How are RV Walls Made? Can RV Walls Be Painted?

How are RV Walls Made? Can RV Walls Be Painted?
How are RV Walls Made? Can RV Walls Be Painted?

How RV Walls are Made

The interior walls of most RVs are made out of a material called lauan; this is a type of very thin, strong, and light-weight plywood. It’s made from the wood of the lauan tree, which is native to the Philippines. This is covered with vinyl wallpaper, which makes it easy to clean.

The vinyl wallpaper covering the lauan plywood is typically printed in a neutral, golden-beige swirl pattern; some people don’t like this look and wish to paint the RV interior walls. This can easily be done.

How To Paint RV Walls

  1. First, sand the walls lightly, to create a surface the paint will adhere to.
  2. Clean the walls to remove any dust and allow it to dry thoroughly.
  3. Prime the walls with a primer; a water-based primer such as Kilz. You can also use an oil-based primer.
  4. Paint the walls in any color or finish you like. You may want to match the paint to the primer, either water-based or oil-based.

Exterior RV walls

The exterior walls of an RV are either made of fiberglass or aluminum, however, fiberglass is more common.

The fiberglass walls on the exterior of an RV are covered in a gel-coat, for a smooth, shiny, durable finish. It’s very tough, but you should regularly wash and wax your fiberglass gel-coat RV, to help prevent deterioration from the sun. Modern aluminum RVs, such as Airstream trailers, are also coated with a gel-coat.

Painting the Exterior of an RV

You may have an old RV that needs a new look and wish to paint it. It is possible to paint the exterior of an RV. This is a job best left to a professional, however, you can do it yourself.

  1. First, you’ll want to remove the decals; this can be done using a “pin-stripe remover”. This is a rubber wheel you can attach to an electric drill. This will rub off the decals similar to a pencil eraser. You will need several of these.
  2. Next, wash the RV, followed by sanding and another washing.
  3. Mask off all of the windows and hardware on the RV.
  4. Use a paint spray gun to coat the RV with a latex-based primer.
  5. Finally, apply your paint with the paint gun as you did for the primer. Use a fluid motion to avoid drips. If necessary, you can apply a second and third coat.

Another option to change the exterior look of an RV is to use a vinyl wrap; this is a thin vinyl film that can be printed in any color or pattern you like. A vinyl wrap can be removed without damaging the original finish underneath. However, vinyl wrapping an RV is very expensive.


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1 thought on “How are RV Walls Made? Can RV Walls Be Painted?”

  1. I want to repaint my RV walls but I don’t know what material it is and what type of paint it is suitable for. Thank you for writing this article, it answered my question.


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