How to Paint Vinyl Walls and Remove Battens in Mobile Homes

Updating vinyl walls in mobile homes is one of the quickest and easiest updates you can do. We can completely change the entire look of a room with a single paintbrush!

Unfortunately, painting vinyl walls in mobile homes are time-consuming (especially the cleaning part).

Older manufactured homes usually have a faux wood paneling or walls made from either paper on gypsum, or POG wallboards, or vinyl on gypsum referred0 to as VOG panels or VOG wallboards.

Vinyl on gypsum (VOG) panels has a laminated-like coating that holds the gypsum together. It’s used in mobile homes because it repels water, is affordable and is super easy to install. This coating, however, makes painting vinyl walls in mobile homes difficult.

In this article, we’ll cover the most popular options to update and paint the vinyl walls in mobile homes. If your mobile home has wood paneling you’ll want to read our guide to wood paneling in mobile homes. 

What are VOG wall panels and why are they used in mobile homes? 

VOG stands for Vinyl on Gypsum (or vinyl over gypsum). Gypsum is calcium sulfate dihydrate, a soft and lightweight white or gray chalk-like mineral.

Vinyl on gypsum panels is typically  5/16″ thick with a glossy paper coating. They do not have tapered edges so installers use battens, or strips, to cover the seams where two panels meet. These battens are notorious within the mobile home world – most homeowners dislike them immensely.

VOG panels are used because they are lightweight, water resistance, easy install, clean, and maintain.

Below you can see low-gloss vinyl wallboards used in a manufactured home bathroom:

Vinyl walls in mobile homes-vog panels in a mobile home - flowered pattern before paint
Image Source: ths.gardenweb.com

Fortunately, modern manufactured homebuilders are beginning to use different wall materials. It may still be made with gypsum but the top coating doesn’t have the high gloss coating or the quickly outdated patterns.

You can learn more about gypsum panels used in manufactured housing at the Manufactured Housing Gypsum Construction Guide.

vinyl walls in mobile homes-manufactured housing gypsum construction guide

Painting your Vinyl Walls in Mobile Homes

Painting is the easiest and cheapest method to update mobile home walls. A single color, as opposed to an outdated pattern, can update a room quickly.

Painting is especially easy if you leave the battens, or strips, that cover the seams alone and simply paint over them.

Here’s the same bathroom showed above after the room was painted a solid color:

Vinyl walls in mobile homes-vog mobile home walls after priming and painting
Image Source: ths.gardenweb.com

Guide to Painting Vinyl Walls in a Mobile Home 

Painting the vinyl coated walls in a mobile home is a bit more difficult than most realize. The glossy paper coating on the walls requires more preparation than a standard sheetrock wall.

Fortunately, many mobile homeowners have painted their walls with great success and we’ve collected helpful advice and tips from them. Here’s the process they recommended:

Step 1: Wash the Walls 

Paint and primer will not stick to dirty walls.

Smoke from cooking, dander from pets, and airborne particles from the furnace and air conditioner naturally stick to walls so you need a detergent or non-abrasive cleaner to get the walls as clean as possible.

Every inch of the wall should be wiped with the cleaning agent, allowed to dry, and then wiped again. Repeat if necessary.

You want the primer and paint to bond to every part of the wall.

Step 2: Use High-Quality Primer and Paint

The suggestion we received most was to buy the highest quality paint and primer you can afford.

The paint industry continuously improves their recipes so chances are you will find a great primer and paint (or combination primer+paint) if you stick to the better-known brands. Ask your local home improvement store for the latest recommendation.

Unfortunately, better paint technology means higher prices so expect to spend at least $25.00 per gallon.

See the section below for top brand suggestions. 

Step 3: Use High-Quality Brushes and Rollers 

Using high-quality brushes and rollers is another popular recommendation from homeowners that have painted their mobile home walls successfully.

High-quality brushes and rollers transfer the paint to the walls better and give a more uniform finish which is exactly what you need.

vinyl walls in mobile homes-Priming your mobile home walls - 2 coats of Killz Primer over VOG panel walls
Geneva at MyHeartsSong.com shares her process of priming and adding an orange peel texture to their mobile home walls. Click on the image to go to her blog.

