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Our RV Makeover Project

RV Makeover Before and After

We recently purchased an RV, a 2000 Fleetwood Storm 34 ft with slide-out that sleeps 6. We are huge fans of upcycling and rarely start out with exactly what we want. The concept of upcycling is to buy low, make improvements, and trade-up each time. We have big plans for this RV makeover and are starting with an update to the kitchen and main living area. Here is what our camper upcycle has looked like so far:

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Materials Mentioned

  1. TSP Cleaner

  2. Gripping primer

  3. Paint in Driftwood, Sawmill Gravy, and Hurricane Gray

  4. Satin varnish Clear Coat

  5. WoodUbend rope moulding

  6. Titebond Quick and Thick adhesive

  7. Wax in clear

RV Makeover Before and After


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Upcycling To Our Latest RV Makeover

This all started with a tent trailer we bought for $1000, and sold for $4500. It needed a new top that Sean did himself.

Then, a 2005 Trail Cruiser pull behind we bought for $3500 and sold for $5500. All it needed was a good cleaning and basic maintenance updates.

This all lead to the 2000 Fleetwood Class A we bought for $8500.

So you can kind of see how stepping up, over a few years, with an investment of time works with upcycling. We’ve used this same concept in getting the boat we wanted. Slow and steady. Buy low, sell high. A huge tip is to watch for seasonal trends in the market!

RV Makeover Before and After

RV floral is not on trend!

Outdated RV DIY Renovation

So, back to the makeover. Our RV was all original Y2K design trends. The engine only had 10k miles, and it had been lived in while the owners built a home. Everything was in good condition, but very dated. Those florals 🤢🤢 … Who is making RV fabric choices??

RV Makeover Before and After

New sofa and dinette cushions

The dealership had already replaced the carpet and linoleum, so flooring was off our list.

We started by replacing all of the soft surfaces. We shopped for a leather RV sofa and recliner on Facebook Marketplace and found a set for $350, and were able to resell one of the old recliners for $100.

We picked up a comfortable queen mattress and found a set of dinette cushions also on Marketplace. The cushions were slightly too large so I opened the covers and trimmed back the foam.

RV Makeover Before and After

How To Paint RV Cabinets

We then decided to tackle the dated cabinets by first cleaning them all well with Cleaner. Next, we removed all doors from the hinges and took off all handles.

The brass handles and hinges were soaked in 50/50 white vinegar and water overnight to clean, then spray painted black and sealed in satin lacquer.

Painting RV Cabinets RV Makeover Before

Dated cabinets before

Painting RV Cabinets RV Makeover Before and After

The cabinets were primed in Gripping primer , because they were not all real wood, some doors were a laminate.

Our color scheme will be grays, beiges, and creams inspired by the new backslash I found at Lowes, similar to this one HERE. It’s an easy peel and stick tile making it perfect for an RV upcycle project! I chose a 2 tone color scheme for the RV cabinets and painted the kitchen area with paint in Driftwood and did the rest in Sawmill Gravy.

All got 2 coats of paint, then were sprayed on Satin varnish clear coat for protection. The entire cabinet process took 2 of us about a week, working on a step each day.

Painting RV Cabinets RV Makeover Before and After
RV Makeover Kitchen Backsplash

The cabinets turned out amazing!

RV Countertop Facelift

With the cabinet doors reinstalled, I tackled the counters. Originally I’d thought of pouring them in resin, but with the gray painted cabinets, the green tones now look gray and they are actually pretty tolerable, maybe a future upgrade. The edge trim was missing, however, and needed an easy resolution.

RV Makeover Before and After

Missing edge laminate strip

I took a WoodUbend rope moulding and heated it to conform to the edge, attached with Titebond Quick and Thick adhesive, and taped in place to dry overnight.

RV Makeover Countertops Before

Left to dry overnight

Check out how easy it is to use WoodUbend Mouldings!


The next day I painted the WoodUbend trim in Hurricane Gray to coordinate with the counters, and coated in satin clear coat

RV Makeover Countertops

Painted to match

RV Makeover Countertops

Huge improvement!

While I worked on interior paint and decor, my husband was busy installing new speakers, a Bluetooth stereo, a backup camera, flat-screen TV with integrated DVD player, new fans, and lights, all ordered online, then changing out spark plugs and other basic maintenance.

RV Makeover Cabin After

Painting Fabric

I then tackled the ugly green fabric around the slide. Did you know you can paint fabric?? Misting heavily with water while massaging in Hurricane Gray, turns the paint into a dye. Once dry, I lightly sanded, then massaged in Wax in clear, using a nylon brush. The result feels like a smooth leather, and definitely looks better!

RV Makeover Before and After Painted Fabric

Painted fabric

We are calling this phase 1 of our RV makeover project. Still yet to tackle the bedroom or bathroom, but our confidence is boosted in knowing we can do this and the results are so worthwhile!


RV Makeover After
RV Makeover Before and After
RV Makeover Before and After
RV Makeover RV Kitchen Cabinets Before and After
RV Makeover RV Kitchen Before and After
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