Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

Painting Walls in a Mobile Home

Category Painting
Mobile homes, especially older ones, have walls that are not the traditional drywall construction found in stick built houses. This is a guide about painting walls in a mobile home.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 30, 20130 found this helpful

In taking off the panel spacers, I found that the gaps are about 1/4 inch. The existing panels have beveled edges. So I have to put a lot of putty/float in the gaps. Is there something else I can do? Help!

By Curly from Freer, TX

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 15, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had the same problem. Filling it with Spackle will not work sadly, Even when it looks level and smooth when you go to paint u will see where the gap was. There will be an indent. I would use a filler such as a flexible caulk to fill it in most of the way then spackle over it. Depending on how wide your gaps are it may be beneficial to cut a strip of wood for a filler then spackle over it. Just make sure you wait for 48 hrs for your compound to dry and harden. Its recommended for 24 but with the amount of compound you will need you will need to wait longer.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 8, 20170 found this helpful

We have painted over our glossy mobile home walls with much success.

We removed the strips and staples, then we sanded the glossy coating off the walls.

From that point on we treated the walls like newly hung drywall, taped and mudded the joints, added drywall screws at each stud (if you can call them studs) after several layers of mud and sanding in between layers they came out great, don't expect perfection everywhere. Then we primed and painted, it's a lot of work but well worth it.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
September 23, 2016

Can you paint modular home walls where the paper has been torn off? What is the process?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 31, 20170 found this helpful

did you ever figure out how to do this? i am curious as the last home owners attempted to peel it off thinking it was wallpaper and now the walls are ruined..

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
September 10, 2015

I am remodeling my mobile home. I read the answers to painting walls in a mobile home. You said to prime them first. Can you use a paint with the primer already in it to repaint the walls? These walls are not vinyl.

Thanks a bunch.

God bless.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 11, 20150 found this helpful

Unless they have been successfully painted before, in a similar color to what you plan to paint them, I'd prime them. When you purchase paint with primer, it is under the assumption that you are just freshening up previously painted walls in a like tone. If the walls are dark or bright and you want to paint them pastel or white, or vice versa, you have to prime to avoid needing more than 2 coats to cover, and if the walls have never been painted, you need to prime to avoid any unevenness or peeling disasters.

After you have done it the first time though, unless you make a drastic color change in the future you will be able to just use paint with primer and be done with it. These are things I learned working in the paint department at a home improvement store, both from the training there and from the contractors who come in to order paint. Priming this one time, although it adds a bit more work, may prevent more work in the future, and removes a lot of unknown variables from your project. Better safe than sorry!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 15, 20151 found this helpful

Wash walls down first and let dry. Use two coats of Kilz primer paint and then paint whatever color you like. No original colors will bleed through. This is the way to go and I spoke to someone recently who used this how to method and it turned out great. I have an outdated printed vinyl coating on our walls and this is how I am going to do ours, so it's more updated looking and gives me more color options for a change.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Read More Answers

0 found this helpful
December 21, 2013

I have a mobile home with pre-printed drywall. The previous owner painted over it and now it's flaking. I can't remove it with a scraper without destroying the wall what is my best option for removal without destroying the wall?

By Dustin

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 23, 20150 found this helpful

Scrap or sand off any lose paint then prime with some kliz primer then repaint with any latex paint, flat or gloss.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 23, 20150 found this helpful

P.S. Just to let you know paint dose not adhere to glossy surfaces. That is why the previous owners paint is peeling off the wall. He should have primed the wall before painting it.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

August 6, 20140 found this helpful

How can I paint over vinyl mobile home walls?

By Grace

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 7, 20140 found this helpful

I don't think this is something you should attempt. If you insist on it, contact a very reliable paint company and ask if they have a product that will work. I am very skeptical.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 7, 20140 found this helpful

There is nothing to fear. You just need good paint and rollers. It's no different than painting over paneling. Make sure they are clean, using some TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate) and you can also find help here.

http://www.thes  railer-home.html

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

October 2, 20130 found this helpful

I have a mobile home that was build with the flowered wall panels on the walls, but the flowered walls have been painted over. So the question is how to remove the paint and go back to the flowered walls?

By Kakkie

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 16, 20130 found this helpful

Why would you actually want the flowers there? I have them now and getting ready to paint over them!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 23, 20130 found this helpful

I would like to suggest you dont try to remove the flower panels. Go to resurfacing. I think resurfacing is easier than removing. Use primer and then paint.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
August 12, 2013

I want to paint the ceiling in our mobile home, but my husband is insisting it can't be done, as it is not dry wall. I would like it white and not the cream it is now. I believe it is vinyl. What prep and paint can I use?

