Many owners marvel at the RVs great build under the hood, the very mechanics that enable it to take you across great distances with much ease and stability. However, this is not all there is to this beautiful machine. It can also be a great second home, one which you can bring to the great outdoors. And this is not just saying that it can do the bare minimum for you every single day of camping, with much space and a decent power supply, inside the rig you can have an ambient living room and comfortable sleeping quarters. It can also provide a functioning kitchen and a bathroom!
One of the great aspects of the RV is the ability to have a large storage. Most rigs, both stock and customized, have an assortment of different cabinets ready for whatever the owners might want to bring on their adventures off the grid. However, as with most parts of the rig, these cabinets are not exempt from the wear and tear that each journey brings. At some point, you are going to have it repainted. Here is a list of the factors to consider when looking for the best RV paint for cabinets.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Paint for RV Cabinets Reviews 2020
- 1. Nuvo Titanium Paint Kit
- 2. INSL-X Satin White Cabinet Enamel
- 3. KILZ Adhesion Latex Primer
- 4. Nuvo Earl Grey Paint Kit
- 5. Rust-Oleum 1992502 Painters Touch Latex
- 6. Beyond Paint Multi-Purpose Sealer
- 7. RUST-OLEUM 258242 Base Cabinet Transformations Kit Dark Tint
- 8. Retique It Non-Toxic Paint Chalk Finish Paint by Renaissance
- 9. General Finishes Milk Paint
- 10. Nuvo One Day Cabinet Makeover Kit
- What to Look for When Buying Paint for RV Cabinets
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
10 Best Paint for RV Cabinets Reviews 2020
1. Nuvo Titanium Paint Kit
I wanted to DIY my home makeover to save some money, even though I have little knowledge on how to paint camper cabinets. Thankfully I found the Nuvo Titanium paint kit.
I have never done a renovation at my home before, so I didn’t really know where to start. I did a little bit of research and I found that even just changing the colors inside my RV can bring a whole lot of difference. This paint for RV cabinets comes highly recommended as it is a safe, easy, and cheap solution for when you need to add some color to your interiors.
I am happy that the Nuvo Cabinet Paint Titanium kit didn’t require a lot of preparation prior to painting RV cabinets. There was no need to remove cabinet doors, strip old paint, etc.).
As I mentioned, I am not really good at this, so I wish the set came with a smaller brush for corners where I needed better accuracy. It does come with an angular brush, though, so I made do with it (I just had to be very careful and use the tip in certain parts of the cabinets).
2. INSL-X Satin White Cabinet Enamel
My RV cabinets came in a weird dark yellow color, which, to be honest, looked kinda gross even when I got the RV brand-new. I decided to solve this minor dilemma by getting paint for RV cabinets, and I, fortunately, stumbled upon the INSL-X cabinet enamel.
The satin white finish of this RV paint gives my RV a more relaxing and sophisticated look. My RV with white cabinets now definitely looks like a million bucks, even though I spent barely 30 dollars on this paint project.
This RV paint glides smoothly onto the surface and adheres and dries pretty quickly, which is a good thing for me as I tend to be impatient with this kind of thing. Although, since I wanted to save hundreds of dollars, I decided to do it myself.
It would have been better if the Satin White Cabinet Enamel came in a kit that contained rollers or paintbrushes; I had to order the brushes separately. I know it’s a minor inconvenience, but I think had they included even just a 2-inch brush in the set, it would be the perfect paint kit for RV owners.
3. KILZ Adhesion Latex Primer
The KILZ adhesion primer worked really great on my RV cabinets – even on my old countertop. Since the primer can be used on any type of surface (even on glossy finishes), it served me well when painting a camper interior.
I only ordered a gallon, so I was kinda worried that it might not cover all the areas I needed to paint, but I am glad that it did. It was enough for all my cabinets, countertop, and door and window frames.
The best thing about this primer is that it dries up pretty fast: no need to spend half a day waiting for the primer to dry before completing the paint job. The way I did it was I used the primer on all the surfaces, and when I went back to the first thing I covered, it was already dry and ready for the topcoat.
