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:

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 It may still be made with gypsum but the top coating doesn’t have the high gloss coating or the quickly outdated patterns.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 A single color, as opposed to an outdated pattern, can update a room quickly.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:

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 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

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: 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


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!

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  1. Jesse W. says


    I would love your help! We have a 2015 Clayton Home. We bought it brand new. Very nice home!!! All walls are drywall, except the bedrooms. and I hate that! So, I am starting room by room, to slowly get rid of those horrible panel strips. I was reading through your blog, and immediately got overwhelmed! Would you mind helping me with step by step instructions and give me some inspiration. Aside from making the walls LOOK better (paint) is there anyway to make them FEEL better (make them more sturdy and not feel so cheap and thin and echoy?)

    I would sooooo appreciate your help/advice!!! Thank you!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Jesse!

      You should look into adding beadboard or wainscoting to your walls to beef them up (other than adding bigger studs you’re limited to bulking them up with additional paneling and that can get complicated but installing it on the bottom third isn’t too big a job). Paintable wallpaper is another favorite of mine to get rid of the strips (fill them in with caulk or mud so the seam isn’t as noticeable). Use the thickest you can find.

      Best of luck!

  2. Mary Margaret Connolly says

    Sure wish I had found this thread a few months ago. I tried to paint over some faux wood wainscotting and window reveals of my 1988 Shutz. I scrubbed and then primed but didn’t use the right primer. The paint scratched off with the slightest touch.

    I ended up having to strip off all of the fresh paint and starting over with the correct primer. Yeach! What a waste of time and money. (I’ll let you know what products I used at a later date. Recoverin from a hip replacement right now.)

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Good to hear you are recovering Mary Margeret! I did the same thing when I tried to paint the trim around the top of the bathroom. I thought it was wood but nope, it was some kind of plastic composite. It scratched right off, too!

      Hope you heal quickly!

      1. Jen L says

        when you say trim at the top of your bathroom, so you mean the flat fake trim they outline the rooms with including the ceiling which is like a contact paper stiff over fake wood strips?

      2. Crystal Adkins says

        Yes, ma’am!

  3. Grama Sam says

    You know I was amazed not to find any information on painting the cabinets. I have a C Class Jamboree and the cabinets have a vinyl paper over particle board. Is this the same as the VOG you have mentioned on the walls?
    Also I am wondering since the cabinets are this type of product is spray painting would be better?
    BTW amazing blog I have wanted to remodel the rig for two years but could not find enough info to give me the confidence I needed to get started. Thanks so much for your time and talent.
    Looking forward to your reply.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Grama,

      Yes, the information in this article is relevant to the particle board cabinetry since they have coated paper. Clean the cabinets very well, prime with a high quality primer and use a good paint.

      If you have access to a spray gun you should absolutely use it. Light coats are the trick.

      Pam shared some great information about painting her cabinets in this article:

      Best of luck!!

  4. Gabrielle says

    I have very little spare time and next to no patience for projects. Yes, this is a huge flaw. I have a 2004 double wide and I have to admit I am fed up with the horrible walls. Has anyone tried some of these newer peel and stick wallpapers? They seem slightly thicker than regular and I am hoping they are something I can just put up over the horrible pattern.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Gabrielle,

      I’m a big fan of the peel and stick wallpaper and tile. The one thing I have learned is you should spend the extra money to get the name brand and not the generic store brand. The glue is a lot better. I’ve even used reversible peel and stick shelf liner on a wall and it worked well. If you want to leave the battens up you will want to use the thickest stuff you can find (and even then it will be noticeable). If you can remove the battens and store them safely that would work well.

      Best of luck!

  5. Judy Reitz says

    I have an older mobile home where I replaced all the windows with high efficiency windows but now there are mold/mildew stains below the window where the battens are. Because I didn’t want to paint every room in the house, I’ve tried cleaning the stains with every cleaning product I’ve read about i.e. bleach, borax, baking soda, ammonia, etc but nothing has penetrated the vinyl coating of the walls. Do you know of any other option to remove the stains or is painting the walls my only option?

    Thanks in advance for any advice as well as how to paint and what to use in case that’s the only option left.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      I would try an industrial strength mold/mildew remover (what the professional power washers use in the gallon jugs) but if that doesn’t work (or you’ve already tried it) you’ll probably want to use Killz primer and then paint over it. If it’s a lot of mildew or mold you may even want to go a step further and replace the paneling – it can be very harmful.

