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The Best Paints for RV Cabinets, Furniture & Other Surfaces

Fact checked by Ronal Dowens

best paint for rv cabinets

Just like your home’s kitchen, you want your RV kitchen to look nice to make it comfortable to stay during vacation. Do you know the easiest way to give your RV kitchen a new look? That’s right! Give your RV cabinets a new paint.

The best paint for RV cabinets should provide a smooth finish, easy to apply, and safe as possible. However, the most challenging part of shopping for paints is choosing among hundreds of brands on the market. For your convenience, I have selected 11 top brands that deliver the best results.

Get to know each product as I discuss the pros and cons below.

Top 3 Products

Best Overall

Nuvo Cabinet Paint


Editor’s Pick

INSL-X CC550109A-01


Best Value for Money

Rust-Oleum 207000


Best Paint for RV Cabinets Reviews

1. Nuvo Cabinet Paint, Coconut Espresso

The Coconut Espresso is part of Nuvo’s Rustic Collection featuring a creamy beige, satin finish. This acrylic paint comes in a 31-oz can which can cover up to 50 square feet or 20 linear feet of cabinet area. The curing time is about four hours, which is good if you want quick results.

The water-based acrylic paint formula is safe because it’s low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). I hardly noticed any strong odor, making it pleasant to apply anytime. I like the fact that this acrylic paint is formulated as a paint and primer in one, so it doesn’t require a primer for less preparation.

The product pretty much adheres to virtually any surface, even tiles. I think it holds up to robust cleaning quite well. For a smoother finish, I recommend using a roller. Don’t be scared to apply thick layers if you want your RV cabinets to look better.

It took me two coats to reach my desired coverage. I love the quality of the paint because it’s thick and simple to work with. I finished my travel trailer cabinets a few months ago, and it’s still holding up nicely until now.

 Heads-up:  However, the paint only comes in a small can. I had to buy another can to finish painting my camper with white cabinets. I also find the color slightly more off-white than espresso.

  • Has a fast curing time, about four hours
  • Safe to use as it contains low VOC and odor
  • Requires no primer and adheres to virtually any surface
  • Thick consistency is easy to work with
  • Can hold up to vigorous cleaning for a long-lasting finish
  • Provides a smooth finish, especially with the use of a roller
  • Only comes in a small size
  • Color tends to be slightly more off white than expected
 Bottom Line:  Overall, I’m satisfied with the quality of the Nuvo Acrylic-Based Cabinet Paint. This product is low in VOCs and easy to apply without a primer.

2. INSL-X CC550109A-01 Cabinet Coat Enamel Paint

Refinishing RV cabinets is no longer a pain with this gallon of INSL-X Cabinet Coat. This urethane acrylic cabinet paint is water-based, meaning that it emits less odor. It works on almost all cabinet materials, including wood, metal, and poly/laminate.

Again, this cabinet paint doesn’t need a primer as long as the surface is in top shape. I like the ultra-smooth finish after sanding my cabinets to remove any flaws. For application, I find it easy when using an angled sash brush.

I think this paint will last for many years because it resists stains and grease quite well. The best part is you can tint the enamel with your favorite color. Once the paint has fully cured, I like the slight sheen that it gives on my RV cabinets.

The Satin color is mostly pure white, which I like because I want to transform my black RV cabinets. I like the subtle gray undertone because it makes my cabinets look elegant. Thankfully, the paint dries up quickly in a few hours, so the whole painting process only lasted a day.

 Heads-up:  However, the consistency is a bit thin, so I had to use three coats to finish my RV cabinets. The paint also drips easily, so make sure to use a painter’s tape to reduce the mess.

  • Almost odorless with its water-based formula
  • Comes in a large size to paint more cabinets
  • Works on nearly any surface without a primer
  • Has an elegant pure white color and subtle gray undertone
  • Provides a smooth finish that dries quickly
  • Can resist stains and grease for a long-lasting finish
  • Needs multiple coats to achieve desired coverage results
  • Has a thin, runny consistency that makes a mess easily
 Bottom Line:  Altogether, the INSL-X Cabinet Coat satisfies with its low VOC content and smooth, satin sheen finish. This acrylic paint is one of the best paints for rv cabinets with its one-gallon size.