I am just not so happy that this paint for RV cabinets requires some kind of preparation before use, as the surface to be painted should be totally clean before you use the primer. This adds an extra step (wiping down the surface and removing any dust, chipped old paint, mold, etc.) before starting the paint job.
4. Nuvo Earl Grey Paint Kit
I had wooden cabinets in my RV kitchen that were looking old and dingy, so I thought of replacing them. I had second thoughts, though, because whilst they are rather old, they are not broken and are still perfectly functional. My neighbor recommended that I simply get the Nuvo Earl Grey makeover kit instead, and I am so glad I followed his advice.
This paint for RV cabinets is one of the easiest kits I’ve ever used: I didn’t even have to remove the cabinet doors before starting the paint job. I simply had to wipe all the surfaces with a dry rag, and then I proceeded to paint.
Because it is low on VOC (volatile organic compounds), it is almost odorless and therefore safe and convenient to use.
Although, had this Nuvo paint kit came with rags, then I could definitely say that it is an all-in-one cabinet makeover kit. I only used one rag for touch-ups and wiping down the cabinets before painting, so I think had they added one in the set, it would have been the perfect kit.
5. Rust-Oleum 1992502 Painters Touch Latex
I got the Rust-Oleum latex paint to cover the stains on my old RV cabinets, but I was surprised that it not only covers the unsightly spots: it even made my cabinets look brand-new.
I am pleased that apart from being a good paint for RV cabinets, the Rust-Oleum paint can also be used outdoors. I had some paint left after doing all the cabinets inside my RV, so I used the remaining paint to coat my outdoor folding table.
The paint is ideal for other types of surfaces (plaster, metal, masonry, etc.) as well, so if you need to add some accent colors to your interior, you can do it easily.
Before painting camper cabinets, I had to sand the cabinets with a 180/200 sandpaper, as they say, it helps for the paint to adhere better on the surface. I didn’t like the additional effort, but it was all worth it because the end result was quite astonishing – even I can’t believe that I did it all by myself. The semi-glossy white finish was remarkable: it made my paint job look like it was done by a professional.
6. Beyond Paint Multi-Purpose Sealer
I have never repainted my RV cabinets before, but since painting is one of the things I actually like to do and I wanted to give my RV a little pop of color, I ordered the Beyond Paint sealer along with some charcoal-colored paint for RV cabinets.
I am glad that the set came with brushes, as you really need a clean brush when applying a sealer – and I don’t have time to wash all my old brushes thoroughly.
I have done some painting jobs in other parts of my RV, so I was pretty confident with my skills. However, my friend said he used the same sealer and didn’t get the same results as I did – he said there were some parts that had bubbles when he applied the sealer, and those bubbles left a mark on the surface when the sealer dried. I don’t think that this product is to blame, though: as any painter would know, simply brushing over those areas can easily remove the bubble spots. So when I used this multi-purpose sealer, I was careful in applying it onto the painted surface – and it turned out well. This also seems to work well when painting pop up camper cabinets.
7. RUST-OLEUM 258242 Base Cabinet Transformations Kit Dark Tint
I wanted to give my RV a fresher look, so I thought about painting it – but I am a terrible painter. Luckily, I have wooden cabinets in the RV, so I thought that I might have better luck at using tint instead – and the RUST-OLEUM dark tint did not disappoint.
What I liked most is that the dark tint gave a clean finish to all my cabinets, as if they were made with high-quality wood. I don’t think that could be achieved had I used a typical paint for RV cabinets, so I am happy with my decision. I’ve heard I could also add some decorative glaze with this tint, but I chose not to because I’m too lazy for that.
I was a bit displeased when I found out that the kit did not include a brush or a roller – I was expecting it to have some in it considering that it is called a “kit”. Apart from that, the tint took longer to dry than I expected – I couldn’t use my kitchen for the whole day. Nevertheless, I was pleased with the end results, so I would say that all the hard work was worth it.
