Painting over Vinyl Wallboard

nancedarFebruary 25, 2006

My daughter bought a very nice 1997 MH and wants to paint over the patterned vinyl-coated wallboard. Anyone know what kind of paint to buy and what prep is needed to cover this slightly textured vinyl successfully?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Roughen the surface with sandpaper and use an epoxy paint.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 11:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are probably better covering it with another coat of vinyl wallpaper in the color of your choice. Maybe you could sand it, but I would have to see that done.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i've had excellent luck using Behr Premium Plus Paint. Our wallboard had the vinyl coating (but without a wallpaper pattern, just a little bit of a swirly texture). Some rooms were primed first, others weren't. I didn't really notice any difference in the ease at which the paint went on, all rooms that were painted with Behr Premium (whether primed or not) were easy to paint and the paint has held up well. The only room that we painted with a different brand of paint (walmart brand) we had a lot of problems with. The paint smeared when it was rolled on, and if you brushed against it it peeled off.

hope this info helps!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 9:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have painted over nearly all of my rooms-3 of which had the vinyl wallpaper print. The best way is to simple go to Home Depot and get a water based primer called "Gripper". Roll on a THIN coat-evenly on the walls, then you can apply whatever sheen you want. I used a satin finish on some & semi-gloss on others.I also used Sherwin Williams paints.
NOTE: A professional painter who did my living room-also told me when doing any moldings? Prime with the Gripper and then paint the moldings with Rust-O-Leum paints for a hard durable finish.
ALSO-I used Gripper on my laminated dressers & nightstands & old brass colored lamp bases, then painted them white in my shabby chic bedroom. You'd swear these 'mobile home furniture pieces' were real wood! No need to sand walls or dressers, etc-just aply that primer in a thin even coat!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 11:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 5 gallon can of Gripper primer I've been using in my porch repair. It's great paint. I still have my fingers crossed when it comes time to use it on my vinyl walls. Glad to hear it's worked for you, Sharon fl.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 1:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okay, I have painted over our walls...all of them and some more than one time in the last 4 years. It's really easier than most of the others are making it sound.

I didn't use primer in the beginning and I certainly did not go around sanding every wall. I have used it (Usually Kilz water based primer) since when I was making big color changes but that's it. Just make sure the walls are clean and start painting. In most rooms I did 3 coats of paint to get a good coverage but believe me, it was WORTH it in the end.

I use Color Place paint from Wal-Mart and have had no problems with getting it to stick or stay and it's considerably less in cost than other brands. I have tried others but I still end up doing the same amount of coats so might as well save myself the money.

I have found that I was so used to being able to wipe the walls and such that I prefer the semi-gloss to anything else but also have used Satin quite a few times. I have kids and well, they make messes :). It also seems to hold up much better.

Paint is certainly your friend in a MH and it makes the world of a difference! I have painted so many items I can't tell you but it's really brightened up the place and made it our own!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 8:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not sure my walls are the same as yours but they do seem to be "plastic-y" and there are nasty seam covering strips that I really don't like. Little by little I am taking those down, spackling the gaps, and priming and painting. So far this has worked best for me:

1. Remove those strips (if they bother you like they do me) and fill the gaps with flexible, lightweight spackle...the kind that promises not to crack. Either smooth it out as you go or go back and sand a little. Don't get crazy...the rest of the wall has some texture to it anyway.

2. PRIME the walls with something like Zinzer (spelling?) I tried an experiment in my kitchen on a wall I was covering with a back board for mounting a pot rack. No primer + paint...I could lift the paint with a light fingernail. Primer +'s there to stay. AND the color is smooth and even and it only took one coat, even over the wild, dark red and blue flowered stuff. The paint alone didn't cover it.

3. Paint with any halfway decent paint. I use latex...usually the stuff from Walmart. It works, they mix the colors for free, and it doesn't smell too awful. Works for me.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 11:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks all, for posting your experiences. The information is very useful. I have been wondering what I would need to do if I decided to paint the walls in my MFH.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I posted pictures in another thread about painting on vinyl walls. We used Lowes American Traditions and didn't do any special prep. It was all very easy....


Here is a link that might be useful: before and after pictures

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 12:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to share this information and ask if anyone has ever had this problem. I used a primer (wal-mart brand Kilz) first. I used 3 coats then I painted over the primer and after it dried the paint just peeled right off! I mean in sheats not small pieces. Does anyone have any advice on why this happened?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pam, could there have been some type of residue on the walls before hand? Did you try scrubbing them first?

Also, did you allow time for each coat of paint to dry first? If you paint too fast, the other layers won't have time to adhere and they can pull right up.

Sorry you had so much trouble. I haven't seen that happen here.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 7:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for the inspiration, I have begun the process of removing those "wonderful" strips. Any additional info or advice would be appreciate it.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 2:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My MH is an 80's model and we have the wallboard also. My only problem is the wallboard is faux paneling. The grooves are not deep like real paneling, but will still leave an indention if I painted over it. Any suggestions?

