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The holidays certainly put the RV reno on hold but I wanted to update you on the progress we’ve made so far.

Renovation Progress: RV Kitchen Cabinets – PART ONE

For those of you that are new here, my husband and I purchased an RV that we are updating, which we will move into in a few months. The plan is to travel the US for a year in search of the perfect mountain town to call home.

Although our RV was in pretty good condition when we bought it (used), it certainly wasn’t our taste. We are all about making a space feel personal so we are transforming the coach into our rustic-modern motorhome. You can read more of our RV backstory here.

UPDATED Post: How to paint RV kitchen cabinets!

We have also been asking our readers to help narrow down some of the design decisions along the way. I really wanted a two-toned kitchen but wasn’t sure how it would work in such a small, open space. I decided to take the risk and put the lower cabinets paint color up for a vote.  I would have been happy with either but the winning paint color was BEHR Mined Coal. It’s a medium/dark gray and I think it looks amazing next to white and all of the rustic wood touches we plan to incorporate.

Favorite Options for Painting the RV Kitchen Cabinets

We also asked for your help in deciding which flooring to use and I’m really excited that the warmer flooring won out in the end. Update: You can read about our new RV flooring installation HERE.


We still have a ridiculously long list of items to update and with only a few months left before we hit the road, we have our work cut out for us.

RV Reno Setbacks

Of course what reno would be complete without hiccups? We recently discovered a really bad ceiling leak in the bathroom (boooooooo), which isn’t covered under our crazy extensive warranty because it wasn’t caused by plumbing. We had our insurance company come out to take a look at it last week but the holidays have certainly slowed everything down, and we are still waiting to hear back as to whether it’s covered or not.

If not, it looks like we will have to figure out how to fix that too which may push back our original time frame for installing the flooring. And of course, it’s been raining almost every day here for the past few weeks. We are staying positive though and realize that every opportunity (both good and bad) is a learning experience.


Anyway,  I wanted to share a few photos of the kitchen area so that you can see the progress that’s been made. We still need to paint the vents/registers, do a few touchups, paint or change some of the screws, update the counters, the backsplash, make the wood window frames and I could go on and on and on. We also haven’t installed the microwave/convection oven back because we need to do the backsplash.

I’ll admit that it’s sometimes tough for me to share progress photos because I’m a perfectionist that can never have anything perfect and progress photos are well…not perfect. Haha.

I’m learning to let go of that, especially because it’s really fun to look back and see the changes that have been made. And of course, our goal is to inspire you to personalize your own home, and as we all know… things are not always perfect along the way. 🙂


Here is what the kitchen area originally looked like in our 2008 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 32LA:

Planning to update the kitchen in your camper or motorhome? Come check out the progress of our painted RV kitchen cabinets! MountainModernLife.com

In Progress…

I plan to share a more in-depth post in the future about how we painted the RV kitchen cabinets, but for now here are some photos of how they look in our tiny RV kitchen. And yes we plan to paint the vents/registers, just haven’t gotten to it yet.

Planning to update the kitchen in your camper or motorhome? Come check out the progress of our painted RV kitchen cabinets! MountainModernLife.com

Updated Hardware:

Let me also say that I LOVE the hardware we added to the RV kitchen cabinets. They completely change the look and feel of the space, don’t you think?

We used a combination of the bar pulls and the tab pulls from DLawless Hardware. We originally planned to spray paint the tab pulls rubbed oil bronze to match the bar pulls, but in the end, we decided to spray paint the bar pulls black to match the tabs.

Planning to update the kitchen in your camper or motorhome? Come check out the progress of our painted RV kitchen cabinets! MountainModernLife.comPlanning to update the kitchen in your camper or motorhome? Come check out the progress of our painted RV kitchen cabinets! MountainModernLife.comPlanning to update the kitchen in your camper or motorhome? Come check out the progress of our painted RV kitchen cabinets! MountainModernLife.comPlanning to update the kitchen in your camper or motorhome? Come check out the progress of our painted RV kitchen cabinets! MountainModernLife.com

UPDATE: Water Damage

Our biggest RV enemy (water) showed up within a few weeks of painting these cabinets and set things back a bit, or A LOT a bit.