3. Rust-Oleum 207000 Marine Coatings Topside Paint

Painting your RV cabinets shouldn’t be a hassle with Rust-Oleum Topside Paint. The oil-based formula applies easily with its superior leveling and elastic properties. Approximately, the 1-quart size can cover up to 100 square feet area and dries in about 1-2 hours.

This product worked perfectly for my wood cabinets, though you can use it in other materials like fiberglass and metal. I like that the paint self-levels as it dries to give a beautiful, even coat. Since it’s a marine coating, it’s waterproof to withstand any moisture inside the kitchen.

The paint is semi-gloss, so it gave a nice sheen to my old cabinets. Thanks to the modified alkyd content in the formula, the paint allows excellent flexibility and resistance to chip. The best part is that the paint lays down quickly with a roller.

Impressively, the paint contains sufficient UV protection to protect painted cabinets when the sun enters inside our RV. Once it’s fully cured, the paint becomes as resilient as plastic. I scrubbed the painted cabinets regularly, and I’m happy that the paint holds up well.

 Heads-up:  However, the odor is a little strong, so you need to have proper ventilation when painting camper cabinets. The paint is also challenging to remove when it sticks to the skin.

  • Easy to apply with its flexible, oil-based formula
  • Self-levels to give a nice, even finish
  • Provides an attractive sheen to cabinets
  • Durable to prevent chipping and UV damage
  • Can hold up well from constant scrubbing
  • Can work on multiple surfaces, such as fiberglass and metal
  • Emits a strong smell
  • A bit challenging to come off from the skin
 Bottom Line:  All in all, the Rust-Oleum Topside Paint stands out with its excellent UV protection and self-leveling capabilities. I recommend this product as the best choice for durability.

4. KILZ L211101 Adhesion Interior/Exterior Latex Primer

The KILZ L211101 latex primer is needed to ensure that the topcoat adheres to the cabinet surface. This product bonds to hard-to-paint surfaces such as glossy finishes, chalky paints, and many more. With its one-gallon size, you can cover up to 300 square feet area.

Applying this latex primer is easy because it dries within 30 minutes. Best of all, it saves me time from sanding my entire cabinets. Indeed, this product made the painting job faster and more straightforward than I thought.

There are many ways to apply this primer- brush, roller, and spray. My favorite is roller as it’s the most efficient of them all. This product seems to be durable; I tried to run my fingernail, and the primer didn’t come off at all.

The cleanup is also quick; my roller came out clean with just water. I also didn’t notice any drips on my countertop and kitchen floor, which is suitable for a mess-free application. It’s been more than five months, and I see no peeling.

 Heads-up:  However, the smell is a bit strong due to high VOC content. Since this product is only a primer, you need to buy a topcoat to complete the painting or refinishing process.

  • Can be applied directly without sanding
  • Ensures a secure bond to any surface
  • Dries up quickly within 30 minutes
  • Easy to use with any painting tool
  • Seems to hold up well against chipping
  • Won’t drip and cleanup with water easily
  • Smells a bit strong
  • Needs a topcoat paint to finish the painting job
 Bottom Line:  Overall, the KILZ L211101 Primer makes the painting job faster and easier with its secure bonding process. I recommend this to those who don’t want to spend more time sanding their cabinets.

5. Nuvo Driftwood Cabinet Makeover Kit

The Nuvo Driftwood Cabinet Makeover Kit offers everything you need to refinish or paint your cabinet. The kit includes two cabinet paints, one brush, one roller arm, two roller covers, two mixing sticks, and detailed instructions. These two cabinet paints (62 fl oz) can cover up to 100 square feet.

The thing I like most about this acrylic paint is that it already includes a primer, so less preparation is required. There’s a roller and brush included, so I was able to start my cabinet makeover right away. I used the roller to paint the flat areas and the brush to paint the door grooves.

I love the watery consistency of the paint because it flows easily on any surface. The paint barely drips at all, so my kitchen wasn’t mess-free. Once fully cured, the light neutral grey pops out, making my whole kitchen look elegant.

Like all other water-based formulas, Nuvo Driftwood has a low odor and VOC content. The product is easy to apply as it comes with complete instructions. For the price, the kit is a good deal because you get everything you need.

 Heads-up:  However, this paint seems to make bubbles when rolling. I had to constantly roll the paint over and over to remove the bubbles. I also find the paint less durable because it crackles quickly, so I had to seal the paint for better results.