8. Retique It Non-Toxic Paint Chalk Finish Paint by Renaissance
My RV was looking a little old (to be fair, it IS old), so I opted for a quick-and-easy fix: repainting all my cabinets. Among the paint for RV cabinets that I found online, I was intrigued by the Retique paint because it is eco-friendly and has a chalk finish.
I didn’t want to spend hours outside of my RV while I waited for the paint to dry, and luckily I didn’t have to because apart from the paint being VOC-free, it also dries really quickly. I also liked that I did not have to do any preparation (sanding, priming, etc.) and that I have a lot of colors to choose from.
I made a few mistakes here and there, but because the paint is acrylic, I only had to use a wet rag to wipe off any mistakes I made.
Since I chose a lighter color for my furniture, I needed a new brush to ensure an even-colored coat on surfaces. Unfortunately, this paint did not come with a brush, so I had to run to a nearby hardware store. It’s not super convenient, so I would just suggest that you include a brush in your order if you’re getting this Retique paint.
9. General Finishes Milk Paint
I used the General Finishes water-based paint for my two wooden folding lawn chairs, as they have some discoloration due to years of use and sun exposure. I had some leftover paint, so I thought to use it on my RV cabinets as well: and I would say it was a really good decision.
It leaves a milky-white finish that gave my interior a classic look: it was very appealing to the eyes. The quality of the low-luster sheen it gave my cabinets was a pleasant surprise, as it kind of gave a “warm” feel for my kitchen even though technically it is not a warm color.
I could imagine this paint would also work well on my desks, so I am planning to get the Key West color next time to lighten up my interiors. I’m not entirely decided on the color yet, and fortunately, this water-based paint comes in a variety of colors and can be mixed as well.
As opposed to other paint for RV cabinets or cabinet transformation kits, though, this General Finishes paint does not come with rollers or brushes. Even so, it can be used with either of those tools and is even compatible with sprayers.
10. Nuvo One Day Cabinet Makeover Kit
I did some minor renovations in my RV with the help of this Nuvo makeover kit, and it is one of the cheapest home renovations I’ve ever done.
I used the Coconut Espresso makeover kit for my kitchen cabinets because I wanted a creamy beige color for the cabinets. I didn’t even have to take out the cabinet doors when painting, which was pretty convenient. It took me a couple of hours to complete my mini home project, but the results were very satisfying.
Compared with simply buying a can of paint for RV cabinets, this makeover kit includes a complete set of tools, so I was able to start my painting project pretty easily. I was able to apply two coats on all my cabinets, and there was still some paint left.
I liked that it is suitable for either raw or primed wood, or even metal or laminate material. Although, since it comes in a preset color, it cannot be mixed with other paint colors to achieve a different shade. I am okay with that, though, because I really liked the appeal of the Coconut Espresso.
What to Look for When Buying Paint for RV Cabinets
Before buying any paint, you would first need to identify what kind of cabinets you have in your rig. Currently, these are the three main types of RV painted cabinets you might find in most set-ups, which mostly depend on what are RV cabinets made of:
Wooden RV Cabinets – Wood RV cabinets are always stylish, and they are mostly employed when owners want a classy look for their interior set-up. Aside from this, wood RV cabinets are great when it comes to painting! The first thing to do is to sand it up first, this prep will assure you that it will have a better bond with the paint, which can then result in a smoother look when finished.
If, however, you have cabinets that are made of natural wood that is bare, then even better! It will require little to no sanding anymore as the paint has a great surface to hold on to. However, bare wood can absorb more paint, especially if you are to use latex paint that is water-based. Primers are usually there to aid you in such instances, so do not worry!
Wood Venner RV Cabinets – If you are not familiar with it, then here is a brief explanation of what a ‘wood veneer’ is. Basically, it is a thin layer or sheet of real hardwood that is pressed over a sturdy material. If what you have is this for your RV cabinets, it will still need sanding prep, although quite minimal. Since this is a thin layer that is just placed over the material underneath, overdoing the sanding will result in the exposure of the second layer. It is important to carefully observe the RV cabinets first for cracks in the surface, as well as loose edges, and small chips (since this variation is susceptible to such damages).
