An Easy $10 “Wallpaper” Solution for an Airstream Bathroom

Are you confused what to do with the walls in your vintage Airstream bathroom? Well hopefully this cheap and easy solution will help! Our 1975 Airstream had a strip of vinyl floral wallpaper around the wall between the end cap and the countertop. When I painted the entire bathroom white, there was still that line between where the wallpaper ended and the end cap started. It was an awkward area and drove me crazy for months. I hand-cut some little coral trees and stenciled them onto the wall but thought the contrast was too much. I thought about wallpapering it, however, I knew it wouldn’t hold up with all that moisture in the bathroom. I also thought about stenciling a larger, grander pattern onto the wall. But stenciling with large sheets was also next to impossible since the wall curved. And my attempt to tape a large stencil to a curved wall proved to be far too annoying. Around this time, I got in a couple of mudcloth pillows from Etsy. I thought now there’s a design I can freehand onto the bathroom wall. I looked up a few patterns online and took a couple of elements I thought would be easy to replicate over and over. (I first started with dots and let me tell ya, dots are much harder than they look.) Below is the simple pattern I made:

Supplies Needed (just $10!):
(1) $3.50 Sample size of latex paint in your choice for wall color
(1) $3.50 Sample size of white latex paint
(1) $3.00 Pack of cheap stenciling brushes or this one from Amazon

NOTE: I used Olympic ONE satin paint from Lowe’s. My choice for white was Snow Bank which is used throughout the trailer. For more details on how the entire trailer was painted, click here.

I painted over the original vinyl wallpaper in a soft peachy nude color. A jar of sample paint was more than enough paint to both cover the wall and stencil with. For the pattern color, I mixed the peachy nude with white paint until it was just slightly lighter than the wall color. I didn’t want a lot of contrast. Now for the stenciling part. I used a thin stenciling paintbrush because I wanted tougher bristles. It’s a junker brush and was bought in a multi pack at Lowe’s for just a couple bucks. I cut some of the bristles off the 3/8″ brush to make the point a little thinner. The 3/4″ brush is pictured below but I ended up not using it.

I lightly dotted a mid-line with a pencil around the circumference of the bathroom wall so I could keep my pattern level. As you can see, it varies a lot in size and shape but hey, that’s the beauty of mudcloth print. Have fun with it! If you make a mistake, keep on going. I don’t think any of my X’s match each other and my sets of three lines vary in size and spacing. It’s done by hand so therefore it’s perfectly imperfect! Also, don’t be afraid to glob the paint on and have some texture. In the beginning I kept trying to smooth my lines and realize that the texture made it look more interesting.

Above is how the wall looked before it dried. Below is the wall completely dried. Voilà!

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.

1 Comment

  1. Love it! Great job! 🙂

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