  • Offers everything you need from paint to accessories
  • Gives an elegant, soft neutral grey finish
  • No need to use primer for less preparation
  • Flows easily on any surface without drips
  • Water-based formula is safe with less odor
  • Comes at a reasonable price
  • Tends to make bubbles when rolling
  • Crackles easily, so a sealer might be recommended
 Bottom Line:  Altogether, the Nuvo Driftwood Cabinet Makeover Kit impresses with its complete package. If you’re a beginner who doesn’t know how to paint RV cabinets, this works for you as it provides everything that you need, including instructions.

6. Retique It Chalk Furniture Paint By Renaissance

If you want hypoallergenic paint that’s virtually odorless, then Retique It might offer the best solution. This Renaissance chalk furniture paint contains the lowest amount of VOC, making it safe to both your health and the environment. One gallon of Retique It can provide maximum coverage of 400 square feet approximately.

I always wanted a super white color, and Snow was precisely what I was looking for. I like the rich consistency and the coverage because a little goes a long way. The paint seems pristine with only two coats.

The formula is hypoallergenic, making it safe to use around pets and children. It contains ultra-low VOC, so I didn’t notice any awful smell even when I applied the paint with less ventilation. The chalk paint is also easy to work without any drip or runny issues.

More importantly, the paint is easy to use; it goes on smoothly to give an even finish. It dries in as fast as 30 minutes, so the application takes no more than a day. The only preparation I did was clean my cabinet’s surface with warm water and a slight amount of mild soap.

 Heads-up:  However, the paint dries flatly, so you need to apply a separate wax if you want a slight sheen. The price is also a bit more exorbitant than other similar products.

  • Hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, and virtually odorless
  • Gives an extensive coverage of up to 400 square feet
  • Low VOC content is safe for the family
  • Easy to apply without runs and drips
  • Dries quickly in about 30 minutes
  • Requires less preparation
  • Dries a bit flatly
  • Slightly more pricey than similar products
 Bottom Line:  All in all, the Retique It Chalk Furniture Paint satisfies with its eco-friendly and hypoallergenic formula. This paint is virtually odorless, so it’s safe for your health and the environment.

7. FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Furniture & Craft Paint

If you like a distressed look and feel in your RV cabinets, the FolkArt Home Decor Chalk might fit the bill. This paint works on a lot of surfaces, including metal, plastic, and wood. I bought the Parisian grey color, which gave an instant transformation to my boring cabinets.

I love the fact that there’s no need to prime the cabinets before application. It only makes the painting process much easier. Best of all, it spreads out evenly giving a beautiful finish on my cabinets.

I feel like the chalk paint is easy to shade and blend because it has a rich, creamy consistency. To provide a unique look, I recommend using a stencil or a special line of brushes. The paint dries up in minutes, and it gives a matte finish, making it easy to layer and sand for a distressed furniture look.

The price is just right on my alley. A little goes a long way, so a 946-ml jar is enough to cover all my RV cabinets. Because the formula is water-based, I noticed no annoying smell that you find on most paints.

 Heads-up:  However, I had the hardest time removing the foil protection off the jar’s opening. The chalk also lacks durability as it chips easily when touched by a sharp object.

  • Works on many materials for versatility
  • Gives a unique distress look on cabinets
  • No priming required for a faster application process
  • Quick-drying and can blends easily
  • Can cover the cabinets nicely in thin layers
  • Budget-friendly and virtually odorless
  • A bit challenging to remove the foil protection off the jar
  • Chips easily when gets near with sharp objects
 Bottom Line:  Overall, the FolkArt Home Decor makes chalk painting RV cabinets easier with its quick drying time and rich consistency. I recommend this product if you like to achieve a distressed look on your RV cabinets.

8. Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint

The Rust-Oleum 285140 is a latex paint that works on many surfaces, like metal and wood. This paint can help you achieve a vintage look on your RV cabinets. In a 30-oz can, it can provide maximum coverage of 150 square feet.

I like the superior coverage of Rust-Oleum because one coat is enough to cover all the cabinet surfaces. The drying time is also quick, around 30 minutes. I bought the linen white variation, and I love its slight hint of gray color because it looks elegant.

The paint seems to give a very matte finish, which is good in hiding imperfections. Since the latex formula is water-based, there’s less odor and chemicals. Best of all, cleanup is easy with just soap and water.