Set back in our RV renovation

A girl’s allowed to change her mind…

You can read all about the water damage we found in our RV and how you can avoid the same mistake we did in this post. Since we had to remove the kitchen cabinets I decided to go with my first gut instinct and paint the lower cabinets black the second time around. Here’s a semi-updated photo. This photo isn’t perfect, you can obviously see that we have a few projects to complete and items to put away, but hey that’s real life, eh?

Planning to update the kitchen in your camper or motorhome? Come check out the progress of our painted RV kitchen cabinets! MountainModernLife.com

If you are planning to update your camper or RV, or even the kitchen in your stick and bricks home I hope you will feel inspired. What color do you plan to paint your RV cabinets?

Thank you so much to D Lawless Hardware for supplying the hardware for our RV Kitchen Cabinets!

additional resources


How to Paint RV Kitchen Cabinets

Our RV Kitchen Renovation

Rustic Modern RV Tour

Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinet Inspiration


  1. Just want to shout out that Bowsman and Missoula are 2 of my favorite mountain towns! ???? good luck!

  2. Hi Kayce, We actually plan to spray paint them black but we hadn’t done that yet when I posted this. It’s funny because I almost didn’t share this post just because that was bugging me so much but that’s what I’m talking about when I mention needing to paint the “vents”. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. The painted cabinets look great on the video. I am afraid to paint them because they will look painted with streaks. Did you do anything special

    1. Hi Debbie,

      We did a super quick sanding first (literally just a couple minutes), followed by using some primer and then we actually used our HomeRight paint sprayer to paint the cabinets. It’s awesome because it painted them fast AND doesn’t leave any paint streaks ๐Ÿ™‚ Afterwards we used wipe on poly to seal them.

      However, since posting this I actually decided to change the lower cabinets and painted them with charcoal chalk paint. If you go the chalk paint route then you shouldn’t have to sand or use any primer. I was working with BEHR paint at the time and received free paint which is why I opted to use that on the cabinets at the time, rather than purchase chalk paint. I am also thinking about waxing the lower cabinets this time around, rather than using the wipe-on poly, only because I like working with it and the way it looks.

      Hope that helps ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You’ll want to check out McCall, Id on your discovery journey! Three ski hills and trails for the winter, lakes and lots of hiking for the summer.

    1. Thanks Shelley, we will have to do that for sure! We have been focusing so much on the renovation recently that I feel like I lose site of the things we will see once we hit the road, but I am looking forward to getting out there asap ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. You have a wonderful kitchen! I love your paint color. I think that this is the best color for kitchen. It looks clean and fresh. Thanks a lot for these great ideas!

    1. Thanks Ellis, we actually had to take out all of the kitchen cabinets because of a water leak. We actually ended up changing the color just a bit. If you want to check back in a couple of weeks we will have them all put back in with the updated color. I am interested to hear your thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Blowing Rock NC is high in the Blue Ridge mountains….a lovely small town with lots of wonderful outdoor activities. Please make sure you stop here!! We have been living here for over 30 years now!! A question what color is the white for your cupboards? My hubby & I live full time in a 5th wheel and are getting ready to re-model a few areas with the kitchen cupboards being one of them. I love the two tone look and was afraid to try it in a small space but you have given me courage as yours looks GREAT!! Don’t forget Blowing Rock NC!!!!

    1. Pamela, that’s too funny you mention Blowing Rock. My husband and I visited a ton of small towns in NC over the past year and it’s one of our favorites! I haven’t experienced the same feeling since – it just felt so….majestic! In fact it’s at the top of our list if we decide to stay closer rather than out move back West. Well, that or Boone since it’s close by but less expensive. I’d love to see what you do with your kitchen when you’re finished! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. You have to go check out Leven worth ,Washington it is beautiful and so much fun . The small town of Cashmere is small and adorable check them out. YOU rv is looking great!

      1. Thanks Lynn! I’ve heard really amazing things about Leavenworth and am honestly excited about the entire state of Washington! We’ll definitely have to visit Cashmere too, thanks for the suggestions!

