Airstream Kitchen Remodel | Before & After

We did a near complete remodel in the kitchen. We tore out the cabinets, counter, sink, wall oven and stove. We left the overhead cabinets and painted with a brush and latex paint. The oven hole in the wall was patched with 1/4″ plywood cut to match the entire wall on the front and back. It was finished with aluminum channel and wallpapered in a paintable pressed tin paper from Home Depot. When we started our renovation, we decided right away we wanted to get rid of propane. It scares us and I’m sure most of our fears are irrational. But still. For cooking, we use a small electric portable induction cooktop and a toaster oven. Both can easily be stowed away in the cabinet. My main tool for cooking is my vitamix. I make EVERYTHING in that sucker. Lots of smoothies, soups, salad dressings and of course, my specialty: cashew cheese. When we do cook with a stovetop, it’s mostly things like veggie burgers, tempeh for vegan tacos and nachos, etc. So because of that I wanted more counter space rather than a dedicated stovetop for making salads and vitamix foods.

This is what the underside of the kitchen looks like. It was a freak show. We knew we made the right decision to gut the kitchen after seeing what was underneath.

We sealed in the oven hole in the wall with two mirror copies of 1/4″ plywood.

All of the plumbing was redone in the kitchen area with the exception of some of the original copper pipe.

We bought this pile of pallet wood from a local company for just $6. We white washed and used it in many places in the Airstream.

We pieced together the end cap with the white washed pallet wood. It was nailed with a nail gun and distressed with the Mouse sander.

SINK // Ikea // FYNDIG // Single bowl top mount sink, stainless steel, 27 1/2×19 5/8 ” // $47

COUNTER // Ikea // EKBACKEN Countertop, dark oak effect, 74×1 1/8 ” // $79

CABINETS // Ikea // Haggeby

DRAWER PULLS // Lowe’s // Hickory Hardware 96mm Center-to-Center Satin Nickel Metropolis Arched Cabinet Pull // Item # 89226 // $3.26 ea

FAUCET // Pfister // Shelton

I wanted clean, open countertops for preparing fresh food. I didn’t want a rarely used stovetop taking up my precious space!

I made these plant pots with vintage jars and fastened with clamps from Home Depot to a piece of reclaimed wood. When we take Mavis on the road, the clamps easily unscrew to store the plants in our tow vehicle. The little dolphin bottle opener was scored at an antique shop.

Another thing I was picky on was the sink. This is the 4th sink I bought during the search. I desperately wanted a place to lay dishes to dry since we obviously no longer have a dishwasher. So far this sink is working great. And best part? It was only $40 from Ikea! The faucet was actually an extra my mom gave us that had sitting in our garage, new in the box, for years. I guess it was awaiting it’s new home in our future Airstream!

This is my prized duck I picked up at a thrift shop. Almost everything on our walls is screwed down for easy travel. The only things I have to take down when we travel is our letterboard and plants.

Our cabinets are from Ikea. They had to have some custom cutting on the underside to fit over the wheelwell and the addition of magnetic cabinet catches so they don’t flop open when we travel.

Our kitchen plumbing was completely overhauled and the cabinets cut to access the valves. We ended up with much more storage than the original cabinets.

I made the curtains from a piece of burlap fabric and attached with little metal clips. We made a wire track on the top and bottom for the curtain to slide on. They work great and open and close with ease.

I had to quickly learn that organization is key in tiny spaces. Everything in here has to be something that’s regularly used or it has to go.

Our end cap of the cabinets is made from a $6 pile of pallet wood that we bought before it became a pallet. I whitewashed them and nailed them directly onto the side the to cabinets with a nail gun. Also, there’s a piece of driftwood we found while walking the beach this weekend. I’m going to hang it over the door. ❤

My antler hook has been one of the best things. I can hang my purse here, Riley’s leashes and harnesses, keys, etc. It’s sturdy and strong and can hold anything I put on it!

HOOK // Amazon // Comfify Antler Hook // $12

Sheena is a free-spirited adventurer who designed and renovated a 1975 Airstream in 2016 and travels the US with her husband and mohawk-sportin’ poodle. She’s a business owner, self-taught carpenter, blogger, yogi, professional photographer and a lover of the outdoors and healthy living.

27 Comment

  1. Hey there! We are finishing up our Airstream reno, looks like we picked the same kitchen sink 🙂 We purchased for the same reason-drying space. We also went with an Ikea countertop but the black stone. You have given us inspiration for decor and curtains! We hope to be done by this weekend and posted on Instagram! Love your style! Kim and Justin (NeverHome)

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, designing a rolling house is so much more challenging! Look forward to seeing how yours turns out! 😊

      1. Linda Aguilar says:

        I missed seeing the opposite wall of cupboards from the counter and sink. Are they displayed and discussed somewhere?

