How To Recover Cornice Boards In An Rv

Way back on February 12, I said I was going to show you how to recover those cornice boards that are in RV’s everywhere.  I really did think I was going to do that project the next day, but… thing happened and then another, and I didn’t have the right screwdriver to get mine down off the wall with, so it took a very long time for tomorrow to get here.

The old cornice boards just don’t “go” with the new look.

Today I finally decided it was time to get that thing off the wall and finish my RV bedroom makeover. To start, I had to get the cornice board off the wall. It was held in place with two long phillips head screws. The shade was also attached to the cornice board, so I had to figure out how to get it off of the cornice without tearing it up. The shades also have the string mechanism attached to the wall down near the mattress.

This is the cornice off the wall, showing one of the screws holding the shade onto the cornice

I decided to take the cornice down by taking out the two screws. I then detached the two smaller screws that held the shade to the cornice. I left the shade laying on the bed in just the same position it was in when I removed it from the cornice, and left the strings attached to the wall. That way, I would know how it went back together.

recovering a cornice board on the tailgate of the truck

Once the cornice was off the wall, and the shade was off the cornice, I took the cornice outside to the tailgate of the truck. I knew it was going to be a messy job getting all the old fabric off, plus it was a very nice day outside.  The first thing I needed to do was figure out how to get the two pieces apart. I found out they were held together with staples, so I got a long flathead screwdriver and pushed in between the two pieces, slowly, so I could wiggle the staples out. Once the two pieces were apart, I had to take off the decorative “button” on the outside piece in the same way:

remove any decorative pieces carefully so they don’t break

After I had the pieces apart, I removed all the old fabric, and used it as a guide for how to cut the new fabric pieces. Once the new fabric was were cut, I stapled them onto the wood pieces. I don’t have a staple gun, so I used an ordinary office type stapler opened all the way out. It worked for the purpose, but I would suggest buying or borrowing a staple gun if you are going to do this project–it will certainly save your knuckles.

recovering the cornice boards in an rv

I used duct tape on part of this project

The first piece I covered was made of balsa wood, so the staples went in fairly easily. However, the second piece was laminated, and that made it very hard to staple with just that office stapler. So, I used 3M duct tape on the inside to hold the fabric in place. It isn’t going to show, and did the job very well.

When you have both pieces covered with the new fabric, you’ll need to fasten them back together. I just put the outside piece on top of the inner piece, and felt with my fingers to find the large staples that held them together. I placed a scrap piece of fabric over the area where the staple was, and hammered it down with a hammer. The last thing was to re-attach the decorative piece to the center of the cornice board. I also covered this wooden piece with some scrap fabric when I hammered it into place to prevent making any marks on it with the hammer.

tutorial how to cover cornice boards in an rv

I think this finishes off the room quite well!

It took me about two hours to complete this project. The hardest part was getting all the screws back in and getting the cornice back on the wall, mostly because my arms aren’t long enough. The shade went back on very easily, though.

Don’t you think this just completes my bedroom? It looks sooo much nicer to me.

recovering an rv cornice board

Re doing an RV bedroom is quite easy!


About Karen

Karen Eidson is telling the world way too much about her, whether they want to know it or not. She writes about her life of living full time in an RV, eating a gluten free diet, things she does for fun, and things that are important to her. She makes you look at photos of her grandchildren, talk about her husband's survival of oral cancer, and shows you things she has made. You know you want to look.


  1. Love the new look. You made it look easy. I’m not sure I like the cornice boards at all.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Wow Karen – that turned out awesome. Another great job! How exciting for you to have your whole bedroom match now. Glad I could shame you into tackling it!! LOL

  3. Marcie and Jim C says:

    Great job! I’m glad I didn’t see this before I did mine last year with embroidered denim. I would have thought it was way too hard for me to tackle. Of course, once you have it off the wall and in pieces you have to make it work!

  4. Yes, I remember the tomorrow phrase, but think nothing of it as this is what I call wishful thinking, and good intentions.

    You did a spectacular job, they look fantastic. I think I should get myself a tailgate as you made it look so easy from start to finish. Great job, I should be inspired I know however I have been feeling poorly these days sort of claustrophobic.

  5. Kasandria Reasoner says:

    You are so crafty!!

  6. Wow, great job! I keep wanting to redo my bedroom ones – maybe now I’ll get inspired.

  7. Great job, your bedroom looks beautiful. I love the colors, very restful.

  8. Your bedroom turned out really nice!

  9. Terrific job…that looks great! You’re so lucky that you know how to sew!
    For us, I didn’t like the look of the cornice. I took mine down a few months ago and threw them away…… everywhere but the bedroom. Our bedroom has curtain rods We replaced the cornices with shelves over the windows. Still going to put up ‘regular-style’ curtains over the day/night shades when I find the right ones!

    • Susan, I was tempted many times to just jerk those cornices off the wall, but I knew I wanted a more “finished’ look. I really like them now that they match my quilt and pillows.

  10. Very nice! Great instructions.

  11. Karen, you did an awesome job on the window treatments………I love the overall look of the finished product.

  12. How pretty!

  13. Karen, great job! Thank you so much for linking this up at Drab to Fab. Your bedroom looks so complete now!

  14. Evette Langlois says:

    Job well done. I am trying to do the same but can’t get the cornice down from under a cabinet. Not sure if it is glued to cabinet. I got the two side boards off and the day night shade but can’t get the the top cornice off. Any suggestions on how to get it off without breaking the board.

  15. Ruthie Westbrook says:

    I like the new look.. I recently purchased a 1987 Winnebago Itasca and it has a cornice board over the window at the end of the bed. I want to take it down and recover it, but it is behind the end of the overhead storage cabinets and I don’t want to have to take them down…any ideas on how to do this? This had tier curtains and fabric roller shades also and looks so dated

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