Step 4: Use Several Light Coats

All painting professionals will tell you that it’s better to paint walls in several light coats instead of one or two heavy coats. This allows the paint to dry faster and the finish will be more uniform and smooth.

Above is an image of two light coats of Kilz Primer done by Geneva at MyHeartsSong.com.

Additional Information that Can Help

Knowing which company manufactured your home’s VOG panels will help you determine their recommended paint and primer. Unfortunately, not all homeowners have access to that information so a little guessing is required.

CDS, a large VOG manufacturer, recommends an oil primer with two coats of alkyd or latex semi-gloss enamel paint:

  1.  Two coats of alkyd or latex semi-gloss enamel.
  2. Oil primer with a finish coat of oil paint or flat latex.
  3. Two coats of flat oil paint.

Other gypsum board manufacturers have released their own recommendations and tips:

  • Lower sheen paints bond better than gloss or semi-gloss paints.
  • An acrylic based primer should work well in most mobile homes.
  • Using a good quality primer helps minimize color and surface variations and provides a more uniform profile for any surface covering (source).
  • Apply a high-quality latex primer/sealer compatible with the finished product prior to decoration (source).
  • A good quality, white, latex drywall primer formulated with higher binder solids, applied undiluted, is typically specified for new gypsum board surfaces prior to the application of texture materials and latex wall paints. An alkali and moisture-resistant primer and a tinted enamel undercoat may be required under enamel paints. Consult with the finish paint manufacturer for specific recommendations (source).

Related: Create an Awesome Gallery Wall for Less Than $50!

Top Paint and Primer Recommendations for Vinyl Walls in Mobile Homes

Choosing which primer and paint (or combination product) to use on your mobile home walls is probably the trickiest part of the whole job. Go to 3 different paint stores and you will hear 3 different opinions.

Below is a list of products that have worked well on mobile home walls (they are listed in no particular order) based on bloggers and readers that have had great results when painting vinyl walls in mobile homes:

Great canadian single wide makeover
Living room walls in a mobile home that has been painted.

Best Primers to Use on Mobile Home Walls:

  • Kilz Primer
  • Zinnser 123
  • Gliddin Gripper
  • Xium Uma
  • Valspar Bonding Primer

Best Paint Brands for Vinyl Walls in Mobile Homes

  • Behr Premium Plus Ultra
  • Glidden Performance Edge Fill + Prime + Paint
  • Sherwin Williams
vinyl walls in mobile homes-painting mobile home walls and using new trim to cover the seams

Paint, Wainscoting, and New Trim

The owners from the image above painted the walls, added wainscoting on the lower third of the wall, and replaced the factory-installed battens with 1″ trim. This gives the space a whole new look without the hassle of removing the battens.

Removing Mobile Home Wall Battens 

Battens are used to cover the seam where two VOG wall panels meet. By installing battens the factory is able to build homes faster and cheaper.

Unlike drywall or sheetrock, VOG panels do not require taping and mudding so the edges of the panels are not tapered and the installation process is much faster. This is ideal in a fast-paced manufactured home factory. This is not ideal for homeowners that want a seamless wall.

You can remove the battens in your mobile home. Once the battens are removed you can paint, texture, or wallpaper over the walls.

Removing the battens is the easy part, filling in the gaps that the battens were covering, and then making the entire wall look cohesive is the difficult part.

Related: Removing Walls in a Mobile Home

Using Caulk to Fill in the Seams

Use an acrylic caulk to fill in the gap or crack between your VOG wall panels. Remember, the panels do not have tapered seams like a sheet of drywall or sheetrock so filling in the gap smoothly and evenly can be difficult.

Here’s the process we recommend for using caulk to fill in the seams of vinyl walls in mobile homes:

Removing the Battens from Vinyl Walls in Mobile Homes

You’ll want to be careful when you remove the battens or strips that cover the seams between two VOG panels. A small thin pry bar that will fit under the strip

Here is a video that shows a man removing the strips that cover the seams of two modern VOG panel used in a manufactured home:

Jennys fleetwood double wide remodel
Jenny painted her mobile home walls.