      Best of luck! Let us know how it goes!

  6. Susan says

    I am remodeling a double wide. The previous tenant painted over the VOG with a thin layer of paint. It has scratches and needs to be removed. I tried to Kilz over the paint but it makes it peel worse. Is there an easier way to remove the paint besides just scraping it off?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Susan,

      I’d say your best bet is to peel and use a very fine steel wool to get the rest off but you don’t want to tear that top layer of vinyl. You may be able to use a paint remover but I’d test run it to make sure it doesn’t eat the vinyl off. Had the previous owners cleaned the walls really well before they painted and used a primer/gripper this wouldn’t have happened.

      Best of luck! Let me know how it goes!

  7. Crystal Adkins says

    Hi Dale,

    If I had to guess, I would say the moisture is what is causing the cracking. You have two options here and the location of the panels are going to be the main issue when making the decision. I saw your previous comment and you could install drywall over the VOG panels but you will need to take extra precaution (I don’t recommend it because it can hinder your ability to detect leaks – you will want to seal the edges and seams extremely well if you do this). You could rip out the original VOG and use the moisture barrier/sheetrock combo. It’s really up to you – installing new over old is likely a lot easier but easier doesn’t always equal correct.

    How you handle the transition from the shower surround to the new walls (if you install over the old) is going to be another issue you will need to consider. I can’t really tell you what to do but I suspect since you are researching you will make the right decision! Best of luck!

  8. Karla Lopez says

    I recently had to move into my parents triple-wide mobile home. It is very large and needs some serious updating. They had tile done years ago and it crossed the marriage line and there are a dozen or so that have cracked or come loose. I want to get rid of the tile and the carpet and put down laminated wood. Can I cross the marriage line with it and is there a certain way I should lay the planks? With the marriage line or the opposite? Also, I have to do something about the dark paneling. Should I just have it professionally painted or cover it with the paintable wallpaper?

  9. Barbara says

    Hello, first off; great site lots of helpful information, thank you for that, not many places that address mobile home repair. Secondly, I have a question about fixing holes, really big, half the wall holes in the vinyl coated kitchen and bathroom walls. I am trying to fix my mothers’ 1983 mobile home and it has a pantry where the washer and dryer are and the washer was leaking so the wall had to be opened up to find out where and now there is are holes to fix and I need to know how. Can I do a drywall patch or what? Any help would be greatly appreciated; I went to the big home supply stores and even though mobile homes are still being made, the gentleman there didn’t know what I was asking about when I said about the laminated walls. Thank you again. Sorry for the long post.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Barbara!

      You can use a patch but it’s probably going to be easier if you just replace the entire wall with sheet rock. You’ll cut the entire vinyl panel out carefully (as not to damage the trim, studs, or ceiling) and then cut your sheet rock to size and insert it behind the trim. If it’s a wall that is the width of the washer and dryer you can probably do the whole area with 2 sheets of sheet rock.

      If you want to patch instead find a piece of sheet rock that will fit into the hole and ‘tape’ it in with drywall tape. Getting the mud even with the rest of the wall will be a pain but you’ll get it close. You’ll want to prime the original wall first and then prime again after you patch and then paint.

      Best of luck! Take pics if you can – I’d love to share a step-by-step article on patching a wall or replacing a wall.

  10. Dale Wohlfeil says

    Would it be a problem gluing 1/4 ” drywall over my vog board in my bathroom remodel. If so should I use liquid nails or some other type of glue.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Dale,

      I’m not a fan of adding a new panel over an original, especially in a kitchen or bath. It’s additional material that can be damaged by water (and hinder the ability to recognize a leak). If you do it, use the strongest adhesive you can and seal the edges especially well.

      Best of luck!

      1. Dale Wohlfeil says

        I will reply with photos as the job progresses. thank you Dale

      2. Dale Wohlfeil says

        I drywalled with 1/4″ wallboard over the VOG panels. I used 3×11 bullnosed tile around shower/tub enclosure. If i can figure out how to send pics I will. I also painted my wood faced vanity using liquid sandpaper to prepare for primer and paint. I had a vanity top custom made by ONYX. turned out very nice.

      3. Crystal Adkins says

        Would love to see what you did Dale!

