes and rollers (have some disposable ones for the primer, it's easier to toss cheap ones that try to wash out oil based primer).
*Fan to ventilate air out the windows!

Steps to take:

1.  Open up the windows and remove your screens (you don't want to have to clean them after venting all that sanding dust through them!).  Turn on a fan and point it out of a window, open up ceiling vents, get some circulation going. ;)

2. Remove all cabinet doors and drawers, remove window valances and anything else that is removable! ;)  - You will do all these steps on the cabinet doors and drawer fronts as well, just do it on saw horses elsewhere.

3.  IF you have "wrinkles in your wallpaper (see photos below), use your metal putty knife to scrape the surface flat.

4.  Fill in any holes or scrape areas with a thin coating of wall putty or wood filler if it's in a wood portion (I had some holes in one of my cabinet doors).

5.  Open up the windows and remove the screens!  You don't want to have to clean sanding dust out of your screens later... believe me.  ;)  Set up a fan pulling air out the window and open up ceiling vents.

 6.  Using 80 grit sandpaper, sand every square inch lightly... the walls, the cabinets, any vinyl trim, .... everything you plan to paint must be "roughed up" a bit with 80 grit.  This removes any slick finishes (even those you can't see or feel) and prepares the surface to hold onto the primer.

If desired, you can go over the cabinet surfaces with 220 sandpaper, but it's not necessary unless you feel the surface has been made too rough.

7.  Sweep or vacuum floor to remove any dust that will poof up while you walk.

8.  Wipe all surfaces with a damp cloth, rinse out as needed and wipe until all dust is removed

9.  Using straight TSP (or equivalent) cleaner and lint free rags, wipe thoroughly ALL surfaces that have been sanded allow surface to air dry completely.  Cover floor and tape off ceiling edges and window edges.

10.  Make sure the cabin is WELL ventilated!  Apply one or two coats of your KILZ primer (to walls and cabinets), using a roller and brush as needed.  Apply to everything in a THIN coat.  Do not do thick coats of primer or paint.  This means more coats, but you do not want to make the wallpaper soggy!!

I say one or two coats because this will depend on your original wall paper design and cabinet darkness.  Allow this to dry overnight with good air ventilation.

11.  You are now ready to paint.  I did my walls first.  After the walls were dry, I taped off and painted the cabinets.  I do believe the cabinets need more coverage than the walls.  I did 2 coats of paint on the walls and 2 coats on the cabinets.  I was "ready to be done" at that point, but in retrospect, I think I should have put another coat of paint on the cabinets and will do so in the "Phase II". ;)

Cut in the edges with a trim brush, then roll on a light coat of your high quality paint.  I know it's hard, but WAIT until it's completely dry before you do another coat.  

Depending on your paint color and the original surface, you will need 2-3 coats of paint.  I know... it seems like a lot, but you want this to last, right? 

You are done!!!  Yay!  

To add a little touch of fun, I purchased a vinyl wall word decal at JoAnns.... I was going to put it above the bed where the "headboard" was, but it would have been covered up by pillows.  I like it on the cabinets. :)

Now for Photos... 


Cabinets were wood and laminate with vinyl/plastic gold trim.  Walls were typical RV wallpaper with floral design.

I won't even discuss the "headboard" and window treatments... they simply went into the garbage. ;)

Removed all window treatments, hardware and wall "access" panel covers (behind shower). 

Wallpaper wrinkles around the window edges... not good for painting!  Use a metal putty knife and scrape them off.

Wrinkles removed.  You will want to apply a thin layer of wall putty and sand to smooth these edges out.

 Surfaces have been sanded with 80 grit.  You can see they look a bit more pale and the "shine" is removed.

Don't forget the bed base!!!  I kept forgetting about it and had to come back after I'd washed out my brushes...sigh. 

You'll need to click to enlarge this, but the previous owner had a large TV hanging on the front of this upper cabinet.  The cable came through a "hole" they had cut in the edge and there were large holes for mounting as well.  We did not want a TV in the bedroom, and were left with holes.  I filled them in with wood filler and sanded smooth.  After painting you can hardly tell!! 

Primer is complete!! 

Cutting in my wall color.

Wall color complete! :)

Cabinets are painted!  Yay! 

Meanwhile... in the garage... the cabinet doors and drawers were being taken care of during wall drying time.  If you have mirrored fronts, be sure to cover them WELL! 

I noticed that most people do not paint the inside of the cabinet doors or the inside of the cabinets.  I like bright and white, and I believe it helps to brighten the inside of a cabinet while you are looking for something in there.  In addition, it just felt "incomplete" not to paint the there ya go! 

The completed bedroom, new curtains, light bright and happy!  :)  I love how it turned out, it makes me smile. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

RV Makeover

Meet our 1997 Georgie Boy Maverick Class C. 

We have been on the hunt for the "just right" RV for ...well... pretty much our entire married life. ;)  

I think, HOPE, we've found the one that will fit our needs (ever so spoiled needs) for the next 10 years.  Hoping for that.  With that in mind, we always buy used and usually buy OLD, cuz, they are cheaper!  This RV had been kept on a farm for a monthly visitor.  We believe they raised dogs, as there was a LOT of dog hair tucked in the nooks and crannies.  Ewww.

The good thing about the "sitting" status, is that it has extremely low mileage and minimal wear and tear on the cushions.  It has had some water damage to the inside, possibly windows left open during a storm?  We aren't sure, but are good "RV Inspectors" and determined it was workable.  The Maverick has good bones and a nice layout, but needed a lot of prettifying and softening around the edges, among other technical things (that's my darling husband's part). 

I call this "Makeover Phase 1" because I plan to paint all the cabinetry white and paint all the walls eventually.  However, in hot humid Florida, the best time for painting is about January time frame.  So, I painted the bedroom for starters and I love it!  Next winter I'll break out the paint once again.. until then... let's camp!!

So, without further ado.... here are some pics to show you what we did and a few to show you how we did it...

You may have to look carefully to see the changes:  

*Couch - old fabric thrown away, cushions were in good shape, so I recovered with a grey Chenille.
*Curtains for over cab bunk - removed and tossed in garbage. ;)  The track was also removed, as we don't intend for anyone to sleep up there.
*TV on wall of overhead cab - we felt this was an odd and awkward place for the TV.  We don't watch TV much, just movies every now and again, so we opted to get rid of that TV, move the larger one they had in the bedroom and put it on a swing arm tucked away in the bunk area.  Besides, the center "wall" piece was hiding a huge space, so Capt. Mike made a door and now we have more storage... it's always good to have more storage!

This photo is all "after" - showing my newly covered valances and curtains.  The dinette cushions were in great condition and I was able to zip off the covers and wash them in my washer, so I did not make new covers ... yet. ;)

A few details... The swing arm tucks the TV out of the way until we want to watch a movie.  It will swing around and tilt down to face the couch.  This cute little sign reminds us why we are here... (wally world)
Newly covered couch (bought the grey Chenille during a 60% off sale at JoAnns ... 12 yards!!!).

Kitchen before and after... again, the changes are small but useful.

*You'll notice new "boxes" on the wall.  Capt. Mike replaced with updated tank reading and thermostat stuff.
*Added a magnetic knife holder (no, we will not be storing the knives there during travel) ;)
*Removed microwave, because I don't use one and I LOVE kitchen storage! ;)
*My little wire 3-tier shelf is great for fruit, onions, bread, etc...
*Added sink cover for more counter space
*Added stove cover (see above)
*Added little counter extension!  Happy about that and still plenty of room to walk past into the bath or bedroom. 
.... yes, I like to have counter space.. I still like cooking when we camp. ;) 

 Again, minimal changes here... the blinds were super old, metal and REALLY dirty.  I was going to toss them, but finding vinyl ones that size was nearly impossible.  So, I put in the old elbow grease, scrubbed them clean and straightened out the "bent" slats.  Tossed the "box" valance and made new curtains.
I used a portion of a shoe holder to make a wall hanging holder for hair brushes, makeup, quick grab items, etc...