Prime the Wall

Prime the wall and ensure an even coat has been applied in the gap that the batten used to cover. Let dry. Repeat if necessary.

Fill in the Gap with Caulk and Smooth

Choose the caulk most suitable for your walls. Use the charts below to choose the best caulk. 

Place an even bead of caulk in the gap to fill in the crack (you’ll need to work quickly at this point).

vinyl walls in mobile homes-caulking wall cracks and gaps

Using a wet finger, or smooth caulking tool, run along the gap to create an even bridge of caulk between the two VOG panels.

Vinyl walls in mobile homes-spreading the caulk out - updating mobile home walls

Use a straight-edged tool such as a credit card to smooth the caulk so that it creates an even surface across the wall. This process may require a few attempts to get enough caulk into the gap. Carefully remove any excess caulk from the wall with a wet rag.

vinyl walls in mobile homes-using a wet rag to even caulk out

Allow to dry and ensure there is no shrinkage (choosing the correct caulk is important to keep the caulk from shrinking). Paint, texturize, or cover the wall with wallpaper, fabric, bead-board, shiplap – just about anything can be used to update mobile home walls as long as the framing can handle the weight.

David Jordan removed the battens and taped and mudded his mobile home walls and the results are fantastic:

Mudding walls to remove battens from mobile home walls david jordan fbg00002
David Jordan’s walls after removing the battens.

How to Choose the Right Caulk

The two main types of caulk are silicon and latex but there are some caulks that are a combination of both.

The Home Depot has a handy rundown of each type of caulk below:

Use Latex Caulk For:

  • Use to fill in gaps between crown molding and baseboards.
  • Use to seal a door frame in place and seal the subfloor at the bottom of a door frame.
  • For the inside of both doors and windows, use latex painter’s caulk.
  • Repeated exposure to water can speed up the breakdown of latex caulk over time, rendering it weak, brittle and ineffective.

Use Silicon Caulk For:

  • Around sinks, tubs, and showers. The silicone acts as a water and moisture repellant.
  • When installing bath fixtures to seal gaps between shower tiles, between sinks and counters, and around the base of the toilet.
  • Outdoors in areas exposed to direct sunlight or rain as the silicone helps the caulk last longer.
  • If you have an older home, sealing around the foundation to prevent air from entering where siding overlaps the foundation. You should also fill and seal all exterior areas where different materials meet, such as around windows and doors.
  • Normally used around the full perimeter of windows to help seal the window to the header, sill, jack stud and jamb.
  • Paintable silicone caulk can be used around the outside of window units to properly seal the window and the siding edge, or around the entire door unit.

Using Drywall Tape and Compound to Remove the Battens from Vinyl Walls in Mobile Homes

You can also use drywall compound instead of caulk, or if you want to take it even further, you can tape and mud the gap between the two panels.

Admittedly, it is difficult to get the tape even and it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get the seam perfect since your VOG panels do not have tapered edges like drywall or Sheetrock. Still, if you’re more comfortable with drywall compound and tape it can be used to fill in the gaps.

vinyl walls in mobile homes-taping a wall crack - updating a mobile home wall

You’ll still want to primer the wall and the seam between the VOG panels.  Tape and mud as you would sheetrock.

Vinyl walls in mobile homes-covering the tape with mud
vinyl walls in mobile homes-skimming excess mud - updating mobile home walls


Lastly, you will need to lightly sand the compound to create an even surface. Paint, texturize, or wallpaper for a finished look.

Check out this video for more tips on how to paint those vinyl walls in your mobile home:

Adding a Texture to Vinyl Walls in Mobile Homes

Adding texture to your mobile home walls is a great method of updating your mobile home walls.

Drywall compound is used most often to add texture because it’s affordable, easy to get, easy to work with, and easy to clean.

You’ll still want to use a primer on your walls before you apply the texture to get the proper bond. Once the primer is dry you can begin adding your texture to the wall.