  11. Chad says

    Also, instead of “sanding” the joint compound, use a damp sponge and gently feather the edges of the compound to make smooth. Will not hurt the VOG walls like sanding

  12. Robynne Catheron says

    What fantastic information this is! Thank you for all the research you did to help your readers. I appreciate it very much; since I’m not a creative, talented or skilled craftsman by any stretch of the word.

    What do you recommend for those battens that are “H-” shaped? There are actually two flat strips (one behind the VOG, and the one you can see) connected in the middle. If you try to pull one out, it will tear out the panels on both sides of the gap. Am I stuck with the battens?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Thanks so much for the kind words Robynne! Means a lot to me to get a great comment like yours!

      I’ve seen the battens that try to mimic wainscoting and I think those would look great if they were a little ‘beefier.’ Maybe cut out the spots where the vertical battens meet the horizontal to allow for a nice 2″ trim piece replacement for the horizontal battens. You could maybe use the caulk and paint trick mentioned above but you’d likely need to add a texture to make it all blend in. Otherwise, that would be pretty difficult to get it all to blend together and not look obvious.

      Thanks for reading MHL!

  13. Brenda says

    I’ve read this posting. I painted vinyl walls 12 years ago, primed with BIN. The panels gaps were not filled. There is a crack, not horrible, but I would like to try caulking the gaps. You recommend priming the walls first, paint, then caulk the gaps, correct? Do I then paint over the caulk? Can I press the caulk flat with a putty knife to fill the gap? I don’t think I can do the tape and mud technique. Thank you for your informative site.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Brenda,

      Yes, priming the gap first helps the caulk or mud to grip or attach better. You will use a knife or even a credit card to even out it all out and then paint over it. It’s very important that you chose the right caulk for the surface.
      Best of Luck!

  14. Patty says

    Hi Crystal,

    Great Site!!
    We have a 1997 Chariot Eagle Park Model that has a room that is over 1/3 of the front deck; aka a small Florida room. I can’t find info in re of the wall material, but I’d sure like to do something with them. It seems to be a textured fiberglass/plastic panel they put up individually. We purchased it used, so i can’t find the installer to ask. Any advice of what can be done to these walls/material once I find out, would be greatly appreciated.

    We are working on giving the inside a new facelift and your site has helped abundantly. Greatly appreciated!!

  15. Marti says

    I have found the easy way of covering the screw holes and nail holes once they were removed, the vinyl was pushed outwards, I used a sharp pointed knife and pushed the bulging vinyl back into the hole and once it was smooth I dabbed caulking over the holes. Worked great, didn’t have to peel away the extruding vinyl.

  16. Marti says

    This site has given me tremendous information, remodeling our double wide home, removing all the strips and I caulked them with acrylic caulk, smoothed it out. We will mud over them. Also removed the cheap ceiling trim and will add crown moulding. Will be tricky due to cathedral ceilings, but it’ll all work out. And will add base board trim once the Pergo flooring is installed. But I come back to this saved site to continue to read great tips! We will replace the kitchen cabinets. But want to tile the floor and was told by someone that this isn’t a good idea as most mobile home floors are uneven. Another question, the vinyl floor seem to be tight on the floor would you recommend to remove the vinyl and not install over it?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Marti,

      In some cases, the vinyl flooring was installed before the walls were attached to the floor so you would need to either cut it out or install over. I like the idea of installing over it – every little bit of insulation you add to the home the better. You’d just need to follow installation instructions for whatever material you want to lay down.

      Best of luck!

  17. Annberly says

    Have you ever heard of people having trouble with the existing vinyl walls getting damaged when sanding the mud after removing the battens?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Annerberly,

      You cannot let the sandpaper touch the VOG panels. The paper coating is basically all that is holding the gypsum together and provides the little bit of water-protection is has. Work the mud while it’s still wet to get it as smooth as possible too. This is why I like caulking over mud – there’s a smaller chance of tearing that top paper coating.

      Best of luck!

  18. Jennifer Bargeron says

    I have had great results on textured walls by throwing DOWN the putty knife..and do your final strokes with an old towel (painter’s rags) The texture in the cloth recreates the original ‘grain’ much faster with a few feathery touches of a towel.