Another thing that I like is the price; it’s more affordable than other similar products. Primer isn’t needed for most surfaces, and the paint goes on easily with a brush. The consistency is thick enough to spread evenly, which is a big bonus to me.

 Heads-up:  However, the brush has left a few streaks on my cabinet, so I recommend using a roller. Also, the paint didn’t hold up well against the fingernail test. My fingernail has chipped the paint, which is a bit disappointing.

  • Works on various materials, like metal and wood
  • Helps give cabinets a vintage look and conceal imperfections
  • Comes at a reasonable price and elegant color
  • Dries quickly and offers superior coverage
  • Latex formula generates less odor
  • Easy to cleanup and apply without a primer
  • May leave some streaks on the surface when using a brush
  • Chips easily with fingernails or any sharp object
 Bottom Line:  All in all, the Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint is an excellent chalked paint that won’t break the bank. This paint provides superior coverage and a hassle-free application.

9. Beyond Paint All-In-One Refinishing Paint

Beyond Paint is a 3-in-one paint that bonds, primes, and seals your RV cabinets. This refinishing paint comes in a Pewter color, which is more a deep gray color. I like the blue undertones because it made my cabinets look classy.

This product is perfect for beginners because there’s less preparation. There’s no need to prime, sand, nor strip the surfaces. Simply apply the paint in one or two coats to improve the appearance of old cabinets instantly.

I love the sheen of the paint because it’s not too shiny. The sheen is just right, and the consistency is thick enough to provide superior coverage. I think that the product is self-leveling, so the paint flows evenly to all areas.

Since the consistency is thick, the paint doesn’t drip on the floor and countertops. I’m impressed that I didn’t see any paint lines on the surface. The finish was smooth and beautiful, which is more than I expected.

 Heads-up:  However, the price is a bit hefty, considering its small size. Another minor complaint is the color of the paint once dried. I think it’s darker than I had imagined, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

  • Pewter has blue undertones to give a more elegant look
  • Bonds, primes, and seals in one product
  • Requires minimal preparation for great ease of use
  • Gives a good sheen and superior coverage
  • Self-levels to provide a beautiful, even finish
  • Easy to apply without drips and streaks
  • Available at a hefty price
  • Dries at a darker color than expected
 Bottom Line:  Altogether, Beyond Paint delivers a beautiful finish with its 3-in-one function- bonds, primes, and seals. This all-in-one refinishing paint is perfect for beginners who don’t know how to paint camper cabinets.

10. Majic Paints 8-9400-2 RePurpose Satin Paint

Majic Paints 8-9400-2 is another convenient paint product which doesn’t need priming or sanding. Compared to chalk paints, this repurpose paint is more versatile as it can be applied besides cabinets and furniture. This product can also work on exterior surfaces, such as plastic and drywall.

The RePurpose paint is acrylic and oil-based, meaning that it’s durable and scratch-resistant. It provides a satin finish, which appears to be velvety smooth. Since it has a beautiful luster, I don’t need to apply a protective topcoat over it.

I only needed one coat to cover all my RV cabinets, so the small can of RePurpose goes a long way. According to the label, the 1-quart size can cover up to 112 square feet, and I believe so. The best part is that this product was able to hide the scratches on my cabinet doors.

The paint was also easy to work with since the consistency is not too thick, plus it dries pretty quickly. Surprisingly, the paint didn’t run, so it was less messy. I like to use a brush on applying this product because it produces the most beautiful result.

 Heads-up:  However, the paint has a strong smell when applied in a less ventilated room. It’s also a challenge to get a smooth finish because the paint tends to get streaky when sitting for too long.

  • Versatile to use both indoors and outdoors
  • Can be applied directly without sanding or priming
  • Seems to be durable as it doesn’t scratch easily
  • Provides a pretty luster and velvety finish
  • Has good coverage that a quart can cover 112 square feet
  • Quick and mess-free to apply
  • Emits a strong smell when applied in a closed room
  • Coagulates and causes streaks when sitting for too long
 Bottom Line:  Altogether, the Majic Paints 8-9400-2 is the best choice for durability. This acrylic paint is scratch-resistant, plus it’s so versatile that it can be applied for exterior purposes.

11. General Finishes Water-Based Milk Paint

General Finishes offer another paint product that doesn’t need a topcoat. This water-based milk paint is self-sealing, meaning that it seals the surface in a uniform color and luster. I bought the Snow White variant, which gives a pure, bright white color that I like.

