How to Update Your RV’s Headboard

Oct 12, 2022 | Maintenance & Mods

How to Update Your RV’s Headboard

These easy DIY headboard remodel tips will help you transform your RV’s bedroom.

By Renee Tilby

Photo: Renee Tilby

The headboard space above your RV’s bed can do a lot to set the tone of the bedroom—that, combined with its relatively small area, makes it the perfect canvas for a mini RV renovation.  

Here are a few of our favorite ways to transform this small, but mighty, space.

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a renovated bunk space in an rv with blue and orange pattered pillows
Photo: Renee Tilby

Removing Your Old Headboard

Before you unleash your creativity, you’ll need to remove any headboard appliqué that was installed by the RV manufacturer. This is usually a pretty straight-forward process. Most RV manufacturer headboards are attached using screws that are hidden by cloth-covered buttons. You can easily remove the buttons by gently prying them up with a small flathead screwdriver, and removing the screws underneath. After the screws are removed, the headboard should detach. Occasionally staples are used, and in that case you should gently pull the headboard back until the stapes are free of the wall. Next, you’ll want to sand screw holes and any other imperfections before starting your transformation.

the bedroom of an rv with a patterned rug as a headboard
Photo: Renee Tilby

Wall Hangings

One easy, low-commitment way to upgrade and personalize your headboard space is with a wall hanging. This could even be hung over the manufacturers headboard, making it the easiest modification on this list. Tapestries, small rugs, or colorful fabric, combined with upholstery tacks or adhesive Velcro strips, can all be used to quickly update your RV’s headboard. If you choose to use adhesive Velcro, you may want to reinforce it with hot glue or similar when attaching it to the fabric. Use the provided adhesive to attach the strips to the wall, allowing for easy removal if you choose to swap out the covering. 

a bedroom in an rv with a large white bed and striped headboard
Photo: Renee Tilby


Another easy choice for your headboard modifications is peel-and-stick wallpaper. Since you’ll only be covering a few square feet, it’s a fairly low-cost project, even if you choose a more expensive product. Peel-and-stick wallpaper also allows you to easily swap it out for different designs if you wish. Many wallpaper companies will send a variety of samples if you’re having a difficult time choosing a design for your space. 

Related How to Wallpaper Your RV Bathroom

a bed in an rrv with orange and blue patterned linens
Photo: Renee Tilby


Sometimes the simplest solutions can be overlooked. A quart of paint in a fun accent color can do a lot to transform a space. Creating geometric shapes or an ombre effect by incrementally adding in a lighter color of paint can make a unique design. Even just painting the whole area one color can do wonders for the feel of your room. 

Since you won’t be using any cloth or paneling to cover the headboard space, you’ll want to take extra care to ensure the wall above the bed is in good condition, taking more time to sand and fill any holes with spackling. Making sure you have a nice, smooth surface to work with goes a long way to make a quality end product. RV walls are a bit slick, so choose a high quality primer to pair with your paint. 

Using a stencil to paint your headboard space will provide a similar look to wallpaper while giving you greater control over the colors and patterns. The headboard is the perfect place to have fun with bold colors and designs, creating an interesting centerpiece for your bedroom.

Related How to Modify, Decorate, and Upgrade Your RV Interior

an rv bedroom with a wooden headboard
Photo: Renee Tilby

Wood Panels and Slats

Even though this can be a bit more labor-intensive than the other ideas on this list, it is worth the effort to create a striking headboard. Using wood panels or slats is a fantastic way of anchoring your RV’s headboard space, especially when it’s paired with painting. Our favorite wood to use in paneling applications is a .25-inch underlayment panel, sometimes called luan. It’s lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to find. It does have a very thin veneer, so be sure to use a sharp saw blade when cutting and a light hand when sanding.

We often use 6 inches or more of planks placed .125 to .25 inches apart when we want to create a wood paneling look across the whole space and either finish them with a urethane or paint them for a faux-shiplap look. We use 1.5- to  2-inch slats, placed an inch or so apart over a painted wall when we want to create a slat wall effect similar to the above picture, or to create multiple geometric shapes, which has been popular in accent walls. Wood paneling and slats, combined with a bit of paint, stain, or urethane, can be used in a multitude of ways, limited only by your creativity.

Hopefully these tips are just a starting point to inspire your RV headboard project. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to do something a little out of your comfort zone.

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Renee Tilby

Renee and her family of seven live full-time in their RV. They've been on the road for more than 4 years, renovating RVs and the occasional home along the way. They love to find hidden gems everywhere they go and consider nature the absolute best place to do that.