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How to Paint a Pop-Up Camper

Make your pop-up camper look new again with a fresh coat of paint.
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Maintaining the appearance of your camper can take more than a little pressure washing, elbow grease and soap. Campers are no exception to fading from years of exposure to the sun and the elements. Applying a fresh coat of paint to your pop-up camper can be a viable solution in restoring its look. A new paint job can also extend the life of your camper, protecting it against rust. Paint your camper in less than a day.

Unsnap the canvas at the sides and ends of the trailer. Remove the canvas from the camper trailer.

Remove any decals, pinstriping or stickers from the surface area to be painted. Connect the sandpaper disc to your attachment and fit the attachment onto your drill.

Lightly sand the entire surface area. Pressure wash the surface, removing dirt and sand remnants. Allow the surface area to dry.

Apply masking tape to plastic sheets and seal off areas you don't want painted. Areas you will want to cover are lights, latches, handles and tires.

Remove the freshwater supply inlet and the land line power inlet to prevent them from getting painted.

Connect the air compressor to the air tank -- also called a canister. Screw the connector hose to the top of the air compressor. Screw the opposite end to the air tank.

Turn on the air compressor. This will fill the air canister. Fill the high-volume, low-pressure sprayer to the two-thirds mark with paint. The sprayer is a separate attachment minimizing overspray and enabling more efficient use of your paint.

Unscrew the connector hose from the air compressor and connect it to the butt end of the sprayer. The sprayer and air canister will be connected now. The connector hose allows the sprayer to access the paint within the canister. As a precaution, add a small dose of paint thinner to the sprayer canister to prevent clogging the sprayer tip.

Squeeze the trigger and spray the trailer with paint from 12 to 14 inches away. Spray the trailer from one end to the opposite end.

Spray the trailer from the bottom to the top, up to your shoulder's height. When you reach the opposite end, return to the end where you started. Respray the entire area with a second coat.

Paint the lower body of the camper trailer with back and forth strokes. Work your way from the top of the unfinished area to the bottom.

Repeat Steps 8 through 10 for the other side of the trailer and the ends.

Allow the trailer 24 hours to dry. Apply a buffing disc to the drill attachment. Buff out the newly painted area.

Reconnect the canvas to the trailer.

Things You'll Need:

  • 120-grit sandpaper disc
  • Hand drill
  • Sanding attachment
  • Small pressure washer
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic sheets
  • High-volume, low-pressure paint sprayer
  • Air compressor
  • Connector hose
  • 2 gallons oil-based paint
  • Paint thinner
  • Paint sprayer gun
  • Buffing disc


Always apply paint sprays in open or ventilated areas. Coat exposed skin with petroleum jelly to avoid paint sticking to it.

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