This paint seems to be more durable than regular paint, especially if you sand and prime the surface prior to application. I did the fingernail test, and the paint stayed intact. Since this paint is water-based, there’s no VOC that causes a strong smell.

During application, I suggest using a sprayer because it didn’t cause me any coverage issues. This small can also go very far with a paint sprayer. For the trims, a foam brush provides the best results without streaks.

I like that the paint dries very fast as it makes the painting job faster. Surprisingly, it was easy to clean up when I made a mess. I just used water to remove the drips on my countertop.

 Heads-up:  However, the Snow White cover has poor coverage over dark cabinets. I need to apply two coats of primer and four coats of General Finishes to get the result that I want. The consistency is also extremely thick, so I had to add a little water to thin it out before spraying.

  • Self-sealing to provide a uniform sheen and color
  • Long-lasting and scratch-resistant
  • Low in VOC to give a pleasant smell
  • Easy to apply with a sprayer and a foam brush
  • Quick-drying and easy to cleanup with water
  • Needs more preparation and coats to achieve best results
  • Too thick to apply on the surface directly
 Bottom Line:  Altogether, the General Finishes Milk Paint is your best choice if you want a durable finish. This paint is scratch-resistant, but you have to deal with all the priming and sanding before application.

What to Look for When Buying Paints for RV Cabinets


Shopping for the best paint for rv cabinets isn’t a walk in the park. You have to evaluate many factors including paint type, color, and your cabinet surface. Let’s break down these factors, so you can make the best decision in buying the right paint for your RV cabinets.

The Different Types Of Paints For RV Cabinets

Painting your RV cabinets isn’t as easy as grabbing any can of eggshell paint. It takes slightly more preparation than room painting. You’ll need to remove the doors and choose a special paint for cabinets. Right below, I’ll discuss the three common types of paint for RV cabinets.

  • Oil-Based

For a long-lasting finish, oil-based paint is the best type of paint for RV cabinets. This type of paint can be scrubbed regularly from any grease or dirt that might dull the surface. It’s also easy to apply since it goes on smoothly on wooden surfaces.

However, oil-based paints take several hours to dry. The drying time may take up to 16 hours in between coats, especially if you use it in a closed room. Also, it may emit a horrible chemical smell due to its high VOC content.

  • Latex

Also known as water-based paints, latex is a popular choice for safety. These paints contain lower levels of VOCs and faster to dry than their oil-based counterparts. The best latex paints can dry as fast as 30 minutes, so painting the cabinets won’t take a whole day.

However, some formulas can’t withstand regular scrubbing. Also, more preparation is required because latex tends to present texture or grain variances on wood surfaces.

  • Hybrid Enamels

Paint manufacturers didn’t just stop with latex paint. To get the best of both worlds- low VOC and beautiful finish- they have developed acrylic-alkyd paint. This hybrid enamel consists of oil molecules that once evaporated leaves behind an oil to give a beautiful, durable finish.

The best part of hybrid enamels is that it’s easy to clean up. If there’s any leftover paint, you can remove it with soap and water. For application, a paint brush or roller provides the best results.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Painting RV Cabinets

When sprucing up your RV kitchen, the most obvious benefit of painting your RV cabinets is the cost. Painting is more affordable than purchasing and installing new cabinets. The cost of installing new cabinets can take half of your kitchen renovation budget.

As you cut costs in remodeling your RV kitchen, you save more money to spend on other projects like getting a new countertop or appliance. Best of all, painting old cabinets can give an instant new look to your RV kitchen. You have many color options to customize your RV kitchen according to your preference.

Also, some of the paints can serve as a protective layer from cooking splatters and dirt. The gloss paints can help prolong your RV cabinets, while the matte ones can hide all the minor imperfections.

However, paints may not work on all cabinets. If your cabinets are severely worn and chipped, then painting might not solve the problem – you need to get new cabinets this time. Also, the painting process takes time and effort because you have to do some preparations and apply several coats.

Consider Your Cabinet Surface

The first thing to consider when buying paint is to know the material of your RV cabinets. Do you have laminated cabinets, solid wood, MDF, or wood veneer? Knowing this information is relevant in selecting which type of paint is suitable for your RV cabinets.