I used walmart paint in my bathroom, kitchen and kids bathroom. The previous owners had painted it pink and it was peeling and chipping. I sanded the walls and sanded off the old paint (in my bathroom) and repainted, that was about 5 months ago (for my bath) and a year ago for the kitchen and kids bath. Now, for some odd reason, there are these yellow streeks running down all the walls I painted. It can be wiped off, but it's annoying. I've been told it could be nicotine from the previous owners (they lived here 12 years and smoked) and I've heard it's old paint, and the paint in the bathroom is still peeling. Any suggestoins?


    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 4:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I run a program for kids and we just purchased a trailer and there are vinyl panneled walls that have been patched with drywall and then there are pieces that are peeling off. I have seen the photos and read all of the comments. Since these walls have been used as a classroom should I wash the walls all down first, patch with the dry wall tape/DAP mud, KILZ primer and then one coat of paint? Right now the walls are soft enough to staple into to hang the kids art, alphabet letters and other classroom decorations. Will painting the walls create a problem with doing these things? I'm not sure if anyone would be able to answer these questions but the trailer companies want to charge an arm and leg to help and being that we don't have that much money I need to do this on my own. Thanks if you can help with any info. Oh ya...I have 3 days to get all the work done. Location: S. California

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 2:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the walls have grease or dirt on them I would wash them first. You shouldn't have any problems when it comes to hanging stuff on painted walls (thumb tacks will push right through). When it comes to the sheen of the paint there are a couple of considerations. Flatter the sheen the better it hides imperfections. The higher the sheen the easier to clean. I hope this has been helpfull for you.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi there,

How about tips on how to paint over textured vinyl wallboard? I have hideous walls in my new place and LOTS of holes. I know I can fill them in with spackle but after sanding those areas they will be smooth...and the walls are not. They have kindov a wicker print/texture on them. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 9:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sister in law did all the walls in her doublewide..she even removed the battens and caulked them, but they did crack so i don't advise removing the battens..however..a good primer and 2 coats of any paint should work fine..scrub them clean first

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 1:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I removed the battens, (those ugly strips) filled and taped with dry wall compound. When that was good and dry, I slathered compound all over the walls to give it texture, when it was almost dry I knocked down any high spots with one of those dry wall sanding pads. It really made a mess. I primed with Kilz and let it dry fully. Then I painted with Walmart paint. It turned out great. It's been 2 years and I've had no problem with anything cracking or peeling (it even survived the earthquake we had last spring). I wasn't sure it was going to work when I started it but I figured what the heck I won't know until I try it. My next project is going to be my kitchen--those ugly batten strips and the horrible striped wall paper is enough to drive me mad. I think I'm going to pull the strips down, tape and mud the cracks and use a textured wallpaper thats paintable. I'm sure I'll have to use a wallpaper sizing on the walls before papering. My attitude is to just go for it. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I rent a MH, the living room is the only room with textured drywall walls. The three bedrooms, 2 baths and laundry room, kitchen and hall all had the wallboard covered walls. The owner had painted the kitchen so I knew it could be done. I just didn't know how. So like last poster mentioned, I just went for it. I bought Walmart Semi-gloss paint (that's all I ever use) and simply painted the walls. Some of them I did a faux finish, some I did solid. In the kitchen I didn't like the baton strips either, so I took em down and covered the walls w/drywall mud and did a colorwash over them. I wash them a few times a year, no problem.

The rest of the walls have enough texture on them to give some depth. Now every room in the house is painted. I used "dune" for solid walls, and "dune" and "spanish Chestnut" for the colorwash. It is a very neutral color and goes well w/ everything.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 3:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If it's the same type in my double wide I just painted it. No sanding, prepping of any sort. Looks great. I don't see what all the fuss is about.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 2:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm so glad I found this post! My walls are actually pretty nice most are white I just need a change after 10 years. I've been thinking about painting my walls for a few years, but have been afraid to, thinking I would completly ruin them.
Are there any more experiences with taking the battens off, I hate them, but I don't want them to crack either. I would like to hear from more of you that have taken the battens off & what you did to cover the cracks up.
Thanks to everyone else for the good advice on how to paint these walls. JUDY

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 8:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am new to this site. I have just spent the last week scraping off the paint in my livingroom due to it not sticking to the walls! I went to Lowes and asked for help the first go round. I primed the walls with Kilz and used the Latex paint that was suggested. I now have about 5 rooms in my house that if you brush against them, the paint peels off!! I am redoing one at a time. This is a brand new house straight from the manufacturer, so the walls were clean. I was told to use oil base paint, which no one is carrying anymore. So, if someone will please tell me what kind of paint I need to use I would greatly appreciate it!! I don't want to have to scrape anymore walls. lol