  19. Maria johnson says

    Sorry it was scrubbing bubbles no oven cleaner.we used

  20. Maria johnson says

    Can you use a oven cleanner to clean walls that are coverred in cigar smoke to take the yellow film and smell away and pant over that i cleanned a ladys apartment that had a gloss finish and it did clean but we were not able to pant decause of manager .will pant stick to that cleaner

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Maria,

      I think scrubbing bubbles may be too caustic (I’m not sure that’s the right word?). It’s basically the paint that will be doing all the work on the cigarette smoke since you can’t really remove that stuff, you just need to clean as much of the wall as possible to create good adhesion for the paint. I’ve had good luck with Mr. Clean and the big white jug with the word lightening (grease lightening, maybe?) at Dollar General Store.

      Best of luck!

      1. Esther says

        I know this is a really, REALLY old post, but would like to say, as a smoker, I can tell you the best thing to get rid of nicotine stain and smell is distilled white vinegar. Just dunk a dish towel in the vinegar, attach it to a swiffer (or similar) and mop the walls. Works like a charm, isn’t caustic and you can use it anything 🙂

      2. Crystal Adkins says

        Hi Esther!

        Thank you so much for that info! I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  21. Lisa says

    Hi, Crystal. I’m really enjoying your site– so many great ideas! I am planning to paint the vinyl walls in my kitchen, and would really like to remove those ugly Batten strips. One method I keep hearing is to fill the seams with paintable caulk before mudding over with joint compound and feathering out. Another is to cover the walls with paintable wallpaper. Both prospects sound like a lot of hard work for one person, as I would likely be doing most of it myself. I also have some concern about the joints cracking after a while. So I came up with a sort of hybrid idea. I was thinking, since the vinyl walls in my kitchen have only a slight texture, perhaps I could first caulk the seams, and then cover them with wallpaper border, before priming and painting. Does this sound to you like an idea that will work?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Absolutely Lisa! This is a how a lot of us have done it. Make sure to get the thickest wallpaper you can for the kitchen (that can be painted and scrubbed). Add a single coat of paint to the seam before you add the caulk, it will help the caulk to adhere better.

      best of luck!

  22. Darin Clements says

    Just a tip from a professional contractor; when mudding the joints, use a 14″ taping knife that is flexible. This will allow you to feather it out more, creating a much less noticeable hump.

  23. James Edwards says

    In addition, to the above article (How to Update Vinyl Walls in Mobile Homes), I have found that you must make sure that the mobile home is level when hanging drywall. Because later down the road, if for any reason it needs leveled your drywall work will probably crack. This I learned the hard way. So good luck in your endeavor.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Thanks so much for the tip James!

      A level home is a happy home! I really need to get an article up about the importance of a level home, It’s not as difficult to check or fix as most people think and it sure can relieve a lot of headaches.

      Thanks again!

  24. Anne says

    curious if you can move a furnace in a single wide mobile home ours is in the hallwall and protrudes into my kitchen with a bump out and hoping I can move it into a spare bedroom and give me more room in th ekithchen

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Anne,

      You sure can! One of the best things about manufactured homes is their simplicity when it comes to the heating and plumbing systems. The vents are usually in simple lines with few corners so you have a little flexibility.

      You’ll just want to do a little research to find the best place to put it (perhaps the middle of the home?).

      Thanks so much for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living!

      1. Rj Knapp says

        I am curious, why do they put the furnace on one end of the house? That makes the other end colder. Wish they would find a good place in the middle of the home.

      2. Crystal Adkins says

        Hi RJ,

        Builders have put furnaces and water heaters in dang near every place possible in mobile homes! Ideally in a single wide, the furnace will be in the middle of the home and have two arms extending straight down the middle of the home. You probably just have a model where the designers mixed it up a bit. Make sure your ducts are well insulated and air tight.


  25. Judy C Mauldin says

    Hi, I am re-wallpapering a mobile home.. The original wallpaper is on wood paneling.. Would I need to use primer? or any other bonding agent? thank you

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Judy,

      I’m not real knowledgeable about wall paper. I’ve only done it a couple of times. I was under the impression that as long as the surface was clean and the paste was sticky you could get good, longlasting results.

      Let me know how it works out for you!