Vinyl walls in mobile homes-texture walls using stencil

You can go with simple textures such as the ‘stucco’ look, the sand or orange peel, or complex textures. You can even use stencils to create raised textures:

Adding Orange Peel Texture to your Mobile Home Walls

One of our favorite websites, My Hearts Song, shares a step-by-step article about how they removed the strips and added an orange peel texture to their vinyl walls.

If removing the strips is your main priority and you want to texture your walls lightly, then you’ll definitely want to check it out. Geneva, the owner, has a great question and answer section, too.

Related: 11 Cheap DIY Wall Decor Ideas

Covering Vinyl Walls in Mobile Homes with Wallpaper

You can give your mobile home walls a whole new look by removing the strips (battens) and hanging wallpaper.

If using wallpaper, you will want to make sure the paper is thick enough for your needs.

Paintable wallpaper is easy to hang but it needs to be thick enough to withstand the wet paint and keep the paper from showing the gap made by removing the battens. Of course, you can always fill the seam in with caulk or drywall compound (see below).

vinyl walls in mobile homes-My mobile home makeover - wallpaper over mobile home walls
Image Source: MyMobileHomeMakeover.com

MyMobileHomeMakeover.com shares their experience wallpapering their vinyl walls. You can read the article here. The article mentions one issue they encountered when wallpapering their bathroom:

“In a bathroom we redid, we used only the wall repair wallpaper and painted it when we were done. This worked fairly well, but in some spots you can still tell there is an empty strip below the paper.”

Wood Paneling in Mobile Homes

My 1978 mobile home had faux wood paneling throughout the home but it was super easy to paint thankfully.

Two coats and I was done. However, I kept the paneling original with the lines or grooves. You don’t have to keep those, though. You can fill them in with spackle and then paint over them. Rachel Ray had a segment on her show that shows you how:

It is not easy to hang wallpaper with intricate patterns, especially on vinyl walls in mobile homes, so try to find a solid or simple pattern that can be matched easily.

This Old House has a great tutorial for hanging wallpaper here.

Related: Using Accent Walls in Your Mobile Home

Conclusion

Many people have painted, textured, and papered their vinyl walls in mobile homes and you can, too!

The trick is to get the best bond possible and that’s made possible by cleaning the walls well and using a good primer.

As always, thank you so much for reading Mobile Home Living!

3 emails per month with exclusive content for mobile homeowners. Free eMag for new subscribers!

Get Our Free Newsletter

Ipad mobile home living magazine mockup crop no back

Free Gift

You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

154 Comments
  1. Mary Krogmann says

    The first thing I (we) did was paint, paint, and paint some more. over all the walls & paneling. We also removed the divider walls and turned it into an open concept. I chose a very light gray semi gloss. The wainscoting was the hardest to cover, but it can be done! All the gaps were calked also. I don’t care for the battons either, but once everything was painted I stopped focusing on them. I purchased new light fixtures including having three new pendant lights for a long island in the center of my kitchen. We ripped out the entire kitchen and remodeled it. My husband is a cabinet maker so he made all the additional cabinets, pantry, & a new closet/utility also. I antiqued all the cabinets using a hammering and wood-gouging technique, followed by a multi-layering of paint technique. (It took awhile for that) He tiled the backsplash and that whole ledge behind the kitchen sink all with tiny copper colored mosaic. We also used Hog wire fencing that he cut to the correct size, as pot holder grid on the side of the pantry, two grids underneath each side of the stove cabinets where I hang utensils, coffee cups and pots. Then we took out all of the flooring in the entire mobile home. We laid bamboo flooring in the bathroom, but in the rest of the home we laid vinyl flooring that we bought from Home Depot. We also replaced both front and back doors with an inner all-glass panels with the mini blind inside the door and the front storm door has a pull down built-in screen. These doors are so fantastic because they allow so much needed light in the home. We recently replaced the two laundry area cabinets with corner ones that are way more efficient, easier to reach, and much larger. He hasn’t made the cabinet doors yet, as I am thinking about just putting an open frame door that I can inter change quilt panels into. We’ve been here for six years and it’s been an on going process, but it’s more fun now because the necessary things are done. Your information is so fantastic and helpful to all who live in mobile homes. Too bad I didn’t have your website at the time we moved in!! If you just take one step at a time, you can turn your out-dated mobile home into a modern beauty!