By Diana

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 14, 20130 found this helpful

Many of the ceilings that I have seen in mobile homes are a vinyl hardboard that I do not think one can paint. You could inquire at a quality paint store where the staff actually know about paint, but I think that you will find that your husband is correct. If it is a vinyl coated board, I think you are just asking for a mess if you try to paint it.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 15, 20130 found this helpful

Hi - you can probably find out - for sure - at a store that specializes in mobile home items.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

March 27, 20120 found this helpful

Has anyone painted leaving the wall strips on in a mobile home? They are ugly, but I was wondering if I just painted them the same color as the walls what it would look like. Please post pictures if you have them.

By Bonita M.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 27, 20120 found this helpful

Yes you can! Our mobile home's walls have all been painted and we left the strips in place. In our former mobile home we took the strips off and filled and sanded the cracks with automotive 'Bondo'...looked great! Since we are older now we don't have the energy to do this again so we left the strips in place this go-round and you really don't notice them, especially since we have lot's of pics and art on our walls.

I'm sorry I can't send a pic but I am on a terribly slow dialup and unable to upload pics in a reasonable amount of time. :-(

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 28, 20120 found this helpful

We just did the same thing last year. We took down all the strips, spackled and taped the seams and bought a special "bonding" base at Sherwin Williams and then painted 2 coats over that. It looks beautiful. We did it in every room. No one can believe its not sheetrock. p.s. Be sure your home is good and level so that the seams don't crack if you have to re-level. Some of ours cracked but wasn't a big deal. We just re-spackled and painted the seams.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

August 3, 20140 found this helpful

What is best method to use when painting walls of moble home? I'm using a semi gloss with kilts primer. Should I use paint roller, brushes or a spray gun?

By D. Sangster from Dallas, TX

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 3, 20140 found this helpful

We went thru this last year and this is what worked for us. If you have the prefab walls, the problem is the gloss and pattern in the walls shines through. Using a roller, apply 1 coat of Kilz vertically and let dry. Apply a 2nd coat of Kilz horizontally and let dry (we used a roller for this as well). Then paint as normal. for some reason the horizontal really covered the shine and pattern of the prefab wall. Good Luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
March 14, 2008

I rent a mobile home. I painted and stenciled one bathroom. It looks pretty good. For bigger rooms, what do you do with the spaces/panels? Do they spackel well? Wallpaper is not in my budget. Thanks in advance.

Keeper from NC

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 15, 20080 found this helpful

The plastic strip that hides the space in the paneling. What is it called so I can purchase it? And for the paneling after the stripes are put on. What kind of paint texturing would be good?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 16, 20080 found this helpful

For Tanya Stone & others. Here's several places you can order mobile home repair stuff from. Just describe what you need & they'll be glad to help. I live in Washington State so I buy from these guys in Washington State:

VJ's Mobile Home Parts & Supply

1 (800) 600-6903

1 (360) 273-6903

But if you Google "Mobile home parts" then add your state like "Mobile Home Parts Florida" for example, you'll get a listing of places close to you.


Magic Mobile Home Parts:

OR: MOBILE HOME REPAIR .COM (click on "books & parts" at the top of the page) You can also buy down loadable books with detailed directions for DIY projects about most anything "Mobile Home".

These guys also have a forum where you can read & ask questions about mobiles, plus a decorating section in the forum area:

As far as "TEXTURE" goes, I'm going to do one of the Brow Bag Wall Treatments (there are many) Just Google "brown bag walls", but before you begin the brown bag wall treatment in a mobile home, first tape all the cracks (or lines) in the paneling with WHITE duct tape. I like the brown bag (or paper bag) technique because it covers a multitude of sins (& wall grooves). If you find the pictures here to dark for your decor (like I do) then you can go back over the walls with either a plain paint, a water base stain, or you can do what I'm going to do: Add one part white Acrilyc or Latex paint (I'm using an Ivory color) to 4 or 5 parts Glaze, (this will make a transparent paint that works like a stain) then with a clean rag or large sponge, wipe this mixture onto the walls in a circular motion.

When it dries, If it's not the color you like, then go back over it again with another coat. Another option: While it's wet, you can also wipe off the top-most areas, this way the color will only be in the cracks (you'll want to wrinkle-up your paper bags first).

