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How To Upgrade Your RV Wallpaper

Q: Can the interior wallcovering in a typical 5th wheel be painted? Other options? I really don’t care for look of the walls and really want a brighter, cleaner appearance. Thanks. – John C.

If you’re not happy with the way the wall papered interior of your RV looks, you may be able to change things up fairly easily.

Change RV wallpaper

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While it is possible to paint the interior walls of a fifth wheel or travel trailer, you’ll want to consider a few questions before starting work:

  1. do you simply want to change out a wallpapered border?
  2. are you looking to alter the color of the walls completely?
  3. will you be rehanging new wallpaper or just painting over the surface?

Beware of ‘RV Wallpaper’

The wallpaper in your RV may not be the same as that in your regular house. RV wallpaper usually gets installed on the interior paneling outside of the RV. In some cases, it may even be heat bonded to the luan plywood. These wallpapered panels are then installed into the camper on an assembly line.

A vinyl protective strip covers the seam between each sheet of this RV wallpaper, making removal of the wallpaper much more difficult and messy than in your regular home.

If you think you might be dealing with this hard-to-remove type wallpaper, you could add another layer of wallpaper over top of the old stuff. Once you settle on your preferred wall paper design, use wallpaper paste to hang the new sheets over the old. The wallpaper paste has added adhesive which will help the new wallpaper stick to smooth, glossy surfaces.

Note: You can buy the paste online, but it should be cheaper to get a gallon of it at your local hardware store.

How to Remove a Wallpaper Border in Your RV

To remove just the wall paper border that often frames interior walls, first carefully peel back the vinyl top layer. After you’ve got the vinyl portion removed, dampen the paper backing with warm water.

Once you pull off the vinyl top and its paper backing, you might notice some glue still clinging to the wall.

Here’s a helpful video showing the process for removing standard wall paper using Goof-Off spray and some paper towels.

Can You Paint Directly Over the Wallpaper?

While some may disagree, it’s possible to paint directly over the existing wall paper. When this woman wanted to redo the inside of her RV, she didn’t bother removing the old vinyl first.

Resources for removing RV wallpaper:

More RV interior renovation tips:

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