How We Painted Our Cabinets Without Fuss

When we bought our Winnie, she was full of old light oak cabinets and a lot of fake wood panelling.



Even the fridge had paneling.


I’m not a big fan of light oak or fake wood paneling, so I urged Mark to paint the cabinets.  As we were reading up on how to do this, we came across lots of advice.

Most of the instructions we found stressed the importance of sanding and included primer and enough prep work to make me suddenly fond of light oak and fake wood paneling.  I had also read about painting with chalkboard paint to cover the need to primer and sand all-in-one.

We had settled on the chalkboard paint method until I came across a pin Pinterest about Giani Granite’s Nuvo Cabinet Paint.  I watched the video and was intrigued.  Minimal sanding (for fake wood areas).  No primer.  You didn’t even have to remove the cabinet doors.

I contacted Giani and was thrilled to be able to test their cabinet paint out.  This is what came in my kit.


Everything I needed for the job.  I figured I’d need more than 2 cans since there are so many cabinets in our RV, but I wanted to test it out before I bought any extra.

We decided to remove the cabinet doors because we were going to update the hardware and hinges.  I prepped my surfaces by wiping them clean, (I used diluted orange oil) and also lightly sanded the fake wood.  We used wood filler to fill some (though not all) holes.


Over the slide, we had fabric covered cabinet fronts that needed to be removed and there was a little strip of wood that needed to be prepped.

underside-of-cabinets-before-painting fabric-covered-cabinets-prepped

Next we painted like crazy.  The paint went on very nicely and had great coverage. This paint is not normal paint.  Which is great.  When I was trying to wash the paint of my hands, it required some serious elbow grease.  Given the fact that was going on cabinets, I was extremely happy about that.

Nuvo-Cabinet-Paint-Update-in-RV rv-cabinets-after-nuvo-cabinet-paint kitchen-cabinets-painted


By the time we were done, we needed 5 cans of paint (but we covered all the cabinets in a 37 foot camper with Nuvo!  So for about $175, we dramatically changed the appearance of our camper.  I think this update was one of the most important updates we did and the Nuvo paint worked wonders.  I love that we didn’t have to sand and primer.  It was very easy to do.

The before…


And after…


Amazing right??

If you’re interested in Nuvo’s Cabinet Paint it can be found, here.  I can’t imagine having to go through all the steps we’d have had to if we’d gone another route.

81 thoughts on “How We Painted Our Cabinets Without Fuss”

  1. Interested in this technique but need to be sure I’m dealing with similar cabinetry. My kitchen cabinets are for lack of a better word, particle board with a fancy stain. The encasement ( other than the doors) is covered in a very thin laminate type paper…very cheap. Should I peel that off, to expose particle board or leave it alone….its NOT peeling but I could get it off if needed. Suggestions please and thank you!

  2. So the real wood – on the cabinets as well as the fake wood were painted with the nuvo. Was there any color difference between the fake vs real wood? and the walls were primmered and painted with another brand/type of paint. Were the walls real wood or the same type of fake wood as the cabinets? other than cost is there a reason you decided to prime and paint the walls as opposed to using the nuvo?

  3. Hey there, just found your blog via Pinterest! Curious how its all held up after such a long time, and how much paint you ended up using in the end! We are planning on using it on all of our “wood” in our 5th wheel, thought maybe you could help me out on amount! Thanks!

  4. Great information provided. Thank you. I hear a lot about people who repaint their RVs and then have issues with cracking and peeling later. Did that happen? P.S. Found you on Pinterest

  5. Hi!
    Just found you through Pinterest. I’m curious if you still have this RV? If so, how have the cabinets held up? We are considering buying an rv for a screaming deal, yet the cabinets are pretty hideous… Maybe I could paint them?

  6. Julie, It looks amazing! We just recently traded our 14 year old 5th wheel with Bunkhouse in for a “Empty Nesters” unit with rocker recliners/fireplace and big beautiful master bedroom. Cabinets are all dark, and I acutally love them, because our other unit was a light oak, similar to what yours was. I would love to do a few things, like a new backsplash. I see at Lowes and Home Depot the stick on backspashes, very light weight. I can’t seem to get an answer from anyone in the RV world on this….will they stay up? We live in SW FL, the summer time, our RV bakes! Its so hot. I just wonder how the adhesive will hold up. Any thoughts? Thanks so much!


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