This isn't much of a change, but the "gold" stuff is slowly being removed.  I'm not a fan of the "one" towel rack, so I took it off the door and got this cute over the door hook deal. ;)

This was a big undertaking...but SO worth it (the couch was a BIGGER undertaking!).
The original valances were the "box" type.  box on top, box on sides.  I kept the top box and removed all the funky old fabric and interesting braid detail... hmmm.... tossed the side boxes.  I recovered the top and added a metal curtain rod behind the box valance, made soft beige curtains. 

To say this was an insane pain to do is an understatement.  This was quite difficult.  Once I removed the fabric I had 3 separate cushions to work with and a metal frame in the back.  I've recovered "one piece" cushions before with no problem, but these three kept sliding around and fitting was a chore.  
I would say it was well worth the work in the end.  I like the new couch, I like knowing it's fresh and clean and new. ;)  I was also able to change up the "design" a little bit.

Just a few things that needed updating. ;)
Old lights out... new lights in.  I really like the look of the new lights, but when they are on they make a weird color on the walls... it's actually the covers and the way they are designed.  :/

The bathroom sink, and the shower both had these gold and crystal knobs.. um, NO!  Out.  ;)
Capt. Mike changed these out and also added a Fury showerhead.

Now for my FAVORITE part!!!!  Oh I canNOT wait until I get to paint the entire RV this color... it's so HAPPY and BRIGHT...and it just screams "you are on vacation, relax, enjoy, laugh, have fun!" :)

Yes...this is the same room.  Yes...that is supposed to be a headboard. ???  Yes, it feels so much more soft and relaxing in there now. :)

In a separate post I will go over step by step how I prepped and painted both the walls and the cabinets.

Some details...
*I'm happy about having more counter space.
*Capt. Mike installed an outdoor shower in the "basement"
*The fridge was "funky"... to say the least.  I think it had been closed and had some moisture issues.  We removed the doors and this bad boy got a complete military scrub down!
*There is a TON of storage in this camper... love that!  I have little "baskets" and shelves here and there in cabinets to help keep things in place.
*I just HAD to add the vinyl wall words in the bedroom. :)
*The last RV we owned had some wall hooks in the bedroom and they came in really handy.  So I installed some we already had laying around the house.

More details:

*This cabinet above the fridge is made even better by this extendable shelf (yes that's my little french press in there). ;)
*My little 3 tier wire kitchen shelf has been with me through a few RV's ... it was from the "bathroom" section at (Wally I think), it is really useful!
*I made the cab privacy curtain from two curtains I purchased at Tuesday Morning.
*Adding hooks and "by the door" storage is a must for hats, keys, umbrellas, bug spray, sunscreen, etc...
*Magnetic knife rack for ease of cooking!
*We don't "live" in our RV, but I loved this little sign... it's above the door. ;)
 Storage solutions:
The Kitchen has two cabinets.  To make the most of all my cabinets, I use racks where possible.  I also like to use those expandable bars to keep things from crashing around  while driving.
I put no-skid shelf liner on all the surfaces, as well as pieces between all the bowls and plates.  For the most part everything stays put during a drive, but just use caution when you open your cabinets... just in case! ;)
*By the door, I used an over the door shoe hanger which I had cut down to fit.  I also added a magazine rack we had from a previous RV.  There is always "stuff" so it's good to have a place to put it. ;)
*I used another portion of the shoe hanger in the bathroom for "stuff".
*I'm a fan of over the door hooks, there is one hanging on both sides of this bathroom door.  One on the inside for towels, and one on the outside for kitchen stuff (apron, dishtowel, etc...)
*It may look crazy, but it works!  This is what I use my microwave area for. ;)  Capt. Mike boxed in the unfinished inside to make it look "nice" and I added shelving as needed.  Just make sure your expandable rods are good and tight! 

Well, that's all folks!  I'll post more on the "how" we did some things later down the road.  I hope you gleaned something helpful from this!

Kathy C.