How to Paint RV Exterior Fiberglass 2021: Step by Step Guide

Last Updated on 13th June, 2020

In this guide, you are going to discover how to paint RV exterior fiberglass.

You are also going to learn about the necessary items you will need to produce the best effects with your RV painting.

I will also show you the best kind of paints to use for the exterior fiberglass exterior of your RV.

So if you want to give your RV that beautiful look to produce a WOW-effect amongst fellow campers, you will love this guide.

Let’s dive right in.

Also Read: How to Refill Fresh Water Tank During Camping

What Kind of Paints is Best for Painting an RV Exterior Fiberglass?

The first step to take when painting RV exterior fiberglass is to determine what kinds of paints to use.

And the truth is that almost every RV has a fiberglass exterior!

When it comes to RV painting, a regular standard all-purpose paint won’t give you the right type of finish for the job, and may even cost you more, both in time and money.

The best RV fiberglass paints usually contain polyurethane, polyester, acrylic, or epoxy, with a wide range of colors and finishes including matt, gloss, and high gloss.

All these will help you to get the right kind of finishing that you want.

So when you go out to purchase an RV paint, make sure you read the label on the containers to make sure that what you are buying will be efficient for the job.

Materials You Need to Paint RV Exterior Fiberglass

To prep the RV surface;

  • An automotive sponge
  • Soap
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Palm sander
  • Painter’s tape
  • Denatured alcohol

For painting;

  • Latex-based primer-or similar
  • RV Fiberglass paint
  • A paint gun or paintbrush
  • Acetone

For final finishing;

  • RV wax
  • A soft cloth or rag
  • Fine sandpaper

It is always good to start with a primer when learning how to paint RV exterior fiberglass.

Although it may cost some extra cash, a primer would ensure that you get that perfectly smooth surface for your RV painting.

When choosing a primer for your RV painting, it’s best to go for ones based on epoxy, latex or urethane… And if possible, stick with the same brand of paint and primer.

How to Paint RV Exterior Fiberglass

How to Paint RV Exterior Fiberglass

Step 1: Prep the RV Surface

The items needed for this are listed above.

1. Choosing a Good Site for Work

Your garage would be an excellent place to start. But in choosing a good site for an RV painting, it’s best to pick one that is adequately ventilated.

You can as well carry out the work along your driveway, as long as it will be out of intense sun reach.

2. Making Use of the Soap and Automotive Sponge

You can prep the fiberglass exterior by giving the RV a good clean with your soap and automotive sponge.

Remove whatever mess that has accumulated over the past years of travels with the RV by wiping down softly.

And don’t forget to focus more emphasis on the rooftop of the RV as bird droppings, dirt, and grime have been known to accumulate more in such regions.

3. Using the Palm Sander and a Wet Sandpaper for a Better Smoothening Effect

There’s no need to spend much time on this.

You just want to create a bit of surface texture so that the primer and paint can adhere to each other and the RV surface.

It should not take you more than an hour to cover the whole surface area of the RV. Avoid going back to areas that you have already covered.

4. Applying the Denatured Alcohol

This involves taking an old rag and wiping the entire fiberglass exterior with your denatured alcohol.

The denatured alcohol helps to get rid of any form of grease left on the RV.

5. Placing the Painter’s Tape

Now, cover whatever part of the RV that needs to be protected from the paint with the painter’s tape.

This includes the windshield, windows, doorknobs, and whatever area that you feel should be restricted from the paint reach.

Step 2: Painting the RV Fiberglass Exterior

First, start from the front of the RV by applying the primer using whatever method of your choice. Your aim must be to cover the entire exterior of the fiberglass with a smooth uniform layer of the product.

Leave it for some hours to dry (depending on how long recommended by the manufacturer).

Then apply your RV paint just the same way you did with the primer. You can make use of a long fluid motion just to keep things going smoothly. By doing this, you tend to avoid paint drips.

Now, leave the painted surface to dry, which takes a bit longer than with the primer.

PS: It may even take up to a day or sometimes longer!

Once dry, if you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can add another coat of paint for a better look.

Step 3: Finishing the RV Painting

Examine the paintwork and check for any area that looks uneven.

You can fix this by simply rubbing over the surface with fine sandpaper. And to get that specific RV sparkle, give the entire exterior a good polish with the soft cloth or rag and RV wax.

Read through the manufacturer’s instructions to know exactly how long it would take the waxes to cure.

Finally, remove all the painter’s tape to reveal the finished result of your successful RV painting job.


When learning how to paint RV exterior fiberglass like a pro, it’s always best to read through the manufacturer’s instructions of the given brand of primer, paint, and waxes that you would be using for the work.

If you have any question or you think I left out a few things, please leave a comment below

Check out this Youtube video on how to paint RV exterior fiberglass

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