  26. Mandi says

    We have some issues where my daughter taped posters on the wall and when she removed them the paper went with it. Any suggestions on how to fix that? Will a light mud work?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Mandy,

      That top coating is a vinyl covering that holds the gypsum together. Once it has been damaged you’ll have to do something to the entire wall to make it all seem cohesive and paint will show the difference so you will need to prime it really well. Try a Killz primer or a Gripper and then paint over it. . I think that will be a much easier option unless you just really want to texture the whole room.

      Light mud will work but that’s a lot of work

      PS Make sure to clean the wall first.

      This might help:

      Best of luck!

  27. Debbie says

    We have a 2002 38 ft RV that we will be down sizing to. We want to update to make it our home. The paper on the walls is starting to come off from dryness and age. Do we take it off before we paint or glue it back on on to come off again. We also have bad water stains on the ceilings. The roof has been fixed. Do we redo them or clean them some how. I am also worried about painting the cabinets. I did many years ago and they looked painted. Is it easier now and do they look better. Thank you.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Debbie!

      For the walls, or VOG vinyl on gypsum panels, it’s best to leave as much of the top paper layer on as possible. It kinda acts as a water repellent and keeps the paint from soaking into the gypsum. If you can glue it the loose paper go ahead and try that.

      For your ceiling, there is some great ceiling primer and paint on the market these days. Some even say they will cover water stains. Try a product that has both primer and paint that is very thick (Killz has a ceiling paint I think).

      Cabinets are all about the prep work. The more you prepare them before painting, the better. Scrub them well and then use a paint with primer (like Killz, Gripper, etc).

      Hope that helps – Best of luck! I’d love to see how everything turns out!

  28. nancy says

    Hi … I have a 1980’s model Windsor home the walls in the hall separated from the luann back from leaking roof over time. The wall was wood paneling with luann put up over that Took all of it down to repair and behind the installation was some sort of foil paper next to the aluminum siding that had deteriorated. What is the foil and what was it there for and does it need to be replace or just put back up new installation?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Nancy,

      That probably acted as a radiant vapor barrier or house wrap and it is a good idea to replace (or install) a new wrap whenever possible (when replacing siding or interior walls).
      Best of luck!

  29. Dale says

    Hello. I have a 70’s double wide in AZ. I’m just beginning to have some work done. I notice my kitchen cabinets look like they are hanging from the ceiling. Once I gut the kitchen out, can I hang new cabinets on the paneling or can I upgrade the walls to sheetrock? I’m not sure which route to go. I am guessing I have all metal type studs so I am not sure what is best to hang the cabinets on.
    Thank you!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Dale!

      I’m no construction expert but I think cabinets are best hung from the walls and not the ceilings. Unless you have an Airstream or Spartan type home you likely have wood studs so there shouldn’t be any issues with hanging the cabinets. You can easily upgrade to sheetrock if you want too! Mobile homes have so much potential and are fairly easy to remodel which is one of the reasons they are so great!

      Thank you so much for contacting me!

  30. Irene King says

    Two words: Paintable Wallpaper. Give me don’t mind doing the little bit extra work of cleaning, lightly sanding, filling in the holes and the seams, then you’ll find that this heavy vinyl paper will work great. I don’t have a mobile home yet, but I’m planning to buy one when I retire. However, in my condo I have used it a lot. I have used the Martha Stuart brand in the beadboard pattern, and people don’t know that it’s wallpaper. There are other brands, patterns and textures, so there’s quite a lot of choices.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Irene!

      Paintable wallpaper is awesome! I have seen some gorgeous patterns over the years. At first I was a bit hesitant because I didn’t think it could hold up to the paint but it does. My grandmother is even using it as a back splash in her kitchen and it has been up for at least 7 years and looks brand new.

      Thanks so much for commenting and sharing your tip!

    2. Miranda says

      Is the paintable walpaper easy to hang?

      1. Crystal Adkins says

        Hi Miranda!

        To be completely honest, it’s not as easy as regular wallpaper but you can do it! It’s very thick and that’s a good thing and a bad thing. Thicker wallpaper, in my opinion, is easier to position but it’s a bit harder to get started because of the weight. Just follow the directions and have a helper hold the top section while you do the positioning and it will go easier (assuming you are doing an entire wall). I just found it a bit awkward to get each row started but with a little help it was a lot quicker.

        Best of luck! Let me know how it goes!