MDF RV Cabinets – This is a well-known variation in the scene, and rightfully so. MDF, or medium-density fiberboard, is widely used because it is easier to customize than most variations, and there are fewer instances of warping and cracking with it. When prepping for MDF RV cabinets, there are two important factors: using a primer that is oil-based and sealing its edges. Since MDF is more porous than your standard material, you would have to add materials like drywall compound in order to seal its edges. Water-based primers tend to make the MDFs surface swell, hence the use of an oil-based primer.
Laminate RV Cabinets – Laminate is a plastic printed with whatever design, mostly imitating wood’s visual qualities. The print is placed over a base layer, usually a sturdy material. Since the finish is smooth and slick, you would have to opt for laminate-specific primer and paint in order to achieve great results. Sanding is still needed, although very minimal, so you do not go over the surface.
Once you identify what kind of cabinet you have, then you proceed with finding the best product and pursuing your RV cabinet paint ideas. There are a few factors to consider with this, and these are:
Right Paint Type
Often overlooked, most owners do not pay much attention in choosing what type of paint to use in RV cabinets, whether exterior paint or interior paint is best. Interior paint is the most suitable option when designing the inside of your camper. Outdoor paint can have an overwhelming smell, which causes discomfort and in some cases, health problems. Interior paint is also known to dry faster than exterior paint, which will make the job easier for you.
Is the Primer Included?
Primers are oftentimes included in most painting packages available in stores. This makes shopping easier as you know that such products complement each other. However, you do not need to be stuck with this. You can explore combinations with products from other brands. Ultimately this boils down to the brand you trust more, as well as the budget.
Gloss is a factor that adds up to the general aesthetic value of the cabinets’ finish, as well as the overall interior design of the rig. There are many levels to the gloss that is available, and most rigs of today employ the use of semi or high gloss paint.
At the end of the day, the budget is a big factor when looking for the best RV paint for cabinets. If you can weigh in all the factors above, as well as the space in your budget, you are sure to pick what is best for you and your rig at the moment.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is paint for RV cabinets?
The RV is a recreational vehicle that is widely popular globally. Whether they are vehicle enthusiasts looking for something that can take you great distances from Point A to Point B, or for the family-oriented people looking to have a few adventures with their families and friends, the RV is a sough-after vehicle because of its premise and versatility. The RV is popular because of the machine under the hood, which allows it to weather notable changes in terrain, temperature, and other factors to be faced on the road. Just as much, the RV is also known for its promise of space and storage. Being a home away from home, the RV is basically a shelter than can be moved around for those who feel the need to explore the great challenge outdoors. One of the most important aspects of its storage advantage is the RV cabinets that are readily available inside the rig.
Although often overlooked by both new and old owners, the RV cabinets require as much maintenance as the other parts of the rig’s interior. They provide storage for many things that you might need in your trips off the grid. They can be there for your linens, pillows, clothes, and blankets. They can store your bathroom and hygiene necessities when you are on the road, as well as your food. Your gadgets, rig equipment, and other essential tools can also be found here. It is just logical to think that such cabinets are also vulnerable to wear and tear through constant usage. And so this is where the RV paint for cabinets is needed because repainting your current set is more affordable for your budget than buying entirely new sets when they become visually problematic for you. And if you want to have a better travel experience for your loved ones, you are more likely to achieve it with the use of the best RV cabinet for painting that you could find.
How does it work?
The RV cabinet paint works just like the standard paint used for houses, furniture, and others. Mainly, paint is used for two things. The first use of the paint is for protection, and the other use is for decoration.
Through a good chunk of history, paint has been used as some sort of protection against natural factors and elements that different things face. For example, numerous buildings and structures utilize the use of paint in order to combat the harmful effects of the sun on their very materials. Paint helps materials from drying out when the temperature is hot and blistering, while it also prevents the seeping of water through wooden materials thus actively preventing rot to occur.
