Last year we bought our first RV. We’ve had the RV bug for quite some time and we had looked at several Class A motorhomes. The problem was the units we looked at that were in our price range were all in pretty poor shape.
Then we ran across this one:
It was owned by an older couple who purchased from an older couple who couldn’t use it anymore due to health concerns. The couple we purchased it from had never taken it out or used it either. They also ran into a health crisis. So, this beauty was not used very often and was in much better shape – and within our budget!
I’m not much for the 90’s/early 2000’s oak and tan look. So while we used our RV “as is” for the first summer out, over this winter I started research on ways we could spruce her up. I join Facebook groups, searched Pinterest and read blogs. We finally decided that we wanted to paint the cabinets, replace hardware and remove the valances and replace with hanging curtains. I also asked a friend who is a sewing ninja if she thought she could recover the dinette cushions.
The months of snow and cold here in Colorado gave me plenty of time to research. After planning out our summer trips, buying fabric and looking for cabinet hardware, I couldn’t stand letting our RV sit out in storage for another weekend. The first warm weekend, I convinced my hubby that we could start on a few things sooner vs. later. We brought her home and decided that if we plugged into the house, ran the heater during the night (at night the temps were still in the 20’s-30’s) the paint would dry and cure just fine.
We brought her home and I started removing the valances and mini blinds inside. It was fairly simple and straightforward, about 8-10 screws holding each one onto the wall. I removed 4 valances and then, well, we went a little crazy with the demo!
Our unit is a 2000 Fleetwood Pace Arrow M34N. There were two different pocket style sliding doors between the bedroom/bathroom and bathroom/main cabin area. We decided to remove those pocket style doors and hang a curtain for separation from the bathroom bedroom. We also removed the mirrored and brass closet doors and chose to use a curtain instead (Now our closet does have shelves with a “lip” so items don’t slide off).
We removed the valance and this wall type mounted unit in the bedroom that had sliding mirrored type doors/window coverings. We removed several mirrors throughout that were mounted on the walls as well. These mirrors were a major PAIN to remove!
After cleaning the cabinets with TSP, we were ready to start painting. Note: if you are considering redoing any type of wood cabinets, cleaning with the TSP is a must! We’ve done this before with our home kitchen cabinets and it helped the paint/stain to really adhere well.
We removed all the cabinet fronts, drawers, etc. and painted. We also painted the cabinets themselves. We used a Valspar cabinet enamel paint from Lowes to paint the cabinets. We did the uppers in a white and the lower in gray. In the bedroom, we did the drawer fronts and cabinet doors in gray and the cabinets themselves in white.
Our local home improvement stores did not have the 4-inch handles we needed – so we had to order the hardware. Amazon is usually my go-to but I couldn’t find any handles in the 4 inch that I liked so we ordered these black ones from Houzz.com.
Then we painted the interior with a Valspar Interior white paint from Lowes (we painted right over the wallpaper). A few things that were super helpful was a smaller roller, a small paintbrush for cutting into those hard to reach spaces and a smaller size paint tray since I was working in tight/smaller spaces than when painting in a full-size house.
We also reused the hinges and spray painted them with Rust-Oleum spray paint.
This was about the farthest we got the first weekend.
Weekend #2 – we decided to do even more. After reinstalling all the cabinets and drawers we did a lot of touch up. I used some upholstery fabric from Joanne Fabrics and sewed up some curtains to replace the valances we had removed. I used silver command hooks and some very basic curtain rods to hang the curtains. I also hemmed up the 2 curtains I had purchased – 1 for the bedroom/bathroom separation and one curtain for the closet. They were both too long – so hemming them up was fairly easy.
Next up – I did a peel and stick backsplash in the kitchen and bathroom. This was super easy – except some of the smaller areas. It still was not super difficult but let’s just say that all those hours of playing Tetris as a kid paid off during this project! While I was working in the kitchen, my hubby painted several of the chrome bathroom pieces silver. Items like the towel racks and the TP holder. The next area we wanted to work on and cover up was the wood paneling. We covered the wood paneling on the dinette area, the hallway walls and the wall behind the toilet with peel and stick wallpaper.
When using our RV last summer, we always were hitting our heads on the light fixtures above the couch and dinette because of how low they hang. We removed these and replaced with flush mount LED fixtures. These made such a difference!
Another project was the bathroom. My intention was to remove a large mirror that was wall mounted, paint behind it, and then reinstall. This did not go according to plan and the mirror broke as we were trying to remove it. I painted the wall and my plan to check with a local glass shop to see if I can find a paper backed replacement.
Something else we could not stand was the queen size bed. We sleep in a king size bed at our home and switching to an RV Queen size bed during our travels made for difficult sleep. I did some research and found out that the length of a king size bed would be problematic due to the slide in the bedroom. So. we decided to go with two twin mattresses, a bed tethering system, and a memory foam topper. We removed two side cabinets to make room for the mattress to go wall-to-wall. Next, we purchased some plywood and added to the existing platform to extend it for the wider mattresses.
After looking at some of the tan fabrics that were still in place – I found some brush on fabric dye and dyed the top trim on the dinette, the remaining window valances and the fabric above the bed. I used the fabric creations brush on dye/paint.
Since I didn’t want to replace or dye the couch, I found a super soft velvet cover for the couch on Amazon. Since our son sleeps on the couch when we travel, it needed to be a soft cover. This one worked out perfectly.
The final changes were pretty awesome.
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