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Brilliant budget DIY RV exterior paint project

By Cheri Sicard
Is your RV starting to look a little worn or shabby on the outside? Have you even considered RV exterior paint as a possible alternative to a dirty RV exterior marked by age and cracking or peeling decals? If so, this video may help.

In it, Summer and Ryan from All Signs Point West did a low-cost DIY RV exterior paint job on their fiberglass-walled Class C motorhome.

The end results looked good. My only question was, did it last? This video is two years old.

However, I did find a follow-up video 1-year after the couple finished their complete renovation of this motorhome. The exterior still looks darn good! The only issue they had were some minor chips near one of the hatch doors, caused by ice.

The couple only spent about $200 on this entire project, so this is a down-and-dirty DIY project. While they did not invest a lot of money, it did take time and elbow grease. Ryan estimates he spent about nine hours just on removing decals.

In the video, they take you through the whole process. Of course, this begins with removing the old decals from the RV. Ryan shares several options you can use to accomplish this task.

The job was easier than he anticipated using a heat gun and scraper tool. At least for MOST of the decals. However, the sun-cracked ones proved more challenging and time-consuming.

Once the decals had been removed, the entire RV exterior got a thorough cleaning with a pressure washer, in preparation for the paint.

After taping off and covering windows, vents, doors, etc., it was time for paint.

When it came to applying the paint, the couple had originally planned to use a sprayer. However, they live in Chicago, aka the “windy city,” and the weather was not cooperating. They opted to use rollers instead. And it did take a couple of coats.

After painting the main body, they taped it off in order to paint part of the RV in a contrasting color (as it had originally been).

They also upgraded the RV’s look by spray-painting the window frames black. It took several hours of taping off and prep work, but it made the RV look so much better and newer. They tied the whole look together with three thin black stripes going across the RV near the roof. That part presented challenges and added LOTS of time to the project. But they learned.

The end result of all this effort was an RV that looks fresher and newer than the way it did when they started. And all for about $200!

##RVDT2025

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DW/ND
1 month ago

I have removed the original decals on our 34′ class A and repainted the multiple stripes from front to rear. I used a heat gun to remove the decals – easy no mess. I used RustOleum spray paint – metallic blue and metallic purple to match original with a metallic look as the original decals were. I taped on old newspapers to protect non-paint areas with blue masking tape. Total cost for paint and tape about $150.00. The paint holds up well in all xthr conditions so far between +100f and -35f. Prep is important, wash and clean and “lightly” hand sand with 200 or 220 grit, then wipe with 75% alcohol and TSP, rinse with a damp rag. Try it – you’ll like it! Do not wax for at least 60 days to allow drying. Pics available.

Cee
1 month ago

That was a big job and looks very good. The painted strip along the bottom might have looked better in a lighter color like gray. Every bit of dirt and any chip will show so much more in the darker color you chose. What type of paint did you use?

DONALD BIANCONE
1 month ago

What kind of paint was used? Automotive?

William Anderson
1 month ago

According to the YouTube discription, they used a house exterior latex acrylic paint.

In my opinion, this is the wrong type of paint for this application. It may look good when new, and may actually be durable on a vehicle, but removing it to repaint with a proper automotive paint will be a pain.

When I do this to my class c, I will use a marine grade polyurethane paint that will likely last longer then the rest of the life of the van.

SteveAustin
1 month ago

Good job! Way to stick to your plan and see it through to the end. The results were clearly worth the efforts and frustration. The RV looks much better without the cheesy, swooshy decals.

Joe
1 month ago

Boats are painted many times even high end yachts. We had a 42 foot sailboat that we had professionally painted using Imron paint with the roll on and then tipping method. Literally you could not tell that it was not sprayed on. It however was way more than $200.00 just for the paint.

Roger B
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Explain please the tipping method? I am way too familiar with rolling paint, but never heard of the tipping method.

Admin
Diane McGovern
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger B

Hi, Roger. In case Joe doesn’t notice your question, here’s a brief description I found when I Googled it: “What is rolling & tipping? The roll & tip method is a non-stop, fast-moving, two-person endeavor where one person applies a thin coat of paint with a roller, and the other person follows immediately behind with a brush to remove the roller stipple (‘orange peel’ texture) and smooth out the surface.” From Jamestown Distributors. Have a great day, and a terrific 2023! 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

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