  31. wallace says

    Another step to promote paint adhesion is to lightly hand sand the walls with some of those cheap sand/sponges or some 220 grit paper. This will further take the sheen off which is key to doing this right. Nothing likes to stick to a slick shiny surface .Do this step after you’ve thoroughly washed your walls and let them dry. Then use a tack cloth to wipe off the loose dust from the sanding. now your ready to prime and paint you heart away and dare your paint to peel, chip, or flake.

  32. Jane says

    Hello! I am wondering how to update stenciled panels in a double wide that has all the trappings of the 80s mauve color everywhere! The stenciled panels are tulips that vines that run the entire length of the panel. These panels are on cabinet doors and panels between the kitchen and living room. Need ideas of how to update! Or cover up.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Jane!

      If it’s on the vinyl covered walls or the cabinetry you should be able to paint right over the stenciled areas. You’d need to use a good primer to give the area a clean canvas and to allow the paint to adhere to the surface but it shouldn’t be too hard. There’s also paintable wallpaper you could use to cover the area. Paint is a great way to freshen up a room and give the space a whole new look.

      Best of luck!

  33. Nicole says

    So glad to have found you! You explain the seemingly impossible so well. I feel like I can tackle my mh and really change it into my dream home. Thank you!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      So great to hear Nicole! Thank you so much!

  34. Kathleen E says

    Hi, We just purchased a double manufactured home in a retirement community in Arizona. We need to spruce up the outside. and inside the house it has the old vinyl walls. I would like to paint and tape the seams that they don’t look vinyl and near the ceiling put the wood boarder all the way around. will the walls still have that vinyl look and texture. Could you recommend a good book for repairs and fix-ups guide.

    1. Crystal Adkins says
  35. sheila says

    Hi Crystal,
    I purchased my singlewide new and love mobile home living! I have some issues with the wallpaper because of all the holes the manufacturer have made from hanging curtain rods in the wrong place. How can I repair them? I don’t care to paint since it is a new one. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks, Sheila

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Sheila!

      I’ve used toothpaste to fill-in holes on a white wall before and it worked great. I bet you can find some type of color putty that would work well too! Caulk or drywall mud would be good if you can find a paint pen that matches the color of your wall. Just let it dry well before you paint.

      Thanks so much for reading MHL and good luck!

  36. Amanda Wilburn says

    I am getting ready to start on removing the batten strips and fill in the cracks like you recommend with the caulk. My question is in my living room my vinyl walls have a light texture to them. If I fill in the cracks with caulk can I run a thick paint roller over the seams to add a little texture so as not to have thin flat strips where the battens used to be?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Amanda!

      You can! There’s a few things that you can do to make the caulk work a bit better for you. First, paint the seam before applying the caulk. Apparently the paint helps the caulk adhere better. Then paint over the caulk to get it all one color.

      It is difficult to get the caulk to match the walls, even when the walls are textured, but using a special textured roller when applying the paint will help a lot. The first strip will be the hardest, so start somewhere that’s not as noticeable and just work with it till you get it as close as you can.

      Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  37. Kristine says

    Hi Crystal,
    I live in a 1974 mobile home. I’ve been living here since 1990. I’ve made a lot of improvements over the windows, paint,additional bathroom etc. still have the existing painted panel walls and ugly ceilings. I want to texture the walls and the ceilings. Ceilings are foot and a half strips running the width of trailer. Was told I shouldn’t use joint compound to texture because of the movement of the trailer. Would be nice to have more of a ,stick built, house feel. If you know what I mean. Any recommendations?
    Thanks, Kristine

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Kristine!

      If you have no intention of moving the home and it’s set on a good foundation you can definitely use joint compound. The worse that can happen is you’ll need to patch it if the home suffers any kind of movement. Joint compound is one of the most useful products in the remodeling/construction industry – use it to your advantage! Manufactured home builders are using sheet rock and drywall more and more these days and though it’s a bit of a hassle after setup it makes a home look and feel more like a site-built home so it’s worth every bit of the hassle.

      There’s a lot of misguided advice out there regarding manufactured homes – lots of people believe the homes are nothing like a site-built home but that’s not the case at all. Same materials, same construction techniques…their just built in a factory and hauled to the site. I’ve also heard people say you can’t use tile but I’ve seen no issue with it, just make sure the tile didn’t cross the marriage line and isn’t too heavy.

