before and after interior door makeover

One of the biggest complaints of mobile homeowners is the laminated interior doors and cabinets found in a majority of homes. They are typically made of some kind of laminated fake ‘wood’ product with a shiny finish that can be bought for $59 at most mobile home parts stores. Yes, they are cheap but they have a lot of potential!

Minor details can make all the difference in a home. It’s amazing how much of a difference a little ingenuity can give your whole home. Here’s one creative homeowner’s idea for a mobile home interior door makeover. You’ll be amazed at the difference!

An Imgur user, cmcase, shared their step-by-step process for updating a standard interior door of her double wide. It’s a great way to give a door a whole new look at an affordable price!

Mobile Home Interior Door Makeover

mobile home interior door-before interior door makeover

Step 1: Clean, Clean, Clean

As with any painting project, the first step is to clean the entire area so that the paint and adhesive will bond tightly to the surface.  Some suggest cleaning laminated surfaces such as interior doors with a Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) solution but you can use anything as long it cuts grease and oil.

Step 2: Attach Paintable Wallpaper 

Attach 2 equal-sized rectangles of a heavy-duty paintable wallpaper. The homeowner used Allen + Roth White Strippable Non-Woven Prepasted Paintable Wallpaper.

Of course, you can get creative and make the wallpaper any size you want but it should be square or rectangle so that the next step will be easy.

The homeowner used 17 1/4″ x 34 3/4″ sized panels with 3 1/4″ around each panel but keep in mind that wallpaper has a tendency to shrink a bit once it dries completely. She goes on to explain how she installed the wallpaper:

The wallpaper I used was pre-pasted, so I put it in the bathtub with a bit of water for 30 seconds, took it out, concertina folded it (fold the ends in paste side to paste side) and let it sit for 5 minutes (per the directions on the packaging). Then I unfolded the wallpaper, lined it up with my marks on the door, and smoothed it out. I used a plastic wallpaper smoother tool that I bought at Lowes to make sure all of the air bubbles were out, and I left it to dry for a few hours.

mobile home interior door-interior door makeover step-by-step 1

Step 3: Add Trim Around the Wallpaper

You can use any type of trim you want! The homeowner used a half inch wide trim that came in 8-foot lengths and cut them at the same sized lengths of the wallpaper using a 45-degree angle on each end.  Sand the wood to a smooth finish then use a brad nailer with 3/4″ brads to tack the trim into place (or just a handy hammer but its hard to hammer into these doors because they aren’t solid, so keep that in mind).

Once the trim is up, use wood filler to cover the nail holes and smooth out any cracks.

mobile home interior door-interior door makeover step-by-step 2

Step 4: Paint

Use sandpaper to smooth down any dried wood filler first and then paint the door, trim, and wallpaper in any color you want.  White is great for the popular cottage look. Primer plus paint is always a favorite for those of us that have painted mobile home interior doors and cabinets because it covers well and lasts a while.

mobile home interior door-interior door makeover step-by-step 3

You can complete the interior mobile home door makeover by painting the hinges with a metal spray paint and adding a wider trim around the entire door. In all, you will have spent less than $30 (if you use leftover paint) to give your room a completely new look!

mobile home interior door-interior door makeover step-by-step 4

Please keep in mind that its details like the laminated mobile home interior door that make manufactured homes so affordable. Buying an affordable home and updating the minor issues is a great way to have the home of your dreams without drowning in debt. Plus, you’re adding your own touches and style to a home and enjoying the fruits of your labor is a great feeling. Have fun!

Related:  Using Duct Tape to Update Your Mobile Home Closet.

As always, thank you for reading Mobile Home Living!

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Crystal Adkins

Hello! I'm Crystal and I created Mobile Home Living® in 2011.I hope Mobile Home Living is an inspiring and informative resource for you. Please consider letting me feature your mobile home remodels, DIY projects, and makeovers. There aren't enough resources for us mobile home owners online and I want to change that! Thank you!

21 thoughts on “Mobile Home Interior Door Makeover”

  1. Hi. One of our bedroom doors came apart on us, and I wanted to know how to fix it. Can they be repaired with small nails?

    1. Hi Larry,

      You may be able to use small nails on the perimeter but most interior mobile home doors are hollow and made of paper baffles and with a thin veneer laid on both sides so glue is usually your best bet. PS: Interior doors can sometimes be bought for less than $50 at our local mobile home supply store – you may want to check at your local store.

      Best of luck!

  2. I have an older mobile home. The interior doors are “peeling” I believe the stuff is called thermo foil but I’m not sure. it looks like wood grain contact paper. Its awful. Wondering how to go about getting this stuff off so I can paint the doors??? thoughts?