Even in metallic materials, paint proves to be quite useful especially in preventing the rusting that results in large scale damages. This is why RV cabinets need to have the best RV paint available. Like a house on four wheels, the sudden changes in temperature will affect these cabinets on the road. It can also be susceptible to damages done by the elements you face on the road like rain, snow, dust, sand, and many others.
Aside from the protection, RV cabinets also benefit from the visual aspects that RV cabinet paints provide. This is the more obvious use of the RV cabinet paint. Aesthetically, it helps set a certain mood that owners usually follow. If there is a theme or a motif that is utilized in the interior of the rig’s design, the paint of the cabinets will surely be a huge factor. There are many reasons as to why you would need a great interior for your RV. For one, the interior is where your family and friends will most likely hang out on the road, and so you would need it to be as comfy as it looks. The other reason is that the interior affects not only the passengers but the mindset of the driver as well. It is known that a well-kept interior lessens the stress of the driver, as the additional hassles are removed from his mind while driving.
And so, by setting the tone of the interior’s atmosphere with the help of the RV’s cabinet paint, you are not only protecting the storage quality of the rig but also adding to the quality of the travel experience.
What are the different types of paints for RV cabinets?
There are two main types of RV cabinet paint, both of which are readily available in the market right now. Both of them come each with unique advantages that can really help you take your travels up a notch.
Oil-based RV Cabinet Paint – Oil-based paint is the traditional choice for most owners. When applied to a surface, it typically dries harder than water-based options. This provides greater resistance against the accumulated wear and tear. However, it is also more likely to crack as it becomes dry, resulting in brittleness and chalking most of the time. This is because the hardness of the paint results in reduced flexibility, which is specifically needed especially with the RV cabinets.
As we all know, RV cabinets (more than most cabinets) will experience constant motion and vibration on the road with the terrains and roads. There is also the downside of visually yellowing over a certain duration. When it comes to sheen oil-based paints can have a higher sheen finish than water-based options, however, this is lessened over time.
Water-based RV Cabinet Paint – Water-based paint is the choice of the modern RVer when it comes to painting the rig’s cabinets. It has a lower sheen finish compared to the oil-based options, which means less gloss for you. However, it is able to maintain this level of shine for a longer period of time. When it comes to durability, the water-based RV cabinet paint offers a decent amount of protection (although the oil-based option is still stronger). What it lacks in durability makes up for flexibility, as it allows for small allowances when it comes to sudden movements as well as the constant shaking brought about by long drives. The flexibility also allows for the adaptation the paints undergoes with every temperature change faced on the road.
Why do you need RV Cabinet Paint?
There are many adventures to be had when you have an RV at an arm’s reach! However, in order to have superb travel experience, one of the most important factors is the storage. With great storage, you are capable of bringing along your friends and family to such adventures without worrying about your supplies! Whether it’s the wares, the cookers and other kitchen equipment, your clothes, your everyday gadgets, and even your food, all these can be shelved within the cabinets of the rig!
However, as any part of the rig, the cabinets are also vulnerable to wear and tear. This is especially true because of the changing weather and temperature, which not only affects the exterior of the rig but the interior as well. In order to prevent damage and unfortunate accidents on the road, you would need to find the best RV cabinet paint for your rig, both advantageous for the protection and decoration.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you prepare RV cabinets for painting?
There are different kinds of RV cabinets, each with its own unique aspects. With such, they all have different ways of preparation when it comes to the application of the paint itself. We have here two examples.
Wood Veneer Cabinets – With wood veneer cabinets, a thinly-cut layer of natural hardwood is pressed on to the surface of sturdy material. This means that it can be quite deceiving to the eyes when in reality the material at the surface is not the same as the succeeding layers. Thorough and careful sanding is then required in order to prep this kind of cabinets because you do not want to expose its inner material. You are just to make the surface rough and that will be enough to give the paint and the primer a better surface it can attach itself to.
