Not loving your RV’s outdated or bland interior walls but not exactly sure you want to paint them either? Why not give RV wallpaper a try!
While not specifically for a travel trailer, peel and stick wallpaper offers many beautiful designs and textures so it’s incredibly easy to find something that’s just your style to give your RV a face-lift.
If you’re interested in learning more about choosing and applying RV wallpaper, here’s what we’ll go over in this article:
- Can you really wallpaper RV walls?
- How to prepare walls for wallpapering
- Wallpaper options, pros, cons
- Cute options for RV wallpaper
- Last Thoughts
Sound good? Alright, let’s get into it!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
Can You Really Wallpaper RV Walls?
Yes, you can definitely apply new wallpaper to your RV walls!
Not only is it an easy way for RV owners to update a camper, but it’s also less expensive and labor-intensive than painting and can be a lot cuter than paneling.
While painting is often the go-to choice to upgrade walls, it may not be the right choice for your remodeling project.
If the walls have any imperfections from water damage, nails or screws, or even sticky residue, you’ll need to fix them before painting or the damage will still be obvious.
On the other hand, paneling can be a good way to hide imperfections while updating the interior of your RV, but design choices are limited and if you don’t have the right tools you may find yourself running to the local home improvement store and adding to the overall cost of the remodel.
But, wallpaper, specifically peel and stick wallpaper, is incredibly simple to apply and depending on the brand, is even removable.
It’s an easy DIY project that can be done in a couple of days or less.
How To Prepare Walls For Wallpaper
If you decide that wallpapering is the best option for your new, updated RV interior, there are a few things you need to do before you begin.
1. Choose Your Wallpaper
First, you’ll need to decide what type of wallpaper you need and want for your RV renovation.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself for more detailed information:
- Are you interested in a more permanent or peel-and-stick wallpaper?
- Is this for a bedroom, living area, or bathroom? (You may need a thicker, sturdier wallpaper or one with stronger adhesive for damp areas or high traffic areas).
- How much wallpaper do you need? Is this for an entire room or an accent wall?
- What designs do you like best? (Keep in mind that a busy design may make a small space look even smaller).
2. Prepare The Walls
Once you have your wallpaper picked out, it’s time to prepare your RV walls.
The first step is to find out what kind of material is on your current walls.
Most RV walls are covered in something that looks similar to wallpaper but isn’t really.
Many times it is actually textured paper that’s stuck to the wall (which is usually made of luan plywood).
This kind of “wallpaper” can’t be removed since it’s part of the wallboard, so don’t try peeling it off, or you’ll end up with a huge mess!
(Unfortunately, I know this from experience 😖)
So, assuming you don’t need to remove any existing wallpaper first, here are the steps for preparing your walls for the new peel and stick wallpaper:
Step 1. Clean the walls
Using a damp cloth or sponge and some soapy warm water, scrub down your walls until there is no dirt or grime.
Wipe down with clean water one or two times after that. Don’t get them too wet, though.
A simple damp cloth is enough to get it clean.
Step 2. Dry
Then wipe dry with a towel and allow to air dry for at least 30 minutes.
You can even put some rubbing alcohol on a cloth and wipe the walls down again which will ensure they’re fully dry before applying the wallpaper.
Step 3. Prime the walls (if needed)
If you are applying light-toned wall covering, you will have better long-term results if you prime the walls first.
Steps for Removing Wallpaper Border
Many campers have outdated wallpaper borders. If this is the case, it will need to be removed before you paint or wallpaper.
Here are a few tips to help this process go smoothly.
Step 1. The first step is to start at one corner of the border, slowly lift and peel the old wallpaper border off
If you’re having trouble removing it, you can try loosening the adhesive with a hairdryer or portable steamer.
Step 2. Use adhesive remover like Goo Gone Spray Gel and a sponge if needed.
Step 3. Take a cloth with rubbing alcohol and wipe the walls to get any Goo Gone off.
Step 4. Let the walls dry completely.
Popular Choices For RV Wallpaper
There are different types of wallpaper that you can use as your RV’s current wallpaper replacement and each kind has its pros and cons.
Let’s go over 3 popular choices
1. Contact Paper
Contact paper is a popular choice for adding in some extra RV decor and can be used for updating countertops, kitchen cabinets, fridge doors, tables, walls, dressers, and more.