    1. Hi Shannon!

      That paper stuff is a pain!

      I rarely say this but I think in a competition between effort and cost, buying new interior doors is probably the easiest thing you can do when it comes to dealing with mobile home interior doors with peeling paper or film. I really hate to say that cause I truly believe in the reduce, reuse, recycle (cheap) way of life but most of those doors are hollow and the thin veneer with the paper film glued to it just doesn’t provide much to do anything with. If you could tear or sand the paper off you’ll likely be dealing with a particle chipboard type wood and that can’t be sanded smooth. The only real remedy would be gluing a new veneer or a heavy wallpaper to it and that’s harder than it sounds.

      For around $30 you can buy a new interior door at Lowe’s – you’ll easily find the right width but the height will probably be too long. Just cut it off at the bottom and add the strip from the piece you cut off to the new end and call it a day. For around $50 you can buy actual manufactured home sized interior doors and install them quickly and easily with no sawing needed…lol

      Enough thin veneer or paintable wallpaper to cover both sides of a door is probably gonna cost about $30 per door (at least it did when I went looking for a way to update our bedroom doors) so buying new doors is only a tad more expensive and a lot easier.

      If the doors are solid wood, by all means keep them and tear that foil stuff of them and sand them smooth – it will look great!

      Best of luck! Thank you so much for contacting me!

      1. having dealt with tenants for years, it seems the bottoms always get bashed up. i put a wide trim strip across the bottom and the top. I also have done repairs with sheetrock mud. A home i am working on now, has a fist hole in the door. Can you imagine how nice one of those quilted picture/memory boards will look on that door? 🙂 … Other thought… if you could get it somewhat smooth, you may be able to just paper the entire door and put trim on the edges… i love this door upgrade, and got damaged wainscoting panels for cheap… that’s me…. and am using it to improve and fix a six panel door. Then when i saw this was done with wallpaper… i’m on it … love the finished look.

  3. I’m speechless at what an amazing difference this makes!! I am definitely putting this on my “one day I’m doing this” list. Thank you for sharing this…I came upon it via Pinterest 🙂

    1. That’s a great point Sienna! There are a lot of great glues on the market these days! I think most of us that are over 30 can’t quite grasp that today’s glues are actually good enough to use alone (for certain projects).

      Thanks so much!

    2. i’m a fan of the new gorilla wood glue. the other gorilla glue expands. you might be able to cheat and use two sided tape? i would do a quick caulk around and that would help hold it.

  4. Hey there! I was just perusing Pinterest and suddenly I saw a pin with a picture of my pantry door (that sponge painting is pretty recognizable, yuck!)! I’m so glad that you were able to use my Imgur post to create this! I feel like a star, lol!

    For the person that was wondering, I did just use a regular door knob for this. I had to rout out a spot for the latch on the door because the latch for our old knob wasn’t countersunk into the door at all, it just sat flush. I can take a few more pics and send them to you if you’d like!

    1. Hi Casie!

      Thank you so much for sharing your project on Imgur so people like me can share it! I love your doors and will be doing my own exactly like yours – you inspired me!

      If you have any more great projects please let me know! I’m always looking for new ideas to make my manufactured home beautiful! Thank you!

  5. Did you just use a standard door handle from a hardware store? Or did you have to order a custom one? Im having a terrible time finding handles that fit correctly.

    1. Hi Fallon!

      You should be able to find an interior door knob specifically for mobile homes. We installed new interior doors and just used the cheap ones at Lowes but we did have to adapt a bit by carving out additional space for the bar thing. I Googled searched and found some mobile home interior door knobs for $9.99 at Home Dept. Here’s the link: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Kwikset-Mobile-Home-Satin-Chrome-Bed-Bath-Knob-300M-26D-CP-7-8RFL-RCS/203392208?ds_e_ad_type=pla&cm_mmc=Shopping%7cBase&gclid=CjwKEAiAt4mlBRDXwt_m9ICU4DcSJAAS_X0WMJ82xZ03qHeN_hg8UD0gmqbYWhp2QEpkuh72IloRTxoCwyDw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

      Good luck!

  6. What a difference! I often forget how simple changes can make such a big difference. I just bought some paintable beadboard wallpaper and I am going to try this on my kitchen cabinet doors. I have never done anything with trim before so I am kind of scared of the project. Mistakes can be covered with wood putty and paint so I really need to just jump in and do it.

      1. We are in the process of redoing all the doors finally in our 91 double wide I looked at all the options and I like this one the best and it’s fairly simple to do . Cutting luan strips 3 1/2 wide and attaching all around the outside edge for a farm house door. I am priming & painting white & spray painting all the hardware dark grey almost black

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