Can I Paint My RV Ceiling? A DIY Guide

If you’re renovating your RV, you’ve probably wondered: can I paint my RV ceiling?

Yes, you can paint your RV ceiling, but it’s not always the best idea. Be sure to wash it first, and apply thin coats of paint using even amounts of pressure.

It’s a big job, but this RV decorating job can be done yourself with a little bit of know-how.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps necessary to paint your RV ceiling like a pro!

How To Paint Your RV Ceiling

Wash your ceiling with a bit of water and a chamois leather to remove any dirt or grime without damaging the fabric on your RV’s ceiling.

  • Let the ceiling dry completely.
  • Apply thin coats of paint using even amounts of pressure.
  • Be sure to let each coat of paint dry completely before applying the next one, repeating until the ceiling looks brand new.
  • Once you’re finished, enjoy your newly painted RV ceiling!

Why You Shouldn’t Paint Your RV Ceiling

RV ceilings are often made from fabric which can be a tad difficult to paint and can tear easily.

If you can inconspicuously remove a small piece to see what’s underneath it (and to test if the ceiling material can be taken off easily), then you can test the spot underneath to see how it takes to being painted.

RV Ceiling Painting Tips

How to paint an RV Ceiling

You’ll find that about half of these tips for painting your RV ceiling are the same key points you’d follow for painting your home.

Follow these tips for a great experience:

  1. Use a small paintbrush for any tight spaces or areas near vents, fans, or other obstacles.
  2. Work in small sections to avoid drips and runs.
  3. Use a light hand (with even pressure) when painting the fabric on your RV ceiling to avoid tearing it.
  4. Avoid the temptation to mud seams, as there is plenty of flex going on in an RV, travel trailer, motorhome, or camper.

Painting RV Ceiling Carpet

Some RVs will have ceilings made of low-pile carpet, which can be painted, but requires some patience and skill.

Use a long-nap roller and apply consistent pressure on carpeted RV ceilings if you can’t bear to remove the carpet.

Painting Over Fabric Or Wallpaper On Your RV Ceiling

Other RV ceilings will have a fabric-like wallpaper covering them. If this is you, you can attempt to re-cover the fabric with a pattern you like better, or you can attempt to paint it (just be sure to apply thin layers and even pressure).

Painting A Vinyl RV Ceiling

If you’ve got a vinyl RV ceiling, then you shouldn’t have any problems painting it- just use a paint that sticks to plastic so it can handle the flexing and movement that is found in RVs and campers.

What Kind Of Paint To Use On RV Ceiling

When you’re painting your RV ceiling, be sure to use a paint that is made specifically for the surface you’re painting on.

For example, if you’re painting over fabric wallpaper, be sure to use a paint that can adhere to fabric without causing any damage.

The same goes for carpet- use a paint that can handle being applied to fabric and will adhere well to it.

Like anything in the RV world, ask five different people what’s the best way to do something, and you’ll get five different answers.

Here are a few options you can use to paint your RV ceiling:

If you have water spots, try covering them with Kilz first, then use regular ceiling paint.

Some RVers have had good luck with Colorbond automotive paint, since it can stick to vinyl and leather and other fabrics.

You can consider trying spray-can carpet dye if you have carpeted ceilings.

Kilz Upshot is designed to spray upwards and campers have had success with it.

RV Ceiling Ideas Other Than Painting

RV ceiling options
Tin ceiling tiles can be a great alternative to painting the ceiling in your RV.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other options besides painting your RV’s ceiling if that sounds like too much of a task (or if you want something snazzier than the look of paint).

Here are a few RV ceiling paint alternatives to consider:

  • Tin ceiling tiles
  • Foam ceiling tiles
  • Shiplap
  • Tongue and groove lightweight flooring
  • Wood panels
  • Vinyl Flooring
  • Fabric
  • Laminate
  • Bamboo
  • Wallpaper

RV Ceiling Painting Guide: Wrapping Things Up

We hope this guide has given you some ideas and helpful tips for painting your RV ceiling.

Whether you choose to paint your RV ceiling or try one of the many other options available, we wish you the best of luck in giving your RV a new lease on life!

Which ceiling painting method and materials did you use, and how did it turn out? Let us know in the comments below.

Be sure to check out our other helpful RV guides while you’re here:

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