It is fairly easy to find, but there are a few pros and cons to consider before using this as a peel-and-stick wallpaper.
- Readily available
- Variety of styles and patterns
- Multiple uses
- Difficult to get a smooth finish, especially if walls have imperfections
- Can be gouged or ripped in high use areas
2. Traditional Wallpaper
Traditional wallpaper offers many benefits over removable wallpaper, but there are definitely a few drawbacks.
- Good wall coverage
- Variety of styles and patterns
- Can cover some imperfections if the wallpaper is thick or hefty
- Can be a more expensive option
- Labor intensive
- Difficult to remove for later remodeling
- May need special tools for the application
3. Peel And Stick Wallpaper
In my opinion, peel and stick wallpaper could be the best of both worlds for various reasons. This type of removable wallpaper is designed to go on walls much like traditional wallpaper while also being super easy to remove, needs few tools, and depending on your prep work and how much you need, takes only a couple of hours or less.
- Offers good coverage (depending on wall condition and type of wallpaper used)
- Easy to maintain
- Quick installation
- Easy to remove
- Minimal tools needed
- A variety of patterns may not be available in stores (make sure any wallpaper bought online is returnable in case you don’t like it.)
- Really unique patterns can be expensive
- Prep time may take a little longer- some manufacturers suggest painting/priming wall two weeks before wallpapering
- Can be made of vinyl (not environmentally or people-friendly)
Styles, Patterns, and Textures
With any of the three options above, you can find different styles and patterns from simple and elegant to abstract and realistic.
For added flair and depth, you may want to consider using textured wallpaper. This not only adds a fresh look but can hide small imperfections easily too.
All in all, whether you want to change every square inch of your RV walls or create an accent wall, wallpaper is a great way to accomplish your goal.
Here are a few examples of peel and stick wallpaper that can make a huge difference and could be perfect for almost any RV decor!
These are just a few of the options out there for RV wallpaper choices. I’m positive that whether you’re wallpapering a small area like an accent wall or an entire room, or trying to match one of your favorite color schemes, there is something out there that you’ll love!
FAQs About RV Wallpaper
Still have a few questions about RV wallpaper? No problem! I’ll try to answer a few here….
1. What kind of wallpaper do you use for an RV?
If you’re thinking of remodeling your RV and are considering wallpaper, there are a few options.
- Traditional wallpaper
- Peel and stick wallpaper
- Contact paper
All have pros and cons (listed above).
As for decor, keep in mind that an RV is a small space so you will probably want to stick with light, bright colors and something that doesn’t have a busy pattern. If you love a dark color or busy pattern you could always use that on an accent wall.
2. Can you put wallpaper over RV wallpaper?
Yes, you can. You will just want to be sure that the whole wall you are working with is cleaned well and have time to dry before installing the new wallpaper. And it may not be a bad idea to add a little extra adhesive, especially in the kitchen or bathroom where moisture may cause peeling.
3. Can you paint over RV wallpaper?
You sure can. In fact, painting over the papered wallboard that is there may be a better option than trying to remove it before wallpapering. It may also be the best choice for an RV bathroom.
4. What tools do you need to wallpaper an RV?
If you decide to take on this DIY project there are a few tools you will need.
For prepasted wallpaper you will need:
- A small bucket with clean water
- Wallpaper smoothing tool
- Razor knife
- Painter’s tape (or someone to help you)
- Measuring tape
For peel and stick wallpaper you will need:
- Sponge and a gentle cleaner (to clean and prepare the wall)
- Tape measure
- Straight edge (a ruler works well)
- Razor knife
- Wallpaper or plastic smoother
Last Thoughts About RV Wallpaper
So there you have it!
Tips and tricks for an easy RV renovation that doesn’t require a large investment of time or money.
Finding the right RV wallpaper replacement can take some research but at the end of the day, it’s a fairly easy and inexpensive project that can be done in a weekend.
Just remember to prep your walls properly before applying your wallpaper and keep an eye on it to make sure there’s no bubbling or peeling.
And if you’re not comfortable with the idea of having a camper full of wallpaper, don’t be afraid to mix and match it with other options like paint, paneling, or even peel and stick tile!
No matter which RV wallpaper you choose, I’m wishing you good luck on your renovation project!
Have you used wallpaper to give your RV a new look? I’d love to see pictures! Feel free to leave them in the comments and share for inspiration 🙂
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