Friday, April 3, 2015

Maisie Toot ::Part 3:: Painting :: Travel trailer camper turned glamper renovation and remodel

I know that we've beat this point home, but I'm going to say it again...The older a camper is, the more outdated the style.  Maisie was no exception to this rule.  For some reason camper designers circa.) 2005 had an affinity for a mix of woods (or fake woods as the case may be).  Maisie has her fair share of two tone wood/laminate, as well as her yellowing plastic vents, skylight, fans, etc.  

NOW, we were not about to paint the camper from stem to stern ( although, I'm not going to lie to you... I had planned on painting the laminated wood parts...until I saw some complete fails in attempting this done by other RV/ camper renovators.).

We were however, going to get rid of the yellowing plastic and metal where we could. 

The first  to take  priority was the cover to the furnace vent.

The vent cover is painted metal.  We got some Krylon Fusion in a nice grey color and did a single coat of it on the cover.  It stuck perfectly and didn't drip at all.

It's quite amazing how much something as small and simple as a painted cover can update a space into the right direction.

NOW, I realize that the can says PLASTIC, but right under that it says all sorts of other materials.  And metal was on the list.

I have to say, the more renovated campers that I have seen, the more I realize that painting is the single, most transformative thing that you can do to update or remodel a camper.
It is also the most time consuming.

There is prep work involved, as well as a boatload of supplies needed...compounded by the dizziness that picking that one perfect color combination causes.
It's a lot, we tell you.

It took several trips to the hardware store, as well as researching what type of paint is preferable for campers.  And then there were weeks spent browsing Pinterest for color combination ideas while we waited for Maisie to be delivered.

And this... was the color combination that we decided on.

Ahhh, yes.  Pinterest.  Have we mentioned Pinterest before?

No?! ( I honestly don't know how that's possible. )

Well, it's basically the worlds largest time-sucking app/website ever.  BUT, it is also a wealth of good information, links and sites when you are researching, or need inspiration for something in your life
( Anything, really.)

I give it credit for the thousands of ideas for Maisie that have run through our heads over this process.

You can find our Pinterest boards here.

Anyway, back to the painting of Maisie.

First, we found some colors that would be perfect!

And then we didn't use ANY of them. (because we are F.U.N that way.  WINK. )

We ended up having the guy at the hardware store mix a custom color because the one that we were looking for just wasn't quite any of the ones we sort of liked.  They were all close, but no cigar.

We had him add a bit of extra blue to a color called Moondancing. 

And even then, when we put the first coat on the walls, we still weren't sure it would work.

See.  F.U.N.

With all of our research, we made sure to get specific paint for a camper, meaning that it had primer already in it, was semi gloss, and meant for bathrooms.  This cuts down on the chance of getting mold and mildew in the camper.

We got Benjamin Moore Aura for bathrooms.

This is very important to us, seeing how we live in an area that gets a lot of snow and has very damp Fall and Spring seasons.

To prep the walls for paint,  we washed them down with a mixture of vinegar and water and dried them fully a few days before painting day.

Then we got to painting.

We taped all of the corners, windows and doors and then we first did the trim and detailing, followed by the rolling of the larger areas.

We even gave Hayden a brush and let him help.  he did a "great job" (as he told us many times.)

We each now have 2 ruined outfits from paint, and we got more than a little in our hair.

Once we were done with the living/dining area, we moved on to the bunk room.
We did the same taping and prep for these walls as well.

Before we painted though, we took out the mattresses.

Also, do you notice the yellow foam in the photo above?

I forgot to mention that there was a valance covering the top of the door of Maisie.  When we removed the valance during demolition day, we realized that there was a huge gap in the siding there around the door where air was rushing through.  The valance was hiding it, but it created quite a draft.

We filled the gap with a can of spray foam meant for such purposes and then shaved off the excess with a knife.

It worked very nicely, except I didn't realize that the foam would come out of the can yellow.  Bleck.
We ended up salvaging the valance from the garbage can and intend to return it to it's original spot since now we had a bunch of ugly yellow foam to look at.

* We are going to recover the valance before putting it back up, but that comes later.

Ok, finally we were ready to tackle the bathroom.

Not many campers that are Maisie's size have a honest to goodness bathroom.  Most campers in her size range have the ever-appealing (and SUPER hygienic. WINK.) shower/toilet/sink combo which is shoved into a closet.


But Maisie has an awesome bathroom!  She has a sink/vanity, a toilet, a medicine cabinet, AND the best part... A BATHTUB!

We ended up using an initial coat of Zinsser pro primer for the bathroom before the paint was applied for a little extra moisture protection due to the fact that the bathroom would be the moistest room in the camper.

Moistest.  Is that even a word?

Probably not.   (I hate that word,  btw.)

The Most moist room. (even worse.)