  2. Pi says

    Thank you so much for the information! I am getting ready to paint the bathroom in an older park model. I love your articles and am wondering if you could add a section for park models?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi PJ,

      I LOVE park models and have shared a few over the years. Here are all the articles on park models. Id love to find park models to feature (hint, hint)…lol

      1. Tammy says

        Great website. In the words of Arnold, “I’ll be back!”
        Many questions coming your knowledgeable way.
        Talk soon.
        Tammy

    2. Rhonda says

      I am living in a 1998 jaguar double wide manufacturered home made by general. Most of the home is open area. In the front Center is a straight lined kitchen with cabinets on both sides . The front cabinet side is the exterior wall , the inner cabinet wall has a pantry with that wall as the marriage wall. I needed a organized pantry so I emptied everything & took out the 7 ft. Closet maid shelf that was trying to fall off on one end. I need shelf space. My son is a framer & knows enough to do the job but is not an expert to know & this is why I am asking.
      If he anchors a 2×2 or a 2×4 horizontal to the 2×4 along the top & bottom. Then ran 2×2’s or 2×4 ‘s vertically along the wall studs & fixed it correctly to have 4 to 5 wooden shelves for storage. Would the wall be able to support the weight with some weight on them . Thanks

  3. Theresa says

    My kitchen cabinets are starting to swell along the bottoms and edges. Not the doors,just the framework they are attached to.
    How can I repair them before they get any worse? It’s paper covered. The doors themselves are solid,but thin wood. 2002 Clayton dreamhome. Thank you!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Theresa,

      Once they start swelling it’s tough to repair but this article on repairing and painting cabinets should help. Best of luck!

  4. Shannon says

    OH my gosh!! I though I was the ONLY ONE!! that despised these battens. My husband can’t understand it , “what’s wrong with them?” he says…. (must be a man thing). They make me crazy when I look at them. The previous owners of our mobile home tried to remove some in the master bathroom and made a heck of a mess. My husband tried filling and sanding, and, I primed and painted, and, still a mess. We are now finally starting the reno is this bathroom and I am soooo happy that I found this article!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I love this website, and, thank you Crystal from the bottom of my heart, for taking the time to put this “magazine” together. Such an inspiration and blessing for me as I want to do things right the first time as time and money are not plenty in this household.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Thank you, Shannon! So glad you like my little blog! Filling in those seams are a pain because they aren’t beveled like regular drywall. Practice behind furniture first to see what combination works best for you. Or just paint them, they really do blend in fairly well with matte paint.

      Best of luck!

  5. Jenn says

    I love how the wainscotting looks white…we are installing new darker wood LVT floors throughout our living room area where there is wood colored wainscotting( a lighter wood than the floors will be) Can I paint the wainscotting in our mobile home? it’s original, came with the house as far as I can tell. But I think the 2 different wood colors will clash,a nd the white would help brighten things up against the dark floors.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Jenn,

      You absolutely can paint the wainscotting but you’ll need to figure out if it’s made from wood or an engineered wood or laminated product to know what kind of paint to use. The new paint out these days are so high quality it won’t be hard to find one that works well for just about any material. Best of luck!

  6. Saw says

    Looking at buying a foreclosed manufactured home, my question is: what paint and primer do I use over the gypsum panels? I am 19 and trying to put a lot of work to rehab the house.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi!

      You can find some great recommendations in the article above. Congratulations and best of luck!

  7. Ann says

    Hello, Has anyone used sand and paint to texture the exterior of their mobile home. I have wavie aluminum siding with lots of dings and it looks terrible. Any ideas would be appreciated.. thanks ahead…

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Ann,

      I am not at all familiar with sand paint but we painted our metal siding on our 1978 single wide and the matte tan that we used did a great job of concealing the dings and scratches it had. I hope a siding/painting expert sees your comment and chimes in…I am very interested in learning more about texturing paint with sand.

      Sorry I can’t be more help – Best of luck!

