Rejuvenate interior wall & cabinet surfacesForum member Budddy Tott offered this advice in response to a question about changing the wall covering and cabinet surfaces in an older RV.
The 'vinyl' wallpapered surfaces may be painted over by washing down (TSP and water) and using a good quality primer first, followed with a good latex, oil or alkyd paint. I'd recommend an oil based primer vs. latex/water based, but either will work. It really depends on the particular surface, which should be tested for paint adhesion in an inconspicuous area and left to dry. If, when thoroughly dry (12-24 hours), it can be scrapped off or flakes, then change the primer. It will, however takes several coats of each and may be very laborious, given all the nooks and crannies. However, an airless paint sprayer will cover well, but all the areas not being sprayed will have to be masked off, and the coach MUST be well ventilated with ALL power, including piolot lights, turned off.
The borders can be removed using basically a little TSP in warm water and a scraper, though if sufficiently dampened it should come off in strips. There are a variety of different adhesive solvents on the market which will work also. The problem is, however, what the now 'exposed' surface looks like, compared to the rest. It may cover well with paint, but the areas where the strips were, may still show through. You might simply replace the border to something more to your taste.
Interior cabinets - if wood - may also be painted, with appropriate preparation steps - washing, sanding, wiping/vacuuming to remove dust, priming and top coat(2). The vinyl covered 'wood appearance surfaces' may also be painted using the steps oulined for viny wallpaper but due to the nature of the surface, I have found, even with exactive preparation work and high quality paint, to be less durable.
It's all about time and effort; Many times a bad paint job looks worse than the original surfaces/decor. I would think a professional house painter with spraying equipment would do the complete job in a few hours, (walls and cabinets) relatively inexpensively, especially if you did the prep work.
Also, the viny wall surfaces may be recovered with similar wallpaper material, using an appropriate 'vinyl adhesive', with or without removing the existing covering, but again tedious and time consuming. In fact, removing the 'factory' installed surface may be extremely difficult as it may have been applied to the wall structure material (hardboard sheets) under pressure.