        1. Thank you – that made me realize I don’t have them photographed anywhere! I am doing a new series of photos on the updated kitchen and will be sure to include the other side! 🙂

  2. I think you did a great job. Can you tell me what you did for the ceiling? Also can you please tell me if the paint has held up in the humid summer days? We are nervous to paint our walls as we don’t known if the paint will stick through weather challenges

    Thank you

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much! We actually used the Valspar paint and primer for the entire ceiling. The front end cap was painted with that and the rear end cap in the bathroom was sprayed with Valspar plastic spray paint. We’ve had every temperature fluctuation with humidity up and down for the past several months and not a single problem out of any of the paint!

  3. Great !!! Thank you

  4. Rhonda Sewell says:

    Absolutely amazing renovation. We’ve used ikea as well, with extra cutting and fitting. Love some of the cute/useful details you’ve incorporated.

  5. Hi! I absolutely LOVE your renovation work! What paint did you use for the distressed pallets?

    1. Thank so much! We actually used the same paint as the walls. Olympic satin in Snow Bank. 🙂

  6. Very nice remodel. I bought a 72 vintage canned ham. Needed total gut job and redo. I am now just putting on walls and have 40 drawings of different designs I have done on what I want it to look like. I changed my mind each week
    I will have to take a trip to Ikea. Love the kitchen design! Thanks for sharing. Happy travels!

  7. HEy! Our cabinets above the couch are like yours over the sink and they painted very well. All the other roll up cabinets are like that fake wood stuff. When we roll them up the paint comes off the edges. I can’t tell if you painted cabinets that were that fake wood or not in the pictures. If so, how did you go about that?

    1. Hello! It sounds like your cabinets were like ours. The ones in the front half of the trailer were a very light ivory so they painted very nicely. The cabinets in the back were all a very dark brown. Ours too have chipped along the edges but it only shows if the roll up part shifts a little. It has some give in it and when it shifts either direction it’ll show more. I’m not really sure of another way around that. I have heard of people who have installed new roll-up doors all together. I’ve heard of a company that makes them to size and to your color specs. That’s something we will eventually do one day. When we do, I’ll be sure to document it! 🙂

  8. Love your work on the airstream! We are just starting our renovation and curious to know what flooring you used? It looks beautiful!

    1. Thank so much! We went with 4mm Nucore plank style vinyl flooring from Floor & Decor. It was very easy to put down and easily cut with a utility knife. We’ve spilled stuff on it, wet feet tracked all over it, dirty dog feet, etc and it’s holding up very well. No issues at all!

      1. Hi! Love your floor! Did you also redo the plywood or did you just put the new flooring over the existing plywood? And what kind of adhesive did you use? Thanks!!

        1. Thanks so much! We only had a small section of damaged subfloor that we had to replace. Otherwise we have the original subfloor. We didn’t have to use adhesive – this is a floating style floor. No issues at all!

  9. Wow! I’ve everything about the work you’ve done; so beautiful! I think my favorite is the white washed siding on the cabinets. Great work!

  10. What do you guys use instead of the stovetop?

    1. Hey there! We use this induction cooktop from Amazon. Works wonderfully and heats up faster than our traditional gas stove ever did. 🙂

  11. Love what you’ve done! We’re in the process of restoring our 1963 Overlander and you’ve given us some great ideas!!!

  12. Restoring 71 Sovereign. Did you use latex primer Kilz or oil based? I bought latex but then read article it wasn’t good.?? Thanks

    1. Hello! We didn’t – we used just a paint and primer in one. Olympic low VOC in snow bank. We’ve had zero problems with it and it’s even in the bathroom too! 🙂

  13. Is that a vent hood over the sink if so, where did you find it? Love your remodel.

    1. It is! The vent hood was originally installed from the factory for our year (1975).

  14. Dawne Mezurek says:

    Hello! We bought a 1970 Overlander that is in the barn waiting a Reno. Did you replace the flooring in the trailer anywhere? And what about the walls, wiring and insulation? You guys have done a great job and are an inspiration to us!

    1. Congratulations! We ended up replacing the entire floor with 4mm quick lock vinyl. I would definitely suggest checking behind the walls for mold and having an electrician verify the wiring is safe. Wiring is very important and I’d be sure to replace the converter, especially if it’s original. That component charges your 12 volt battery (very important!)

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