  • Solid Wood

Paint sticks best on rough surfaces, making real wood cabinets easy for painting. Unless your wood cabinets are bare, you need to sand the surface to remove any finishing layer. A primer might also be necessary if you want to use water-based latex paint.

  • Wood Veneer

For RV cabinets with a wood veneer, it’s greatly important that you sand the surface before painting. A veneer is a super slim piece of wood that’s fixed to a manufactured wood. But before you do the sanding, check for any damages and repair them.

You shouldn’t sand these veneers too much since these thin layers might get worn out. Just give the surface a little rough texture for the primer and paint to stick to.

  • MDF

MDF cabinets have porous edges, so you need to seal them to prevent these parts from swelling during the painting procedure. Experts recommend using an oil-based primer to make a better bond to the paint. For the second coat, you can choose your favorite water-based latex paint.

  • Laminate

Laminated cabinets are the trickiest to paint because of its slick finish. To paint this synthetic material placed on top of a particleboard, you need a laminate-specific primer to help bond the paint to the surface. Of course, sanding is still necessary before and after priming to get the best results.

Choosing The Right Paint Color For RV Cabinets

One of the hardest parts of buying paint is to choose from a variety of colors. The first thing to think about is the design style that you’re going for. If you want to have a traditional kitchen, choose classic colors like white and creams.

For a modern look, choose bright colors like red, green, and yellow. Fluorescents and reds also fit perfectly well in a vintage-style kitchen. To create a contrasting tone in your light-colored kitchen, you can pick a black, dark brown, or gray color.

When selecting colors, the climate where you also live matters. Choose a light paint color if you live in a warm area with lots of natural light. The dark colors tend to attract the sun’s heat.

The size of your kitchen is another thing to consider when choosing the right cabinet paint. A small RV kitchen can look larger if you use lighter-colored paints on cabinets. For bigger kitchen spaces, dark cabinets work well.

Keep in mind though, that cooking splatters and flaws are visible to very light and dark colors. To hide these imperfections, choose the colors in between. As for the cabinet interiors, you can skip painting them and place contact paper instead for a more cost-effective option.

Finding The Right Finish For RV Cabinets

Cabinets are prone to touching and other abuse, so they need a good finish to prevent scratches and chips. You have many options here- semi-gloss, gloss, eggshell, chalk, flat, and satin.

For better durability, choose a semi-gloss or gloss finish because they can help keep off stains and water spots. The extra sheen helps reflect light and keep the cabinets last for a long time. Best of all, this type of finish can withstand the constant scrubbing to keep the cabinets clean.

If you want a velvety finish, an eggshell, chalk, or flat finish might give you the desired results. These types of finishes are good at hiding imperfections, like patches and scratches. The matte finish absorbs light and makes these flaws less noticeable.

Satin falls in between eggshell and semi-gloss finish. This type of finish reflects more light than flat and stands up well to scrubbing. However, it can’t conceal imperfections.

Tips For Painting Trailer Cabinets

Painting RV cabinets is an arduous process with all the preparation and all. To make the painting process easier, here are some tips that I want to share.

  • Remove all the hardware and organize. Take out all the hardware, including hinges, screws, and knobs. This process may take time, but it makes painting easier when you start with a clean slate. Consider labeling every door with its corresponding hardware, so the reassembly becomes easy.
  • Clear the countertops and everything that goes in the way. It’s expected that you’ll be creating a mess when painting your RV cabinets. To make sure that your other appliances and furniture stay clean, remove them away from your painting job. Roll up the mats and remove the curtains. Clear your countertops from any appliance.
  • Consider purchasing a handheld electric sander. If you want to remove the old paint, consider buying an orbital detail sander to make the sanding process faster and easier. You’re going to cover a lot of ground, so you need a tool to ease the effort of preparing the surface.
  • Opt for oil-based primer. Compared to water-based primers, the oil-based ones won’t change color over time. Woods, especially the knotty types, tend to give a yellowish color as time goes by. The oil-based primers are also good in ensuring that the paint adheres to the surface.
  • Focus on the cabinet bases and behind cabinet doors. After sanding, apply primer and paint on the cabinet bases and cabinet door backsides first. These areas get the most contact, so they need a few extra days to dry. The good thing about painting the front cabinets last is that you won’t have to flip the door over to paint the back, risking possible smears and scratches.