Here's several of the many brown bag wall techniques: (there are also more on ThriftyFun)

http://www.bozz  nnyeManning.html

http://www.wuvi  ownbagwalls2.htm

You can also buy one of the many textured wallpapers that are made for painting. They even have one that looks like stucco. They have MANY patterns. The trick is, to pre-duck tape you walls with white duct tape, & buy the Thickest wallpaper you can, so it'll cover those wall grooves in the paneling. Buying a textured wallpaper is the easiest & least messy of the ways you can texture your mobile home's walls.

If you do decide to use real plaster or drywall mud, then be sure to only put on VERY thin coats. A little at a time, PLUS, you'll need to rough-up your walls first. The absolute best product to use is Flexall. (it's called something else in the Eastern US). Google " Flexall Joint compound"


http://building  LER-s268720.html

http://doitbest  t-sku-268720.dib

Christopher Lowell (the famous Designer) swears by Flexall. It sticks to anything & doesn't shrink like most joint compounds do, plus it's flexible. You can also sand it after it gets hard. But let me forewarn you, if you DO decide to fill in the paneling cracks, be prepared for a very long, hard, VERY mess job!. You'll have plaster dust EVERYWHERE. Buy some plastic for your rug AND to cover ALL your furniture! I myself WAS going to fill in all my trailer's wall-cracks, but decided this was just to big a job! Plaster or Flexall can also be PRE-tinted. OR they can be stained after you've put them up. (For more info post me a note on ThriftyFun, as I'm a Decorative Painter by trade)

Also, Reading back to the very beginning of the posts: For nicotine coverage, use a "High adhesive primer" like Zinsser 1-2-3 or Gripper BEFORE you paint, you can tint these (don't use Kills!) otherwise you'll have to put AT LEAST 4 coats of paint on, as the nicotine will continue to bleed through Been there, done that mistake!

As far as getting a sheen with Kills or another tinted primer. Paint over the top of the primer with a clear gloss or semi-gloss GLAZE, OR, you can buy "Artists Medium" this is basically clear paint, or paint without the tint. It comes in all sheens, but it's much more costly than glaze. You can also use a clear glossy water base Varathine. Any of these can be tinted with acrylic artist paint.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

April 10, 20140 found this helpful

I stripper wallpaper that was put over vinyl wallboard in my mfg home. I want to paint now and one painter suggested to paint over the backing of wallpaper, which is smooth. Or do I strip off the backing and take a chance on pitting or marking the vinyl wall board?

By Janice G from Winter Haven, FL

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 13, 20140 found this helpful

I would just paint over the backing. I did this and used a spray 'texturizer' to make it look like the other painted walls. It comes in a big spray can and you just spray the wall with it to make it look texturized. Works great. Then I used 'kiltz' and painted - looks just fine! Can find it at the big box stores!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

October 1, 20130 found this helpful

What type of paint do you use to paint over prepasted mobile home wall board?

By Naomi

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 3, 20130 found this helpful

I've done it by first thoroughly wiping every square inch of the wallboard with TSP or straight vinegar. Doing so roughs the surface enough for new paint to adhere.

Then I used a top quality primer like Kilz - two coats if the pattern shows through is enough to cover the old pattern and finish preparing the surface for the decorator colour.

(If done properly, your primer adheres to the original surface so the decorator colour can adhere to the primer so you get a lovely, even, long-lasting coverage)

And then I applied the decorator colour. Looked great and lasted years:) Be sure to read the labelled instructions on everything you use on the walls for best results.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

September 15, 20140 found this helpful

I want to re-paint the walls in my mobile home. I found out that the walls were not treated before painting the first time (I believe it was that vinyl shiny stuff), just painted on top of the vinyl. The paint is peeling in spots. What should I do before re-painting?


Answer Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
March 25, 2010

I have textured mobile home walls. I want to take the strips down and mud the gaps. How do I do this with the light texture on the walls? Has anyone ever done this before? Please let me know.

By Jennifer from KY

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 27, 20100 found this helpful

I've painted mobile home walls. The finish on these walls are usually made of vinyl, therefore need to be primed.(Ask your local paint store what kind to use.) The strips have to stay there inasmuch as they are covering the panel ends. You will probably have to replace the mud strips with new as they will more than likely break if you try to remove them. Mine couldn't be painted over because they have a paper coating on them. Good Luck

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

September 15, 20130 found this helpful

We are starting to paint a bedroom in our 1994 mobile home. The wallpaper is made on the wall and it started peeling. The surface underneath is not a smooth finish. What should we do so the room looks evenly painted?

By Toni

Answer Was this helpful? Yes


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 14, 20080 found this helpful

How do you paint the walls in a mobile home? We are trying to update my boyfriend's mobile home, which is about 10 years old. The walls have these strips of plastic type stuff every 3 feet or so, and I don't know how to get wallpaper out from under those strips or how to paint them and make it look good. Do I have to pull the plastic strips off? And what is the purpose of them, anyway?

