Small House Big World


Adventures in Painting – Or “WE CAN’T BREATHE”

Anna Edgren • May 20, 2015

As of late, Kelly and I have decided we should try our hand at some easy DIY renovations in the RV. We want to test out the waters and see if we are any good at this kind of thing. As you may recall we have a bit of an issue with the color pallete in the RV: Much of it is a horrific shade of grey/purple that we have deemed Gurple, and the rest is beige. With this starting point, no matter what we do it’s going to be hard to mess it up too badly. 

First things first: An easy fix. Our fridge with it’s stylin’ wood-grain panels may seem pretty innocuous at first glance, but we thought it could use an update. The wood color really only adds to the complete lack of contrast in the RV. 

2014-12-06 14.36.45

Neutral tones as far as the eye can see.

We figured it would be easy enough to paint it and make it pretty. The panels come right off by taking out a couple of screws, so we removed them, took the panels outside, and used a can of black spray paint to work some magic. 



It was such an easy fix, it was totally inspiring. It really broke up the feel of the kitchen visually and added that badly needed contrast. So if a coat of paint can make the fridge look so much better, what else can we update in a similar manner? 

There was one thing we could agree on:  The bathroom needs to be a color other than beige. 

The entire bathroom is beige and brown – the walls, the toilet, the sink, the counter top, the shower. Some variation in shade, sure, but whoever designed this thought beige was the bees knees. 

2014-12-06 14.10.43

A glimpse into the mind of a madman.

So the very first thing we did was rip out the shower doors and put in a pretty shower curtain and a new bathmat. This definitely brightened the room up a bit,  but we were still haunted by the sickly off-white semi-yellow blah tones of the shower and sink in particular:

2014-12-06 14.33.02


We decided to paint the sink and the shower. We did some research and found that the recommended method here is spray paint. High-end, long-lasting good quality indoor/outdoor spray paint. So we went to the hardware store and picked out a nice metallic gray color. We (and by we I mean Kelly – thaaanks Kelly) spent an ungodly amount of time taping off the sink and shower and went to town. 

2015-05-06 12.45.22

An important note about spray paint: it is aerated, which means it much resembles the air. It floats, it hangs, it hovers. In the small confined space of an RV bathroom it turns out there is actually a pretty limited quantity of this precious air, and when you fill it with a cloud of toxic chemicals, it becomes unpleasant very quickly. And boy was it ever unpleasant. Face masks and fans helped a bit, but it was rough.  

BUT – despite the nastiness of our air, the sink looked about 10,000 times better. 

2015-05-06 16.28.45


We simply coudn’t stop there. We had to do the shower too. Maybe it was all of the accidental huffing we were doing, but we got paint-happy. 

Taping it up.

Taping it up.

We probably should have seen trouble brewing – the sink is a small surface, and the environment it created in our home was definitely toxic. The shower is at least 10 times larger than the sink. This spells trouble. We figured a few extra fans would do the trick and help move the bad air out. We were wrong. 

All I can say is: Silver. Silver everywhere. Clouds of silver filled our home. It settled on our floors, it covered the woefully underpowered fans with a thin layer of glimmer. The screens, the table, and good god the bathroom floor. It was basically a disaster area. 

Kelly was also covered in it - his eyes, his nose, his arms, etc.

Kelly was also covered in it – his eyes, his nose, his arms, etc.

The tricky thing about painting is that once you start, you can’t very well stop until the job is done. It was bad. It was much more unpleasant than we anticipated.  And it took ACTUAL FOREVER. Multiple coats. So much spraying. 6 cans of spray paint we used. It was madness. 

The bathroom floor - no, that's not dirt. That's silver paint. It was STICKY. ugh.

The bathroom floor – no, that’s not dirt. That’s silver paint. It was STICKY.

When the paint was finally on, we decided to hit the hardware store and buy something to remove all of the paint-dust that covered our lives. Luckily we found this product that worked like a charm (so long as your definition of charm includes scrubbing on your hands and knees for an hour). Really though – it was great because it was gentle and we were worried about stripping the floor or the wood accidentally, and it didn’t do either of those things. It just removed the unwanted paint. Perfect. After cleaning up for a great long time, we called it a success. 

SO MANY LESSONS LEARNED. Would I do it again? Ummmm, NO. Am I glad the bathroom looks way nicer now? Yes I am. And all things considered, it was only ONE day of our lives. One terrible hellish nightmare of day, all in the name of the aesthetics of a 1993 RV. Thankfully we lived to tell the tale with no obvious permament brain damage. 

Here’s the result!

2014-12-06 14.10.43













We still have more we’d like to do, but it’s a start! 

DIY paintingDIY rv showerDIY spray paint showerrv shower spray paint

Anna Edgren • May 20, 2015

Previous Post

Next Post


  1. Wade May 20, 2015 - 3:00 pm Reply

    Looks GREAT!!! Very nicely done guys.

  2. Libby Riemersma May 20, 2015 - 3:20 pm Reply

    It looks wonderful! Keep us posted on how it holds up.

  3. Forrest Clark May 20, 2015 - 3:49 pm Reply

    Great improvement in the bathroom! Way to go!

  4. Jenny Williams May 20, 2015 - 4:55 pm Reply

    A big improvement! Thanks for posting, and letting others that might try this to prepare for excess spray 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *