Camper Kitchen Remodel – how to make your RV kitchen look pretty
Last year we finally bought an older 18′ Camper to take on journeys all over the US. I was so excited, finally, my biggest dream came true.
Unfortunately the camper we decided to get wasn’t very pretty on the inside but in good shape.
I don’t like browns and beiges, this is why I started with the Camper Kitchen Remodel immediately.
Of course, I didn’t stop after the kitchen was done. I renovated the whole Camper:
And this is how the camper kitchen looked before the remodel:
Let’s start with step 1 – decide on your color scheme:
Before you do anything, you should know which colors you want to use in your Camper.
Have you painted the walls already, are you planning on painting the whole Camper or do you want to concentrate only on the kitchen?
If you want to concentrate on the kitchen first and move on with the rest another time, then choose neutral. The grey paint color I choose for the kitchen cabinets works with every other color.
If you need some inspiration about what kind of color scheme you would like, here is some help on how to pick the right color scheme.
This is the color scheme from my Camper Remodel. The walls are painted in a light blue, the cabinets in the Seagull Gray and pink is my accent color.
Here are some different shades of grays/white you can choose from:
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I used the Seagull Gray and it looks really good. The white tends to get a little yellow after some time, especially in combination with a clear coat.
Camper Kitchen Remodel – You don’t need to sand anything!
The best thing about this camper kitchen remodel is, that you don’t need to sand anything if you use the paint I am suggesting.
I used the exact same paint in my kitchen at home and now in the camper. It works perfectly, otherwise, I would not suggest it.
Some people say you have to sand the wood before you paint. So if you have wooden cabinets and you don’t feel good painting without sanding, lightly sand over it if you feel more confident. Use the deglosser after sanding to make sure all of the dirt and grease is gone.
Or just try the paint on the inside of a door to know if it works well on your cabinets. This is how I start if I don’t know the product to be sure it works on my surface.
And before we dive into the remodeling, here is your shopping list that you need to get, in order to paint the kitchen cabinets.
Actually 1 quart of paint was enough for the kitchen, the bathroom door, and all the other cabinets above the bed.
Your demand depends on how big your kitchen is and how much you want/have to paint.
You will find the link where I bought the paint below.
So let’s start with the Camper Kitchen Remodel:
I left the doors mounted on the cabinets. Of course, it is more comfortable if you take them off and you can paint them more evenly.
- Take the hardware off your cabinets.
- Clean the cabinets thoroughly inside and outside with warm water and detergent.
- optional – lightly sand the wooden cabinets.
- Wipe down the cabinets with Deglosser to get rid of any grease (wear gloves).
- Use Frog Tape or similar tape to protect the sink, stove, microwave, and wall.
- Start painting the doors (I didn’t take them off).
- Use your small brush to paint the corners and edges with Milk Paint.
- Use your foam roller to evenly roll on the milk paint on the surfaces.
- Let dry as recommended and then paint it a second time.
- Decide if you want to paint the inside of the cabinet doors, your choice.
- Paint the outside of the cabinets.
- Let dry.
- Paint again.
- Let dry and check if everything looks even.
- Use your medium brush to apply the Top Coat.
- Be careful with drippings, as the Top Coat is more watery than the paint.
- Let dry as recommended.
- Apply the Top Coat again.
- Let dry as recommended.
- Apply the Top Coat again.
- Let dry as recommended.
- Put the hardware back on – DONE
As you can see in this picture I also painted the inside of the cabinet doors, but I did not paint the inside of the cabinets. To make it prettier add some nice paper or shelf liner and done. No more painting than necessary.
But definitely apply the Top Coat minimum three times, this is necessary to protect the paint from chipping. So please do not skip this step!!!
What to do with the Countertop?
I also painted my countertop with the same paint I used for the cabinets. Of course, I applied 3 coats of Top Coat for scratch protection.
If you want some kind of decor, why don’t you add contact paper? There are different colors available which you might like:
Here are some pictures of how my Camper Kitchen looks after the remodel:
How long does it take to paint the kitchen?
It took me approx. 6 hours altogether. I painted all the cabinets in one day, let it dry overnight, painted again, and then added the Top Coat the next day.
My camper kitchen is small, so therefore it didn’t take me very long for this remodel. Be sure to let the paint and the Top Coat dry as recommended, before you apply another coat.
Any other suggestions?
Yes definitely: Use a light paint color especially if you have a small camper. The transformation is amazing. I also painted the bathroom door and every other cabinet in this camper with the same paint color. It is important to stay with a maximum of 2 wall colors, otherwise, it looks cluttered pretty fast.
What about the backsplash?
For my backsplash, I used glass tiles and applied every single one of them. I liked the cohesive look of the glass tile color and didn’t want to interrupt it with grout.
Therefore it took me almost a whole day to do that job – but it looks awesome. Of course, it is much easier if you buy self-adhesive tiles, that is the faster and easier version of applying backsplash.
Just make sure – before applying – clean the walls. They have to be dust and grease-free.
I also always recommend to try one tile out to test the adhesive.
Read the instructions on how to apply the tiles you bought. Every manufacturer has different instructions, make sure to read them and do as follows.
Put one tile up and let it sit for a couple of hours, try to get it off. If it comes off easily, I would suggest adding some more adhesive. Just to be sure they don’t come off when it is getting very cold or very hot inside your Camper.
Get a good utility knife to cut the tiles as needed.
Try the pattern out before you actually stick the tiles on the wall,
- how much of the wall do you want to cover? Where is your end line?
- Do you want to cover the whole kitchen wall or only one stripe?
- Do you want to start at the beginning of the wall or the beginning of the cabinets?
Think about it before you stick them on the wall to be sure what you are doing.
Here are some patterns I think look great in a Camper:
There are so many more patterns and designs to choose from. I just picked some I really like a lot.
All in all, it took me 2 afternoons to get the camper kitchen updated.
How much did it cost to update this Camper kitchen?
The paint and the top coat is around $ 60 altogether. I still had leftovers from my home kitchen remodel, so I didn’t have to get more paint. If you need brushes and paint rollers add another $ 20.
Depending on what backsplash you are deciding on and how much wall you want to cover you have to spend probably between $ 50 and $ 100.
If you are on a very, very tight budget, check out the Dollar Store. They sometimes have peel and stick backsplash tiles for a Dollar. And they look actually pretty good. Here is a link to the Dollar Store:
Looking for more inspiration on how to update your Camper?
Here are some more easy tips on how to update your Camper on a Budget if you are searching for more inspiration:
And this is how the rest of the camper looks after the remodel:
As you can see I used the same paint for the cabinets above the bed, the glass cabinets as well as the bathroom door and the closet cabinets.
After more than 2 years now, everything still looks great. No paint chipping, or discoloring of the top coat. The milk paint in combination with the top coat is amazing.
Believe me, I did not waste my time and energy with sanding and priming and I am so glad I used milk paint.
I hope I gave you the confidence to update your Camper kitchen – you won’t regret it.
See you on the road,
Here are all the tips you need to update your Camper or RV from top to bottom. Don’t overthink it, just do one step after the other and you will be on the road again in no time:
If you want to update your camper with some cool wall art, go to my Resource Library and choose the design you like and print it out on letterhead paper. Frame it and it looks pretty cool:
Get started – you can do it! Promise.