The first thing that every RV owner who is renovating their trailer wants to do is paint the walls. This simple change can take this tiny home from feeling cramped to spacious. It changes the feel of this space too, making it feel more like a home and less like a camper. But, what kind of paint do you use on RV walls?
After fixing the water damage in our fifth wheel, we were FINALLY able to paint the wall. I assumed I could go pick out a color at Home Depot and call it a day. I had no idea there was so much work that went into painting an RV’s walls.
You have to sand them and wash them down. After you’ve let them dry, you are ready to paint!
Choosing the right type of paint might be the most important step because if it doesn’t adhere well, you will have to do a million coats!
What Kind of Paint do you Use on RV Walls?
Here are 3 things you need to consider BEFORE purchasing paint for your RV walls. Keep in mind, painting your trailer walls is a lot of work, so you want to save yourself some time (and money) if you can!
1. YOU NEED PRIMER.
First of all, primer is key to having even RV walls. It’s definitely a must and step you should not skip.
When we first started painting our trailer walls, we just bought a paint and primer combo. After 4 coats of paint, we regretted it. I’ll talk about my favorite paint brands in a bit!
2. Choosing a Finish
You want to stay away from anything glossy or super flat. We opted for a satin, but some renovators swear by eggshell! It just depends on the look you are going for. You want to choose a paint that will help to HIDE the imperfections and not draw them out.
The reason I chose satin is that it’s easy to clean. You can wipe it down with a wet cloth. So with white walls…. A husband, a baby, and a dog, this was very important to me.
I used this paint finish guide to help me choose which finish would work best for our fifth wheel.
3. Stay Away from Paint + Primer Combos
As I mentioned early, we thought a paint and primer combo would do the trick! But, we spent more money and used more paint because we tried to cut some corners. We ended up getting primer for the rest of our RV walls and it seriously looks 100x better!
Best Paint Brands for RV Walls
Choosing the right paint for your RV walls is not only going to save you time but in the long run, money too! Learn from our mistakes, don’t get the paint and primer combo, and invest in some good primer. Alrighty, let’s talk about our FAVORITE Paint Brands for RV Walls.
Best Primers for RV Walls
1. Glidden Gripper Acrylic Primer
Glidden is highly recommended throughout the RV renovating community. It’s known to have outstanding coverage and pretty much covers any kind of surface evenly.
The downfall is that it’s about $10 more expensive than the Kilz Primer. If you are on a tight budget, this probably isn’t the paint for you!
3. Zinsser Bulls Eye Water Based Primer
This was our FAVORITE primer. It’s water-based and resistant to mold and mildew, which was a huge plus. It went on our RV walls very evenly and even covered the wall putty!
This is the middle-of-the-road primer option, as far as price goes. It’s a few dollars more than Kilz and a little less than Glidden. But having a good primer, definitely saved us money on regular paint!
3. Kilz All Purpose Primer
This is what we used to prime some of our walls with. It went on nice and smooth, which was awesome. I feel like it has okay coverage with just one coat.
The only areas that didn’t cover well, were where we had to use wall putty to fill in holes. That required a couple of coats of primer. But All in all, we liked this primer and the price is pretty inexpensive too!
Best Paint for RV Walls
At first, we used the best-of-the-best interior paint from home depot and just didn’t love it. It was super heavy and just seemed to go on unevenly. I would highly recommend getting some cheap paint and going with an awesome primer instead!
1. Behr Ultra Pure White – Satin
This is the paint we used to paint our RV walls. It’s middle of the road, so it’s not too thick but has good coverage.
After using primer, we still needed two coats of Behr’s paint. But this gave us an absolutely beautiful even finish!
2. Valspar Ultra Interior Paint + Primer
Yes, this says paint and primer… but you STILL need to use a regular primer. Valspar is highly recommended by RV renovators. Like I mentioned earlier, they typically buy a really good primer and use paint that is a bit more inexpensive.
Laura from Cool, Mom, and Collected, says that she used two coats of paint for her accent pieces! Check out her full tutorial on how to paint your RV walls.
3. Ace Royal Satin High Hiding
I can’t speak from experience, but Erica from Thriving in Tie dye does. She said she used two coats of paint and it covered as expected. At one point, she did mention that it was scraping off in high traffic areas, but I assume this would happen with any paint!
Choosing a paint finish and brand is important to have even coverage on your RV walls. Renovating a trailer is WAY more difficult and time-consuming than painting a house. In the end, choose a good primer and pick a satin or eggshell finish for the best results. Happy Painting!