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How to White Wash RV Cabinets

How To White Wash RV Cabinet

These days it seems like everyone is updating their RVs. Even brand new RVs are getting facelifts. One thing that’s gaining in popularity is opting for a white wash cabinet versus standard staining or painting.

Today, we’ll look at what goes into white washing cabinets and if it’s a good option for you.  

What Is the White Washing Technique? 

White washing is essentially creating a look that’s a cross between painting and staining. Generally, you achieve it by watering down white paint. After you’ve prepped your cabinets and white wash solution, you simply apply the solution as you would any other stain or paint. 

You can brush it on using white wash paint and let it dry. If you’re using a white wash stain, you can apply it with a brush or rag and then wipe away the excess with a clean rag.

White wash cabinets have become popular enough that manufacturers have caught on as well. It’s possible to find premixed products for the perfect white wash solution. 

Woman painting cabinet door white.
White washed cabinets can brighten your RV kitchen and is relatively easy to do.

Can You White Wash Any RV Cabinets? 

Before you begin white washing your RV cabinets, learn what your cabinets are made out of.

You can white wash any surface that will accept paint. Softwood cabinets like pine will work best, but some people have had success with even MDF and plywood. 

Why Would You Want to White Wash Your RV Cabinets? 

White washing cabinets can brighten them up while still letting the natural wood grain show through. It doesn’t quite cover them completely like standard cabinet paint but does do a great job in giving your cabinets a new look.

It can completely change the look of a room, giving it a modern and fresh feel. This is great for those who want an updated space but don’t want to lose that beautiful wood look.  

Pro Tip: Looking to renovate your RV cabinets? Here are 5 Tips for Easy Upgrades.

How to White Wash RV Cabinets 

So you’ve decided you’d like to white wash your cabinets, but how? While there are a few differences in how people accomplish white wash cabinets, you can follow a few standard practices.

Prep Your Cabinets 

Start your project right. Though it isn’t an exciting part of the process, you need to prep your cabinets. Sand your cabinets to allow your white wash to adhere. After you’ve sanded the cabinets, don’t forget to remove all dust particles to start with a smooth surface. 

Condition the Wood 

You aren’t done with the prep after you’ve sanded your cabinets. Condition your wood if you’re using softwood such as pine. If you don’t condition, it can lead to a blotchy look when you paint.

Conditioning can also help bring out the wood grain. You can use any “pre-stain conditioner” from your hardware store. Simply apply the conditioner, allowing it to sit for 30 minutes. Afterward, lightly sand the cabinets again with a high grit paper. 

Woman sanding old wooden cabinet door.
Prep your cabinets by sanding and conditioning the wood.

Make the White Wash Solution 

Unless you’ve chosen a pre-mixed white wash solution, you’ll need to create your own. Thankfully, creating your own white wash solution is simple.

It’ll come down to personal preference based on how opaque you’d like it to be. Many people do one part paint to three parts water. Mix well, and you’re done.

Do the White Washing Technique  

Simply brush your mixture, allowing it to soak into your wood. Some prefer to leave it to dry completely, while others prefer a stained look. If you’d prefer a stained look, use it just like a stain.

Paint on and wipe away excess before allowing it to dry. Repeat until you’re happy with the results. 

Apply a Top Coat 

Once you’re happy with the look, apply a topcoat. This will keep your cabinets looking fresh even after years of use. Be sure to use a non-yellowing topcoat such as clear polyacrylic. 

Pro Tip: Keep your cabinets cute with a white wash, but also practical with these RV Hacks: How to Prevent Falling Objects in Your Camper.

Woman white washing her cabinets
Once you reach your desired look, apply a clear top coat to seal your white washed look in for years.

Is White Washing Cabinets Worth It? 

The white wash look is something you likely either love or hate. If research and pictures have convinced you, go for it. If you’re unsure, it might not be right for you. 

Making major changes such as painting cabinets can affect your ability to trade in your RV as dealers typically prefer stock units. Changes such as white wash can pique extra interest when trying to sell privately, though. Are you someone who likes the look of white wash cabinets, or do you prefer a more traditional look?

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