      Your only concern will be settling or high wind movement but if the home has been there for 25 years already I’d say it’s settled and will be there another 25 years! Good luck!

  38. Crystal Adkins says

    So glad you like Mobile Home Living! Thank you for commenting!

  39. Linda says

    I have a 1987 Carrollton single wide. The bathroom has a tall narrow linen/storage closet that is made with wood looking paneling, it abuts the sink vanity. I want to paint the closet & doors as it is a different wood hue than the vanity cabinet and another cabinet which is over the toilet. The rest of the room will be done with beadboard and paint. What do you suggest I do?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Linda!

      With bead board and a good trim you can give your bathroom a cute cottage look. Since that storage closet is already in a different paneling it sounds like it would be great to continue its ‘oddness’ and use it as an accent. Paint it in a complimentary color that goes with the rest of the room but isn’t used much. Maybe a nice blue or grey?

      I bet whatever you chose will be beautiful! Take photos for us and good luck!

  40. Mary Gillette says

    I have an older mobile home and we are using liquid nail and staples to hang the walk panels over the existing ugly ones. We are also porting them up flush so as not to have to use batten strips. At first the walls looked great-smooth and everything. A week later and I get dish walking in the room. The walls are wavy. Help!

    1. Mary Gillette says

      Sorry for the typos
      *wall panels
      *putting them up
      *dizzy walking into the room

    2. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Mary!

      So sorry you’ve had issues! There’s nothing worse than putting a lot of hard work into a project and it backfire on you! I’ve been there!

      It kinda sounds like a water issue, maybe the glue was water based and seeped into the drywall or gypsum? We’d be happy to take a look if you want to send me photos of the walls.

      My email is – If you do send photos, let me know what type of walls you used (drywall, VOG, paneling,etc) and the type of liquid nail. That may help.

      Thanks so much!

  41. Diana says

    We purchased a 20 year old modular with paneling in both bathrooms with the battens between panels. I see all the comments about remove the battens and prepare the surface. My problem is how to get the battens or strips off, is there a trick to it or what could I be doing wrong. It seems to be a sort of plastic and breaks leaving a ridge.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Diana!

      Usually the battons are just stapled into the panels so any pry bat type tool will work. Just slip the tool under the strip and pry gently along the length and it should come right out! Good luck!

      1. Nicole says

        Hi Crystal! Ours were actually in a “T” shape, and when I tried to use a pry bar to get it out, I had to actually get a hammer to break the back side of the strip. I couldn’t get it out otherwise. So now I have a beat up section of the wall (where I was learning how to make it work with the hammer) and I don’t know how to fix it. I painted over it thinking that would be ok, but it just makes it stick out more now! The cardboard like stuff that the walls are made of is not flush with the rest of the wall (it looks gapped and a mess), and I can’t figure out how to get it back right. Any suggestions? I was thinking to just run sand paper lightly over it and then repaint, but I’m afraid that might tear it up more.

      2. Crystal Adkins says

        Hi Nicole,

        Can you maybe send me a photo? My email is If it’s a vinyl on gypsum wall it’s going to be a different fix. When sheet rock is overly damaged it’s best to just cut the section out but I don’t want to tell you to do that if it isn’t necessary.


  42. Norma A. says

    Is there a 2 in 1 that is recommended? I imagine its easier to already have the primer in the paint that way you don’t have to do so many coats right?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      I’ve always like Valspar and Behr. I think with today’s chemical technology just about any mid-to-high priced 2-in-1 would work very well.

  43. Crystal Adkins says

    Hi Kay! Sounds like you have a gorgeous home that just keeps getting better and better!

  44. Ashley says

    Can u sand the walls before paint? I to have a home where paint has already been added and I can not get the old off?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Ashley!

      If your walls are the VOG panels with the glossy finish then no, you shouldn’t sand them at all. That topcoat is basically paper with some sort of gloss or glaze over it and it’s what holds the panel together and gives it what little bit of water protection it has.

      Thanks so much for reading MHL!

    2. wallace says

      You can as long as you are very gentle and use a fine sand paper like 220 grit and do it by hand. NO power sanders ! But keep in mind what Crystal said about the outer layer. You are not trying to sand anything off just lightly scuffing the gloss down from the existing finish . Be light handed and you should be fine.