Real Wood Cabinets – Traditional RVers have long been using real wood for their rig’s cabinets. With such kinds of cabinets, properly sanding it would greatly help the painting process. This is because the paint adheres best on surfaces that are scuffed, which cannot be replicated by faux-wood materials. Painting RV cabinets without sanding can be done on natural wood cabinets, although they are known to absorb more paint.
How do you paint new RV cabinets?
When it comes to new RV cabinets, the first important thing to remember is to properly clean all the parts. These include the doors, the sliders, the drawers, and all the essential moving parts of the cabinet set. Since it has not sustained any damage yet, you can skip a lot of steps ahead.
Thorough sanding is always required when painting the surfaces of the parts. An electric sander will come in handy with this part, and if done correctly, this will provide your paint with a great surface to adhere to.
When you have concluded the sanding part, now it is time to prepare and apply your primer. Although most people say that this part can be skipped, it is not advisable to do so. Even with great sanding, applying primer is still necessary not only in securing the application of the paint but also by increasing its durability while also providing protection for the surface of the material.
After this, you apply the paint at last. Be sure to do the painting in flat surfaces in order to avoid drips!
How do you paint old RV cabinets?
Painting old RV cabinets can be a bit trickier than painting new ones.
The first step is to remove all the removable parts of the cabinet set. This includes all the drawers, all the doors, and other moveable parts such as hinges, stoppers, etc. After carefully washing them and letting them dry, you are then to look for all the imperfections it has accumulated. Look for cracks, loose edges, and various chips. These are damages that are to be amended before priming.
Next, you need to remove the shine of the cabinet, which is most likely from the previous paint job. Some owners choose to sand the surfaces entirely to remove the shine, but chemicals like TSP can do the job too. After this, removing the grease (mostly caused by water and dirt) is next by careful application of rubbing alcohol in the areas. If the problem of running paint exists, frog tape can be handy in removing them.
After amending the damages accumulated by the cabinet since the last paint job, only then should you apply the primer to the parts. And then, finish it off by applying the paint. It is advisable to use a roller in order to avoid different brush strokes.
How to paint RV cabinets?
Just like regular paint, RV cabinet paint is applied to the surface of the area that you want to be decorated and/or protected. Be sure to apply it with the support of a flat surface for a cleaner look!
How to care for and clean RV cabinets?
RV cabinets are prone to damage when you do not act fast when it comes to cleaning. In order to prevent this, be sure to clean up spills and wipe up the smears while they are still fresh. Do not let the area soak and use a soft damp cloth for cleaning. Cabinets near the cooking area should be checked and cleaned weekly in order to get rid of the haze from the splatters of cooking grease. Avoid using cleaning cloths soaked with excess water, use only a damp one and rub the area in a thorough, circular motion.
When stubborn areas exist, using a paint-safe cleaning solution is advised. There are some that are available in the stores. If you are caught in a jam, mixing a small amount of vinegar, soap, and water can also do the trick!
The challenging part of maintenance is the repainting of the RV cabinets. To achieve the same level of results as the paint job before, what you need to do is to seek the professional advice of the trusty people at your local paint store. They can match the colors of your cabinet to a point, hence giving you a better chance at repainting the travel trailer cabinets yourself than having to call in an expert when you botch the paint choice!
There are different ways to prepare and ready the RV cabinets. This is because different cabinets are made with varying materials, resulting in varied ways of prep. They would respond differently to each level of preparation, and so you must familiarize yourself with what kind of RV cabinets you have in your rig, what kind of paint and finish you want, as well as the features you would want to have in the paint.
Preparing, priming, and painting the RV cabinets is just half the battle. The other half lies in knowing how to keep it in its utmost quality, and how to properly do the maintenance. Remember, your RV paint ideas must not focus on the aesthetic appeal and how it would improve the rig’s interior décor, but you also apply the paint in order to protect the cabinet from the damages you will face in your off the grid adventures!