RV Interior Paint Ideas: Kitchen Cabinets

Picking the right color is crucial in upgrading the look of your RV cabinets. If it’s your first time, here are some painted RV cabinet ideas you can try:

  • Go Black: You can never go wrong with black. Black instantly gives your cabinets a chic and modern look. However, it can show all the flaws, like ugly brush strokes, visibly. To solve this issue, you can apply a silky milk paint finish to hide the brush marks.
  • Take Precision: If you don’t like the hassle of sanding and priming, you can do so with precision. First, remove any grime and dirt with a grease-cutting cleaner. Replace sanding with a liquid deglosser and remove all cabinet parts, then clean the inside. Now paint starting with the cabinet door’s back, molding, and front side. Follow the shelves, hardware, and wall units.
  • Go With Classic Elegance: A charcoal-tinged color instantly adds classic elegance to your RV cabinets.
  • Chalkboard Inside: If you like to leave notes for your family, you can make a chalkboard behind your cabinet doors. Make a reminder list or a greeting behind the chalkboard door for a great surprise. To achieve this, use chalk paint because it cleans up well.

Who makes the best paint for RV cabinets

Nuvo makes the best paint for camper cabinets with their water-based acrylic variants that are low in VOCs. Their paints are easy to work with because they’re thick and go smoothly on any cabinet surface. More importantly, they require less preparation as you don’t need to use a primer.

The INSL-X is another good contender for the best paint manufacturer with their ultra-smooth finish. Their paint dries quickly and contains no odor. For more durability, Rust-Oleum is a trusted brand with their oil-based products like Marine Coatings.

Do you have to sand RV cabinets before painting?

It’s actually not necessary to sand your RV cabinets before painting unless your cabinet’s old paint is chipping or the surface is in very bad shape. According to experts, sanding the wood down can allow the moisture to seep into the wood. In an environment like a kitchen, moisture is abundant, and that may ruin your wood cabinet surface.

Instead of sanding, use a scrubbing pad soaked in mineral spirits to clean the surface. Do this before priming to roughen the surface and allow the primer to adhere.

Take note that a little sanding might be needed after priming and in between paint coats. This particular step is necessary to ensure that the next paint coat adheres well.

How do I paint my RV cabinets?

First, take down the cabinets for easy painting. Remove all cabinet hardware, drawers, and doors. Place the drawers and doors in a separate area, preferably outside, so you won’t cause any mess inside the RV.

Now, prepare the cabinets for painting. Clean the surface from any grease or dirt, and sand if necessary. Next, apply the primer.

Once the surface is prepped, apply the paint. You can apply two or more coats, depending on the coverage you want. Let the paint dry before applying the next coat.

After the paint has fully cured, put back the parts of your cabinet together. Be careful in putting back the hardware and doors because they might ruin the paint. Consider using felt pads to prevent touching the paint.

What kind of paint to use on a pop up camper?

If you want a more durable finish, oil-based is the best paint for pop up camper cabinets. Oil-based paints are preferred when doing trim work because they’re resilient against abuse.

On the other hand, latex paint makes a good choice if you want an easy cleanup. Though they may be less durable than oil-based formulas, latex contains very low VOCs. To get both the benefits of oil-based and latex, use a hybrid enamel in painting pop up camper cabinets.

Is it better to spray or roll paint on cabinets?

The spray is fast, but only after you finish with the vast preparation work. This type of application can cover a larger area in a short time. Since they go on thinner layers, paint spraying can have a faster drying time in-between applications.

Unlike a paint roller, a paint sprayer won’t leave any horrible brush strokes, especially when done by professionals. Paint spraying leaves a beautifully even finish that doesn’t need any touch-ups. Aso, it can reach every nook and cranny to cover all surfaces.

However, spray painting can be expensive. If you want to save on buying a spray gun or hire a professional, you can go with the basic paint roller. Foam rollers provide the smoothest finish.


RV cabinets really look glorious when they’re painted. You have to choose the best paint for RV cabinets so you can get the best results. My top choice is the Nuvo Coconut Espresso Cabinet Paint because it provides superior coverage, as well as a smooth finish with its low-VOC formula.

If you have plenty of cabinets to paint, the one-gallon INSL-X Cabinet Coat Enamel might be an excellent choice. This paint is almost odorless, which is good for those who’re sensitive to strong chemical smells. For durability, I recommend the Rust-Oleum 207000, which boasts an impressive UV resistance.

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