Abby from Pensacola, FL


Painting Walls in a Mobile Home

The plastic strips you mentioned, are covering for the spaces between the panels. Removing them and spackeling them will give you a smooth surface to make the walls look better. A pro painter also recommends using Binz or Kilz. Thinking of doing the same. Being a smoker, I have washed the walls using window cleaner. It doesn't leave a film like some cleaners do. (11/12/2007)

By suem1009

Painting Walls in a Mobile Home

I am an asthmatic, and very sensitive to strong smelling substances like Kilz. Is there something a little more tame on the smell department? I have to just use paint and sand paper, and an open window now in my trailer.
I've painted almost every room in my 1988 trailer, it sure does help the looks. Accenting with border does too.

By glinda

Painting Walls in a Mobile Home


We painted the walls and ceilings in a mobile home 10 years ago and they still look fine. We painted the cheesy paneling, the wallpaper, both matte and shiny, and the plastic strips. We defied the experts and primed with water based primer, Bullseye 123, then a good quality paint. It's held up beautifully, even in areas that get regular scrubbing. We didn't sand anything. Most rooms required 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint. The exception was the wallpaper in my bedroom. This was the stuff that came permanently adhered to the sheet rock with strips between the panels. It had very dark brown dogwood branches that took 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of paint to cover. Removing the strips wasn't an option. I also live in FL, south of Tallahassee, and the sandy soil means mobile homes never stay level. Re-level them and it lasts about a week. Extensive spackel would have cracked. The strips seem to blend in with the wall when they're painted. We used satin finish paint on the walls and ceiling paint on the weird ceilings.

The vaulted ceilings in this old trailer are prone to mold and mildew from a lack of air circulation between them and the roof. Several times a year we have to go over them with a strong bleach solution, actually 1/2 and 1/2 water/bleach. The water based primer and paint are still holding up fine, even under that assault. The ceilings have long acoustical like panels with plastic strip on the edges. We primed and painted the whole thing with the same stuff.

Lou from Crawfordville, FL (11/12/2007)

By Miz Lou

Painting Walls in a Mobile Home

Batten strips on walls and a lack of "real" moldings and baseboards scream mobile home. I have used two techniques to solve the wall problem. My son taped and floated every seam in the living room and dining room. It was a nightmare of sheet rock dust, and took several days, but the results were beautiful and has remained flawless for over 2 years. However, he does this for a living and his results far exceed those of the average homeowner.

Another easier and cleaner technique I used in the bedrooms was to remove all batten strips, and hammer in any remaining trim nails. I used a razor blade to lightly score and peel off any wrinkled, loose or damaged vinyl from the wallboard. Then I applied textured, prepasted wallpaper from Lowes that is specifically made to bridge the uneven surfaces of paneling, block, etc. I selected a very light texture that ended up looking like linen on the walls ($11 per roll). I followed the manufacturer's directions, and used a cheap plastic wallpaper smoothing tool to smooth out bubbles without pushing the paper into the cracks. It's easy to apply, just don't overlap the seams. Even a tiny overlap will show. You can see through the paper when wet, but once dry, it's pure white and flaws are greatly minimized.

I let dry overnight and then painted with two coats of satin paint. The paper bridged the vertical gaps between the wall panels beautifully, because the weight of this special paper prevents it from falling into the gaps between the wall panels. Finally, I always apply pre-primed baseboards, and window/door moldings to complete the update. Don't scrimp on size, i.e., 3-4 inch baseboards look good. If you don't have an electric miter saw $15 will buy a miter box and handsaw that will work just as well. Tip, if your window frames are attached with hex head screws, remove and replace with sheet rock screws before applying window moldings so they will lay flat against the wall. Also a high-adhesive primer and white paint can make the cheap hollow-core, fake wood doors look better too. (01/12/2008)

By KoiFlowers

RE: Painting Walls in a Mobile Home

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

November 11, 20070 found this helpful
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
Related Content
Home and Garden Home Improvement PaintingJanuary 28, 2013
Mobile Homes in Snow
Winterizing Your Mobile Home
Painting Over Smoke Stained Walls
Painting Over Smoke Stained Walls
Two pop bottle fish hanging in a window.
Making a Pop Bottle Fish Mobile
Condensation in Mobile Home
Condensation in Mobile Home
Father's Day Ideas!
Mother's Day Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/04/28 05:11:05 in 3 secs.
Loading Something Awesome!