  8. Cathey says

    has anyone ever replaced their ceilings with Bead board? I know it’s heavy, but so attractive for that country look. Am hoping someone has an answer. I have 1972 16′ x 70′ (Marlette) and I’d like to give it a facelift. Thank you for any input you folks might have. Thank you.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Cathey,

      I know I’ve answered this comment before but my commenting system in on the fritz so I’m answering it again, sorry. You should have received an email with my first answer. Beadboard panels work well in bathrooms and that’s exactly what we plan on doing in our bathroom. You’ll need to know where your framing is and so you can get your seams to lay directly over them (it will be tricky if you don’t have the necessary framing but still doable). You’ll also want to use ceiling molding as an edge for the ceiling to lay on around the perimeter of the room.

      Best of luck!

    2. Georgia says

      Try a beadboard patterned textured wallpaper on a smooth ceiling surface for the look of beadboard without the weight. Many are paintable, so you can customize it to your decor.

      1. Crystal Adkins says

        Thanks for the tip, Georgia!

    3. AMANDA G JOHNSON says

      Somewhere I read about using bead board to cover popcorn ceilings.

  9. Patricia D. says

    I love this site and all of the helpful information. Some great comments here too. Thanks!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Thanks, Patricia!

  10. Patricia D. says

    LOL. I’ll never paint again without thinking of the rooster. 🙂 Great info. Thanks!

  11. Fay says

    Hi,

    I didn’t see any article related to a saggy ceiling in a 1970s era double wide. Do I strip it down (I want to go to drywall if possible on ceiling and walls) Is it likely to be a structural problem or evidence of an old water leak? There is no current water leak or staining but the home was repainted recently so its possible any staining was hidden.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Fay,

      Sagging ceilings are usually a sign of dampness or leaks from your roof so you’ll want to make sure you find out what caused the sag before you replace the ceiling itself. It may not be a leak, it could be condensation caused by over insulating or poor circulation (vent covered). You’ll be able to see what’s going on better once you remove the old ceiling. I would imagine if it was a structural issue you would have more signs. If it’s sagging at the seam it may just be a loose nail (or screw).

      It’s really hard to find full-length ceiling panels like the builders use so sheetrock is probably your best choice since you can remove the seams. You will probably want to hire a pro to do it and that can get expensive. They have special tools that can make the job easier. Of course, you can rent those tools if you are a DIYer.

      I would love to get some photos from you as the job progresses. I need to write an article on this but without images it’s hard to do. Best of luck! My email is crystaladkins@mobilehomeliving.org if you need to contact me directly for anything. Best of luck!

  12. jackie says

    how do i fill holes in my paneled bathroom walls. I want to change wall fixtures

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Jackie,

      You’ll use DAT spackling (I call it spackling but apparently it’s called different things across the nation). There are several kinds so you’ll want to find the one that is a close match to color for your paneling since you won’t be painting (I assume?). Lowe’s has small tubes and large tubs and it doesn’t cost much at all. For small holes in white walls, I’ve used toothpaste.
      Best of luck!

  13. Sherri says

    I recently purchased a 1970 double wide mobile in which the previous owner applied wallpaper directly to the VOG wallboard. The wallpaper is coming loose at the seams and I would like to remove it and paint the walls. In trying to remove the wallpaper, some of the original covering on the walls is coming off. Before I go any further, can someone advise the best way to remove this wallpaper without damaging what is underneath? Thanks so much for any halp you can give!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Sherri,

      They used some really good paste and it’s sticking to that top coat of laminate on the wall. That laminate is basically just paper itself and it’s pretty important as it ‘holds’ the gypsum together and acts as a water barrier. I’m kinda at a loss here, I want to say a bit of steam may work to loosen the wallpaper from the laminate but you would need to be careful so the gypsum didn’t get wet. The wallpaper paste remover in a can may work, too.

      A few areas of the laminate coming off may not be too much of an issue with a really good primer (Kilz). Otherwise, the paint may soak into the gypsum and make it look a bit different from the rest of the wall. It may be best to just leave the wallpaper and paint over that – this is not ideal, but if the damage to the wall is going to be too much you have three options, remove the panel and install sheetrock, paint over the wallpaper, or use some kind of texture over the wall to cover and blend in the areas the wallpaper has damaged.

