Prepping, Priming and Painting the Cabinets

Painting is fun. It’s relatively easy to do and very satisfying. The prep work that goes into painting however, not so fun. Sanding is a filthy, labor intensive job. Taping can incredibly frustrating (especially when after all your hard work, the tape rips off chunks of paint, ugh!). Priming and sanding and priming again and sanding again can wear you down. It’s never as easy as it looks and I feel like that sentiment is even more of a thing when working in a camper.

Before I detail the steps I took to paint the interior, I will first start by describing the material I had to work with. My camper had real oak cabinet panels and drawer faces. This was a huge plus and one of the reasons I bought a Bigfoot in the first place. However, I was pretty surprised to find out that the cabinet frames were laminate covered pine. Basically a sticker with a faux wood grain to match the real wood panels. On top of that, there was this rubber piping lining the edges of the cabinet frames (ie: where the frames meet the ceiling, etc…). I determined this piping was probably put in place to help with the vibration the camper is subjected to. Since it seemed to have a purpose other than aesthetic (and because I had no idea how easily they would come off/what lurked underneath), I decided to keep the piping in place and paint over them.

Tools Needed:

  • Tape
  • Sander Block
  • Sand Paper – 220 & 150 Grain
  • Steel Wool – Grade 1
  • Wood Filler
  • Spackle Knives
  • Primer
  • Paint (Satin)
  • Acetone
  • Goo Gone
  • White Vinegar & Water Solution Spray Bottle
  • Foam Cabinet Roller
  • Paint Brushes
  • Foam Brushes
  • Drop Cloths
  • Paint Tray
  • Painter’s Mask
  • Rags
  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum
  • Exacto Knife


Steps to Painting Frames:

  • Remove Hardware, Label in plastic bags
  • Remove Wood Panels & Drawers, Label pieces as you remove
  • Clean Laminate with Acetone
  • Patch hinge/screw holes with wood filler
  • Sand Laminate with 220 grain
  • Clean sand particles with white vinegar
  • Tape off Edges
  • Prime Laminate, dry
  • Sand first coat of primer with 220 grain
  • Wipe thoroughly with white vinegar
  • Apply a second coat of primer, dry
  • Abrade with steel wool
  • Paint first and second coat, dry
  • Remove Tape about an hour later, use an exacto knife so that the tape doesn’t rip up the paint.


paint preptaped offfirst coat primerprimerwhite frames


Steps to Painting Cabinets & Drawer Faces

  • Clean faces with Acetone
  • Patch screw holes with Wood Filler
  • Sand with 150 Grain
  • Wipe thoroughly with White Vinegar
  • Apply first coat of primer, dry
  • Sand with 220 Grain
  • Wipe with White Vinegar
  • Apply second coat of primer, dry
  • Sand with 220 Grain
  • Wipe with White Vinegar
  • Apply first & second coat of paint, dry
  • Install Hinges & Hardware on Cabinets
  • Replace cabinets and drawers

cabs primedcabs primed 2painted and hung


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