DIY motorhome conversions

How To Repaint Your Van Without Respraying It

Updated: links updated 21/09/2021

Anyone with an older van will be familiar with the twin perils of rust and of dull, faded paintwork. Until now, I always thought that the only way to repaint a vehicle and get a decent (smooth, gloss) finish was to respray it.

Today, however, I came across this page, which provides a detailed description of how to repaint your van using Rustoleum paint and get a smooth, shiny finish. It is a little labour intensive but is a much cheaper, more practical and less anti-social option than spraying – most of us don’t have a suitable area in which to respray an entire van.

The cost of the Rustoleum method is very low and no expensive equipment is required – just paint, some rollers, wet and dry paper and a healthy measure of elbow grease!

If your van is in need of a makeover and you are interested in doing it yourself, then check out this guide.

8 thoughts on “How To Repaint Your Van Without Respraying It

  • Christian

    Does this actually work or is it a rip off?

    • Hi Christian,

      I believe it works. I haven’t done it, but the photos and description illustrating the process on this link seem genuine and pretty convincing.

      Are you planning to try it?

      Cheers, Roland

      • Christian

        Hi Roland,

        I’m think about it. I have a 96 T4 though – trying to make it less White Van Man and more camper esq, but full professional re-spray is out of my reach. Are the panels on that sort of model appropriate for this sort of painting or is the older style T25/3 better suited?


        • Hi Christian,

          I would have thought it will work just as well on a T4 as a T25, although I haven’t seen any examples of it, probably because they are newer so fewer have been repainted yet.

          The impression I have from reading about this method is that it will work well if you do it right and go through all the stages – which is pretty time consuming. It will take longer than a respray, but this is the flipside to the lower price.

          Good luck if you try, would love to see a pic of the end result.


  • I am going to paint over my white senic vega van
    so have did this before and it worked
    just sugar soaped then as its white did not need under coat
    taped up all edgs
    and painted with roller and brush
    looked great so doing this same
    enemal plastic paint ext


  • Mike Foskett

    Article links no longer work.

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for pointing this out. I’ve now updated the page with a new link to the (same) Rustoleum method.


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