Any way... the first coat of both the primer in the bathroom, and the initial coat on the rest of the living space of the camper took a while to both to go on,  as well as to dry.  Once the paint was truly dry, we went through with the second coats.

In the bathroom, we used a beautiful turquoise color that Laura had left over from her kitchen in her house that she recently painted.

It went over the primer very well and added just the right pop of color for such a tiny space.


As painting day came to a close, we came to the conclusion that we are...
#1 Very bad at math ( we had approximately 3/4 of the paint left over after we were finished painting.)  I honestly almost ordered 2 gallons of the Moondancing, thinking that we wouldn't have enough!)
#2 Never painting Maisie again
#3 Thankful that we didn't get any paint on any of our pillows.

I should note... we did NOT paint the ceiling of the camper.  It was plain white to start with, and was very clean.  It adds a nice, bright contrast to the painted walls.  Plus, not having to do more work was a bonus in itself.

We did do two videos for the projects in this post.
Priming bathroom

We are looking forward to the final steps in this remodel.

Next up, we will be making curtains!


We hope that you come back to see the future renovations that we have planned for our girl!

We are so excited!

Truly, Julia and Laura


  1. HI. I know painting a camper is a HUGE job, but the end result is so worth it. Love the color choices you made! In case you want to paint the fake wood paneling in the future, I didn't have any problems when I used Zinnser Primer 123 PLUS. The PLUS is the one you want and it sticks to anything. We've used our camper all last summer about 10-15 outings and I didn't have any problems. If I got a scuff, I just used Magic Erasure.

    1. I have a Terry Taurus that has a very thin paneling on the wall with like wallpaper on top. Do you think this Zinnser Primer 123 Plus would work for my painting project?

  2. Thanks.... I'm ready to start painting!

  3. This is looking amazing! Show more, show more!!!

  4. Nice work but... who wears a scarf to paint?

  5. I love all your ideas and info....but must 1972 smokey "Mermaid" has the all inclusive restroom....oh well....there is a reason I camp where there is a bath house!!! Your camper looks great!!! waiting to see your upholstery as I am getting ready to do the same soon. love your colors!!!

  6. Great job! Did you paint over the wall paper or take the wall paper down?

  7. Did you have any issues with the existing wall paper peeling after painting? I was warned by the man at the RV store in my area that this may happen. I am getting ready next month to star a LEGIT camper remodel (all by myself, I know the hubs will want no part of it) so I am looking for any and all advice!!

    1. Wanted to jump in here and say that we painted the walls of our RV that looked just like these walls and have had no issues whatsoever. We actually just used two coats of Valspar paint + primer in one, no primer coat underneath. The walls have a slight texture to them that helped the paint adhere...if the walls had been a smooth texture we might have primed first. The wallpaper isn't like normal wallpaper's bonded to the wall paneling in the factory before the walls are built, and it would be extremely difficult to peel off even on purpose. If peeling isn't an issue before painting, there's no reason that painting it would suddenly make it peel.

  8. Loving that dark purple paint color! What was the name of it again please?

    1. Did you ever find out the color? I have searched every where.

  9. I will be transforming mine on my own as well! Thought I was the only one lol!

  10. Hey what was the name of the paint color you used for the bathroom???

  11. It must be a girl thing...I'm in the middle of redoing a 1980 Winnebago Brave. It has really been a learning experience! I started with things I knew I could do, painting and sewing, and I'm moving on to repairing and sealing the roof, replacing plumbing, etc. Lots of work but so worth it!

  12. It must be a girl thing...I'm in the middle of redoing a 1980 Winnebago Brave. It has really been a learning experience! I started with things I knew I could do, painting and sewing, and I'm moving on to repairing and sealing the roof, replacing plumbing, etc. Lots of work but so worth it!

  13. This is just lovely!
    Question: Can I just paint over the wallpaper or do I need to take it down?

    1. From my own experience as well as reading about numerous experiences of other RV owners - no need to remove unless it's already bubbled and peeling for some reason (like due to water damage or age for example). It isn't like regular wallpaper; it's bonded to the plywood paneling in the factory, and underneath is just plywood, not sheetrock. Most people paint the wallpaper with no problem provided they use appropriate primer/paint.

  14. Hopefully you are still reading comments on this. did you deal with the plastic moldings on the wall corners and between the walls and counters? I have plastic molding strips along the counters that won't come out, they are little triangles with one leg glued between counter and wall. I have to paint them, just wondering how you handled these parts. Comments from anyone who has dealt with these are welcome!

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  16. Thank you, you speak my language. Easy to read and I feel like I can follow along your process and not feel overwhelmed.

  17. I painted our walls and cabinets. It's made a huge difference. Thanks for the inspiration.

  18. We recently purchased a 33ft motorhome..I loved the possibilities it offered but we completly renovated the entire inside painting replacing nearly everything to give it a more modern and open feeling. Im loving the results..