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Simple DIY RV Renovation

BROWN and TAN! That’s how I’d sum up my RV! Now for a very “Vanilla” girl, I am kind of ok with that, but there was a limit! I like to accent with color, but my base colors are pretty vanilla. So I decided to put a little texture in my RV, and I started with my bathroom! Whether you’re stuck inside during a long winter, or happen to be under government orders to do so with a COVID-19 virus out there, this is a fun, quick and easy project to do.

After lots of research and asking questions, I decided to try something a little different than the typical installation of regular shiplap in my bathroom. I installed shiplap wallpaper! Wait … what? Yes you heard that right! It’ll be our secret! But after some reading and research, here’s what I did that might be a little different!

My current RV bathroom walls were very smooth standard RV wallpaper. Can you put wallpaper over wallpaper? In many cases YES YOU CAN! The company will tell you it’s not recommended, but did I mention all the research I did, and the people I talked to who have had great success?

My Successful Directions

  • First and foremost, I used a mild dish soap (Dawn) & water mixture to wash my bathroom walls thoroughly. More than once! I live with a man – enough said! Ha! After washing, I wiped down the walls with just water to make sure all the soap was off. Then let them dry completely. It’s really important that you start out with a super clean surface.
  • I then measured and cut my wallpaper. After a lot of research, reading, and learning, I found the best wallpaper to be RoomMates Removable Wallpaper. I am not being paid by this company, nor did I receive any products from them for a discounted fee. I’m positive there are other brands out there you may be happy with. But this is what I used after months of research. I ordered 2 rolls for my bathroom and that was plenty. If you’re applying it vertical like I did, you will want at least 2 or 3 rolls. If you’re going horizontal you may be able to just purchase 2 depending on how big or small your bathroom is. Measure! Order more vs. less!
  • Installing this peel and stick wallpaper was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. I did this with no help from anyone, and it truly is very easy to work with!
  • I personally wanted my shiplap design to go from top to bottom. Not side to side. But my directions are the same no matter which way you’re laying your design. Start at the top of your piece of wallpaper and take the backing off the top few inches of your piece. The beauty of this wallpaper is that it’s removable and can be repositioned.
  • I cut my paper about 4 inches longer than it needed to be.
  • I positioned the first few inches to the top, pressing firm but not “permanent firm” yet. I then worked the backing paper off about 12 inches at a time. I made sure before doing this that my paper all the way to the floor was lining up with the corner of the wall. Leaving no gaps. RV walls aren’t straight either, people! I did have to slightly reposition my top to make sure this was going to go down all the way with no gap.
  • You will need some very simple tools! A Smoothing Tool, and an Exacto Knife. I also highly recommend very sharp scissors. And some sort of a straight edge. Don’t laugh, I used my cutting board mats as a straight edge. In a small RV, I don’t have room for things I won’t use often! Ha!
  • Removing about 12 inches of the backing paper off at a time, smooth the paper to the wall as you go. I had absolutely no issues with air bubbles, air pockets, or any issues. I’ve hung wallpaper the old fashioned way before (pasted kind) and it was terrible, messy, and very hard to work with. This is not the case with this type! Very easy to smooth. Just start at the middle and work to the edges.
  • Once I got the piece up, I then did something that many people recommended. I peeled back the top 12-18 inches and used this spray adhesive. I sprayed it lightly to the wall, and smoothed the wallpaper back up. I also did this to the bottom. This is not necessary, but I wanted to make sure it was up and would not lose its natural adhesive and fall off. I think with a very clean wall you shouldn’t have a problem. But I wanted to share this step.
  • I then cut the excess paper at the ceiling and floor with my Exacto knife. Which again, cut very easy!
  • Then continue on with your next pieces the same way.

Thoughts After A Few Weeks

I am sold!! I love the look! I love the quality! And I have enough left over for another fun accent wall somewhere. Or to cover a boring picture frame, book shelf backing, or recently I saw someone actually do their RV ceiling. I will not be doing that but what a great idea for that sort of look!

Another Option

If you wanted to make sure you liked this look wherever you decide to do it, I would recommend skipping the spray adhesive step. Even if it’s just for a few days. Make sure you’re happy with your results, and then if you are, go back and do this step. This wallpaper is completely removable, and can be repositioned numerous times.

I really think this is a great solution for RV’s. Lightweight, easy to install, and gives us all something besides brown and tan! There are lots of great color options available! Of course, you see I went very simple because I am very “vanilla” but I do plan to try to finish this up with some color! Also, I have plans to finish all the walls in the bathroom with what I have left over. That is going to require removing outlets and towel racks. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: The bathroom is complete! It was no problem removing the towel rack, or the outlet. Love how this turned out!!

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