  45. Loretta says

    I have started removing the strips and tried to mud and tape before i seen that using caulk to fill works best. But I have only started on one room. This sounds much easier and maybe look better. I don’t like textured walls or the strips. So before I get going on the next room what type of caulk do you recommend?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Loretta!

      Using caulk is a lot easier than the mud and tape method, especially if you’ve never worked with tape before. DAP is probably the most popular caulk brand and they have tons of different formulas. Here are a few that would work well (I found them all on their site):

      DAP® ALEX® Painter’s Acrylic Latex Caulk
      DAP® ALEX Fast Dry® Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone
      DAP® ALEX FLEX™ Premium Molding & Trim Sealant
      DAP® SIMPLE SEAL™ Paint Projects Easy-to-Use Home Sealant

      DAP® CRACKSHOT® High-Performance Spackling Paste (RTU)
      DAP® ELASTOPATCH® Pro-Grade Elastomeric Patching CompoundSmooth (RTU)

      Good luck! Just holler if you need anything else!

  46. Nancy says

    We have an early 1990’s park model in Mesa, AZ. The wallpaper is coming off in the living room. Underneath it I can see a dark paneling/wallboard of some kind. It has a rough feeling to it. Can we pull off the vinyl wallpaper and just prime and paint it? I haven’t been able to find any information on this topic.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Nancy!

      Yes! As long as its regular ole wallpaper. If its been there a while you may have to steam it off. Then prime and paint. It sounds like someone added wallpaper over the old faux-wood paneling. My house had it too!

      Let us know how it goes!

  47. Chelsea says


    I have a 2010 single wide mobile home. I’m going to be painting my walls soon, but I will be starting with our closet as a test run. I plan on removing the battens and then painting. I have heard that spraying ammonia on the walls before painting helps A LOT with the process!! Now, for the paint. I decided to not go with Glidden due to the horrible reviews. But, I have heard good things about Behr. Is there any tips or suggestions you could provide to make this as smooth as possible? Any help would be great!!!


    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Chelsea!

      Doing a test run is a very smart idea! I probably should put that in the article, huh? I researched about the ammonia and found that it is the most recommended de-greaser and cleaner by professionals. Plus it’s super cheap!

      I always seem to buy Valspar but only because it’s always on sale at my local Lowe’s. I’ve learned not to buy cheap paint but I’m a bit too frugal to pay more than $30 a gallon for paint. I suspect paint is one of those products that makes the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ ring true though. Plus I think most paint has a money back guarantee so if Behr doesn’t work well for you then you can get your money back.

      Cleaning the walls seems to be the most important step in the whole process and you’ve done your research so you should have no problem!

      In addition to this article, I wrote another article for about painting mobile home walls. It’s basically the same information but in a different format.

      Good luck. Take some photos for us!

      1. diona says

        VALSPAR t is ones of the worst paints to buy. to thick and didn’t do as it claims. A few more $ buy Behr. One of the top 3 recommended by painters.. i prainted half a house with Valsar… terrible. .I went and paid for Behr myself for a job (which is what I use usually).Father wanted it, against my better judgement I did what he wanted. .. never again.

  48. Diana says

    I just got an older Mobile Home; 1979 single wide.
    The previous owners already painted all paneled walls with the wrong paint and it is peeling/chipping everywhere. All flat white over dark paneling.
    Kitchen and Bathroom I am going to cover with bead-board but what do I do now with the already painted walls?
    Thank You very much for all this Mobile Home DIY information.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Diana! It’s great to hear from you! I’ve seen this problem a few times but I was always fortunate to be able to just peel the paint off. It was pretty fun…I bet in your case the wall was just cleaner in some parts and was able to bond to the wall better so peeling won’t work. I’d probably try to peel it off and then very lightly use a flat edge scraper and scrape it off using a light steam or heat (steamer or hair dryer).

      There are lots of paint remover products you could try but I’d be very careful cause it could eat into the wall itself. One of those articles mentioned that if you do use a homemade or store bought paint remover to clean the walls well afterward so that the chemicals are neutralized. That will also give you another round of cleaning the walls so your paint will bond to the wall wonderfully!

      Good luck! Please take some photos for us – would love to see how it all turns out for you!!

  49. mary says

    We have a park model vacation home. We want to add a back splash in the kitchen. Can you tile over the vinyl walls??

  50. Heather says

    Thank You for this information!

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