RV Renovation – Mishaps and Misadventures

Introducing Nonie, our little home on wheels…

I know it seems crazy having a brand new trailer but we weren’t the biggest fans of the the original decor (think bachelor pad). Plus, Molly is always having some project to beautify and modernize our living areas (thanks HGTV and pinterest). So, rv renovation commenced.

First to go – goodbye dark cabinets, hello  bright glossy white. After much research in the blogosphere, we settled on Nuvo cabinet paint.


We read up on many blogs and attempted the project without any priming or sanding. Stupid. Not for our dark cabinets. We had to reassess. A friend we roped into painting with us suggested two coats of primer after sanding, he was right.

After painting our beautiful new white bright cabinets, we realized the brown beige walls had to go. We chose white walls. Why? Truthfully, so we didn’t have to tape the new cabinets. But also because we wanted to really brighten the space.

Off we went, priming and painting the walls. Did you know there are a million shades of white? We learned this on a late night trip to Home Depot. We went with Polar Bear – because it sounded adorable. 

Next up – those hideous valances and dinette cushions. Molly did not want to sew anything, so we headed into a crazy staple adventure.

How to reupholster your valances like a lazy person

Step 1: Remove 1 million staples from fabric – we used a small flat head screwdriver and pliers. We recommend you buy a fabric staple remover, a thought that occurred to us after Molly created a band-aid blister protector for our fingers.

Step 2: Save removed fabric and cut your new fabric to the same size.

Step 3: With a friend, staple your new fabric on the valance. One person pulls the fabric taut while the other goes staple crazy. Trickiest parts are the corners.

Confession: We really don’t know how we made that work, but they look great!

After making everything white and clean looking, the beige blinds looked awry. We spray painted them white to match the new look.

Now, the dinette cushions. Our worst enemy. We started off feeling really good, you just unzip the cushion, pull the foam out. At this point we had a couple options – wrap up the foam like a present and sew it for easy fabric removal later. Or, buy a piece of plywood, place in the back and staple it to the fabric.

We chose the plywood option.

Mistake #1 – We measured the plywood just a little smaller than the foam. We spent several hours ironing, stretching, folding and stapling – wrapping these up like presents. We were pumped! We headed out to the trailer to place them in and OOPS – no go. The cushions squish into place, plywood does not squish.

Mistake #2 – We cut the plywood down, about two inches on each side. Ready to refold (no ironing, too angry). And OOPS – we cut the excess fabric off in the original fold and therefore the new folds didn’t reach the plywood. Things got weird with a regular stapler, we made it work and they look pretty good!


Finally, time to decorate. We used smart tile peel and stick for the backsplash in the kitchen – for look and to keep it light. We hung a map by our bed to our highlight our travels along the way. We also ordered awesome map decals from Signs of Life to hang on our front door. Herbs for cooking, rose geranium for good smells and lush greenery, our chalkboard dreams and other colorful additions to make it feel like home. The green baskets above the bed have chalkboard labels to show what clothes are inside. We did a lot of shopping at ikea to keep the cost and weight down.

It was a lot of work, a few mistakes, long nights and headaches along the way, but we are really happy with the final outcome. It is definitely an expression of our style and we absolutely love how our trailer looks! And now we begin our six week maiden voyage. First stop, Michigan!













2 thoughts on “RV Renovation – Mishaps and Misadventures

  1. Wow what an amazing transformation!! I enjoyed reading how you figured everything out . Well done mistakes and all!


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