If you’ve seen pictures of our fifth wheel camper when we first started the renovation process, you probably noticed everything was wood. If you missed it, check it out here. Now don’t get me wrong, I love wood. I think the texture & warmth it brings a room is unparalleled, and in any other situation I probably wouldn’t have painted all of it. However in a space as small as this one, we needed a neutral, blank canvas throughout. I knew we would have a lot of “things” to move into the space, and wanted the finished look to be as simple & orderly as possible… so white it is!
From the first time I saw the camper, I had visions of all white walls, ceiling and cabinets, with dark countertops & rustic wide plank flooring. I did a ton of research before I picked out the paint color I wanted (thanks Pinterest). Who knew there were so many shades of white out there? I read an article on Remodelista (here) and decided to go with a mix of two Benjamin Moore colors- Decorator’s White & Linen White. The article described the combination as a “warm and consistent color whether it is in shade or sun.” I loved this because I knew the camper would be shaded half of the day, and I wanted a white that didn’t seem too “cold” looking without sunlight.
We chose a Satin Enamel sheen for the walls, and a Semi-Gloss Enamel for the cabinets & trim. I am very happy with our choice. Both of these sheens are super easy to keep clean, all I have to do is wipe them down with a wet paper towel and they are good as new!
We bought our Benjamin Moore Paint, a ton of Kilz Original Primer, and called our awesome friends to come help. Kevin & Irene drove almost three hours to spend the weekend with us and help us prime the entire camper! They are keepers if you ask me.
Now, how did we paint everything? Well, luckily all the cabinet doors were real, solid wood and only the cabinet bases were made of a particleboard. What is particleboard you ask? It’s basically a bunch of composite material (wood shavings, sawdust, etc.) pressed together and covered with a thin layer of real wood , or “veneer”, to mimic the look of wood without the weight or the cost of the real thing.
Since we were planning on replacing the carpet with laminate and didn’t care if we got paint on it, no drop cloths were needed! Another perk was that we were painting EVERYTHING the same color, so we barely used any painters tape. We did use it around the stove & refrigerator, but that’s it.
The biggest obstacle was taping & painting the refrigerator. We wanted to paint the wood without painting over the grey plastic parts, but taping it off was a disaster. It still needs some touching up down the road, but it will do for now!
We gave everything from the floors up a good thick layer of Kilz before painting. If you use this stuff, make sure you keep all the windows & doors open, and take breaks to get fresh air as often as you can. The fumes are very strong and they straight to your head. We gave the Kilz a day or two to dry, then got started with the paint.
I painted all the cabinet doors & drawers in the barn next door, so they were out of the way and protected from the elements. I painted the backs of the cabinet doors and insides of all the cabinets, but didn’t paint inside the drawers. I had plans to put contact paper in the bottoms of the drawers after they dried.
We were so lucky to have so much help during this phase. Not only did our friends help, but we had tons of family stop by to lend a hand too.
The paint rollers made painting pretty easy, especially for the ceiling and insides of the cabinets. Our friends brought an edger similar to this one, and it was extremely useful. It was perfect to get into the tight spaces like behind the toilet, inside the kitchen cabinets, and between the shower & bathroom cabinet. I think we used it for edging a few times too, but it was a true blessing for the awkward nooks & crannies!
We did two layers of paint on pretty much every surface, and it is holding up great. I think the Kilz was a huge help ensuring that the paint stuck, so I highly recommend using it if you have a project coming up!
Next up is installing the custom cabinets & new countertops my dad made us, putting the cabinet doors back up, and replacing the floor. Then I will be posting the big renovation reveal! We still have some little things to work on here or there, but it already looks completely different than it did on Day 1.
What ideas do you have for our tiny home renovation? What would you like to see more of during our renovation process?