      Best of luck – let me know how it goes!

  14. Grace says

    Thanks for this informative article. Like most I hate my vinyl walls in my 2015 home, especially the “accent” walls. This stuff makes teflon look like a sissy. I can’t stick anything to it. Picturing a puddle of paint on the floor along each wall. Looking at all the steps to paint I have to wonder if it might just be easier to just replace the wallboard with plain old pre-primed sheetrock and put 2 coats of paint instead of 5. Why do they do this? I mean, why not just set them up with primed plain walls and let folks paint? (let’s not ever start on the battens – ugh)

    1. Mary says

      Sheetrock adds too much weight….it’s a mobile home that gets transported. BTW, home owners insurance does not cover your mobile home while it’s in transit.

  15. Crystal Adkins says

    Hi Sarah,

    Usually you can, just make sure to use the right backer board and don’t choose really heavy tile.

  16. Debbie Webb says

    Hi , we have a 1996 double wide 4 bedroom and the one bedroom someone used cheap paint over the wallpaper and the paint peeled off in some areas along with the wall paper living the walls uneven in those areas the room is kind of big I wondered how do I smooth out those areas , do I use spackle to fill it and sand it down flat ? Its only a few small areas to do ..any ideas ??

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Debbie,

      Glue is what I always used when the wallpaper curled on me. Spray glue is especially handy for those hard to reach corners.

      best of luck!

  17. Sharon says

    I know this is an old thread put I live in a small double wide, I would like to take our a THIN wall between my kitchen and family room, for that open concept. I will remove a bar and add an island. Scrap the popcorn ceiling, and new floors, new cabinets, rock on top of cabinets. new appliances. Put in new bath rooms, change all of the floors paint it and then once it is dressed and ready I plan on putting it up for sale This was suppose to be a temp home, well life got in the way. But it is time. It is loved in and lived in. I thought now was the time to add all of those special touches. What do you think?\

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Sharon,

      Sounds like you are about to be living in a gorgeous home! You need to plan well so you aren’t in a perpetual construction zone (trust me!). Take lots of images so we can feature it when you are all finished.

  18. Mark says

    Gary – Perfect advice! I would only add: Buy a “best” roller cover. Cheap covers can leave roller fuzz all over a wall – and it will show. On the other hand, a good quality REAL sheepskin roller will hold a good amount of paint, and leave a nice finish on the wall. Finally, match the roller to the type of paint. Some are latex and oil – while others are specific to latex or oil paints.

  19. Tisha says

    I don’t know what to use to clean the walls. It’s a 2005 mobile & walls are filthy. It really doesn’t look like vinyl. When I tried to clean, walls started crumbling! I really don’t want to prime & paint over dirty walls. What to do?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Tisha,

      It kinda sounds like someone tried to peel the vinyl coating off the walls which left you with just the gypsum. That would explain the crumbling. Gypsum alone doesn’t stand up to water at all (and it won’t take paint well). If this is the case, I’d probably go with a good wallpaper. If the walls are just old and only crumbling in corners where the vinyl overlay may have peeled you can still prime and paint the wall but you may want to add a thin coating of drywall mud in the areas that are crumbling.

      Usually, Pine-Sol or Dawn in a gallon of warm water is what I use to clean the walls.

      Best of luck. Let me know how it goes.

    2. Mark says

      The best cleaner I have ever used for walls that are to be painted is TSP (tri-sodium-phosphate). It’s available at pretty much any of the big box stores in their painting depts. Don’t forget the rubber gloves!

      As for the walls crumbling – use a good oil base primer (I HIGHLY recommend XIM available at Sherwin Williams) to seal the gypsum. The XIM is quite forgiving and can seal over most contaminants as long as the surface isn’t obliterated with crud.
      Once the sealed area has dried, you’re good to go.

      NOTE! XIM should be applied in a VERY well vented area.