  7. Fabulous job! Question: Iโ€™ve read several construction/painting blogs where they advise against caulking the seams on the panels mainly because of the wood expanding/contracting. Have you experienced any cracking/settling on your panels?

    1. Thank you much Evie! As of yet we haven’t experienced any cracking/settling, but we will keep a close eye on them and let you know if that changes. I hadn’t really thought of that!

  8. I love what you have done with your camper!! I have been hesitant to start on our own camper, but after this Im seriously considering it!! I do have on suggestion for you. Maybe something you haven’t thought about, but I would have to remove and paint the air return vents on the bottom of the cabinets. As a perfectionist myself, I totally understand how you feel!! I recently did my old ones in my house with the rubbed bronze spray paint, they turned out fabulous!! I cant wait to see how everything else turns out for your camper!!

  9. Thanks Karen! It’s funny you mention the vents because that was the only reason I didn’t want to share these photos. I had been promising an update so I did anyway, but this was before we painted our vents and I had a feeling some people would say something about them and trust me it bugged me just seeing them a different color. In fact, I mention it twice in the post, haha. They are painted black now, as are the bottom cabinets. We will be sharing an update soon. We hit the road in just a couple weeks so it will be soon after that ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Great job..super inspiring as I’m a proud new owner of a 2004 Tiffin that I’m looking to renovate as well. Quick question: did y’all paint over the wall paper?

    1. Thank you! We did in fact paint over the wall paper, except for the removable boarders that were in the kitchen and bathroom. Primer was extremely helpful for us, I think we put two coats of primer on before we started with our white paint.

  11. We recently bought a 2008 travel trailer and I immediately started removing all the things I didn’t like…including the upper kitchen cabinets. My plan was to replace them with new cabinets but we were told that we can’t use regular cabinets because the walls aren’t built to hold them. Is this true and now what am I going to do?!

  12. Hi Lanet,

    I’m no expert but my guess for not being able to use stock cabinets would be due to the size and weight. I know our RV cabinets aren’t nearly as deep as those that were in our sticks and bricks house. Although our cabinet doors are made out of real wood, the cabinets themselves are a mixture of wood, MDF and laminate – and they are still pretty heavy. They are screwed into the walls and ceiling of our RV and are really sturdy – we removed them and then installed them back into the same position.

    I’ve seen RV and camper remodels with (modified) stock cabinets including some from Ikea so it probably just depends on the size and weight you have available. I’d recommend contacting the manufacturer of your travel trailer to see what they have to say. You may want to look for used RV cabinets, see about modifying stock cabinets, have some built for you, or custom build some yourself.

    Sorry I couldn’t be of much help, but I’d love to know what you find out and end up doing.

    Best of luck!

  13. I just found your site when I Googled wood RV countertops – now I’m hooked on looking through your site. Love all of your ideas. We are working on our own Wanderlust project (a 1997 RV). My question – it looks like you did ship lap or possibly painted horizontal paneling in the kitchen. Do you have a post on what you did? Thanks so much! Michele

  14. I sedan the open stair well, what did you do there? I pulled out carpet and put down allure. It is “floating floor” so not suitable. Just wondering

    1. Hey Jeanette, we actually used the same flooring we put throughout the RV. We cut small pieces and fit them to the open spaces. We’re really pleased with the way it turned out and it seems to be holding up really well. I hope this helps let me know if you have any other questions. Best Wishes, Eric

  15. We just purchased a trailer and have started painting the walls….I’m so freaked out to paint the cabinets because of it eventually chipping off. Our doors are laminate which shouldn’t be an issue but it’s the boxes that I don’t think will hold up. It’s like vynil….almost like a huge sticker. Was yours the same way and how have they held up?

  16. Hey guys!

    I’ve been reading your blog and basically jumped right into painting and tearing things apart. After starting to paint the cabinetry yesterday I began to think I’ve bitten off far more than I can do but ill keep at it. I do have a question about the small plastic trim that manufacturers use around cabinets amd ceiling. Did you remove these or paint over them? I was thinking about ripping them out and replacing with caulking or baseboard trim?

    Thanks for a great blog! So helpful and inspiring !

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