  20. Thelma says

    As I said in another comment mine is a fixer upper some of the walls are beyond paint. I’ve done a mixture in the bathroom of paint white bead board and quarter inch plywood. I thought I would paint the wood the grain in it looks nice so decided to clear coat it. The living room planing to do a faux ship lap.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Thelma,

      I love the look of bead board. I’m always looking for home remodels to share on the site. I would love to see how you did the plywood with stain. I’ve noticed that’s a big trend in home design. I bet it looks great!

      If you would let me share your projects please email me at crystaladkins@mobilehomeliving.org. Thanks so much!

  21. Phatkhat says

    We have a 1995 double, and it has the ugliest wallboards you ever saw. I redid a small room using Kilz and a quality Glidden paint. After 3-4 coats of Kilz and 2 coats of paint, you could still see the pattern. Ugh. Another two coats fixed it. NOW, however, I have found Nirvana!! Behr Marquee paint will cover the pattern in ONE coat, and with the second coat, a flawless, gorgeous appearance emerges. Yeah, it’s $40+ a gallon at the Orange Place, but it is worth every penny in the ease of application – NO spatter – and the reduction of the frustration index. You can buy a small jar for under $5, and they will tint it to the color you desire. It will almost cover one 4 ft. section of wall so you can try before you buy the whole gallon.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Thanks for the tip! Usually, 2-3 light coats of paint will cover near anything (especially with Kilz). These new paints are amazing – you really get what you pay for!

      Thanks for reading MHL!

  22. Sue Taylor says

    Crystal,

    Thank you for all the mobile home decorating tips. One problem that I am having is that the paper around my bathroom skylights is coming loose/off. It just looks like some cheap cream colored wallpaper stuff. I am wondering where I get the stuff that looks like wood (like on our home doors), that I can replace/use instead of that? My kitchen skylite has it around there and it matches the rest of the faux wood looking stuff throughout my house. Please help if you can.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Sue!

      Skylights are awesome but they do tend to need extra repairs over time. As long as you aren’t removing the seal used (or at least replace it or add to it) you should be able to change just about everything around the window without any issues. I’d remove a small section of trim and see what it looks like behind it. It may be a great time to give it a whole new look and make it even stronger against water.

      best of luck!

  23. Zach says

    Hi Crystal,

    Great site! It has been a huge resource as my wife and I just bought a foreclosed 1997 manufactured home (our first) and have started the process of updating/renovating. I do have a couple quick questions on the VOG walls, if you’d indulge me. It looks like the previous owner (or maybe the bank?) went through the process of painting over the ugly vinyl wallpaper print. Its better, but not great, so we intend to repaint. Since there is already paint on the walls, do we need to sand? prime? sand & prime? – Or – Would we be OK just painting over the existing paint. Also, there is a medium sized hole in the living room. In your experience, will drywall patch and joint compound be OK to repair this before painting?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Zach,

      I would probably use a good paint with primer in it. That will give you some good adhesion and coverage without requiring another coat. Hopefully, the painter cleaned the walls well before they painted. If they didn’t you can sometimes just peel the paint right off the walls (it’s kinda fun to do).

      Since you are painting and don’t have to worry about the pattern on the walls, you can use a patch kit. Sometimes, the mesh in the kits aren’t the best fit (or size) so don’t worry if you find you need a tighter mesh to make the transition smoother. It’s just a difference in the paneling.

      Best of luck!

  24. Crystal Adkins says

    Hi Curtis,
    I wish I knew of a reliable supply for those printed tapes. I’ve only seen one place have them on hand and that was a supply house in NC that was real close to a builder (I assumed they bought unused stock from the builders). I haven’t seen any since unfortunately. Sorry!

  25. Terry Giesbrecht says

    Hi, super site here, I’ve learned a lot here and realize I’m in for more work than anticipated. We purchased a foreclosed manufactured home, 1997 Redman. The interior has been badly damaged, ripped out wiring, furnace, AC, water heater and all appliances. The interior needs a total rework, drywall repair and paint is my concern for now. Wondering if there are any drawbacks to spray painting the ceiling and walls after proper prep work described on your site? Many thanks,
    Terry

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      There shouldn’t be. That’s how they paint ceilings and walls professionally. Of course, you won’t be using cans of spray paint, but a paint gun.