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 2:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just moved into an 80's MH. The walls are not my taste and I want to paint them. Tried a test area and the paint peeled. Cleaned and prepped it well - with primer and without - what am I doing wrong? I need help - I really don't like the papers in this place. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have redone several rooms in my neighbor's homes here in our park. One room was for a 'bachelor' & the bedroom walls were papered in flowers. I was told to use an OIL based PRIMER which I did-then could use any latex paint to paint with. HD rep said by using a water based primer-it might lift the wallpaper-as many pre-pasted wallpapers use water to adhere them to your walls (made sense!).Sure stunk-had to keep the windows open a couple of day tho. The room turned out great.
The secret to using any primer (I ONLY use Gripper)-is to NOT be in a hurry to paint over it the minute you think it's dry. It has to 'season' for 3-4 days to properly accept paint. Also-the reason most new paint peels off are twofold:
1. Greasy walls weren't washed or some existing paints on the walls may have been a gloss or semi-gloss or have a satiny sheen whereas-a latex primer isn't the best solution-an oil primer is better. You can use water based primer over a matte or satin paint but NOT on a semi-gloss or gloss paint.

2. You are applying the primer on- way too thick-then when you apply the topcoat of paint-it will peel right off. I learned this very early in my room makeovers...10 yrs ago.

Note..Why Gripper? It is a primer that will cover ANY slick material..formica, vinyl, brass, gloss paint, etc. It has to be applied evenly- (I roller it quickly sometimes, then use a good brush to smooth it out.One coat-don't keep going over it. Most of all-let it 'season' for at least 3-4 days before painting w/a Latex paint. Most folks tend to think by applying a thick coat of primer-you won't have to use as much topcoat. Primer's purpose is to stop any stains, watermarks from seeping thru and to cover any printed design in the wallcovering. Usually 1 coat of your paint will cover your primer-but if not? Better to apply another thin coat of your paint vs a thicker coat of primer at the get go.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 9:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i'm new to this web site and new to mh.i've been in mine for 6 it.i hate the strips and color.there isn't any wall and almost white.i'm thinking about getting paintable wall paper in the beadbroad design.putting up 36 from floor.then chair rail,then paint the upper part.ofcourse i will have to paint the wallpaper,but that way i can get the look i'm going for.have anyone ever used the paintable wallpaper?wondering if i would need to prime going to use that gripper primer,sound like its the cat meow.any ideals or help will be very greatful.trish

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 7:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i have gotten my kitchen finish.looks great.i have put up tile behind my cabinets,backsplash.looks great.i took down strips,spackled the seams,then primed with gripper primer.put up wallpaper,36 inches off floor,beadboard patten,paintable,then painted the lower part green,the upper a tan.put up border for my chairrail. now when u walk in it looks like a real house instead of a trailer.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 7:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

any more ideas I have the white textured vinyl wall board what products to use to fill in gaps after taking down slats does drywall mud work better than maybe caulk spackle?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We just painted our bathroom. The vinyl wallboard has a stripe pattern in the background and flowers printed on it. I hated the pattern. We removed the trim strips and then taped and mudded the seams. Now that the paint is on we can see the nice stripes and the mudded seams. I wouldn't mind the subtle stripes, but the seams look horrible. Now we're trying to figure out if we should try to remove the mud or roll on a texture and start painting again. It's very frustrating.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 10:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For all of you painting over your vinyl wall board.
I have been doing this for years. 1st remove all the battens that cover the joints, Wash your walls down with TSP,then fill the joints with a Red Devil One Time Spackle or equivalent, give it a light sanding to knock down any ridges. Then Prime the wall, (at least over your joints) then paint with a good quality paint. If your wallboard has a swirling texture you can use a paint brush to mimic the texture pattern over top of the Spackle before it drys. I've taped and textured with drywall mud but I prefer this method. Its a lot less labor, time, and expense and the results are pretty much the same. If you want it to look like a stick built home you could always get a spray hopper and spray on an orange peel texture over the entire wall before priming. Nobody will be able to tell the difference between your paneling and sheet rock.

Good Luck!!!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 4:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks to the help here I am confident about painting my vinyl wallboard but I have also set my heart on wallpapering a feature wall. The paper I want to use is pre pasted vinyl (over vinyl, yikes) I am not happy about using a water based paste between the old wall board and new vinyl wallpaper as I am not sure how it will be able to dry out between two impervious vinyl layers. So, can I buy special paste for vinyl applications and just apply it over the existing (dry) pre paste?

Any help or suggestions are most welcome. Sue

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd be hesitant to put wallpaper directly over what's essentially vinyl wallpaper (though as I write that, I can recall hearing horror stories of people trying to remove multiple layers of perhaps it's do-able). Zinsser makes a primer called Shieldz that's designed for covering wallpaper that can't be removed, but also as a primer before applying wallpaper. We used Shieldz before texturing our spare bedroom. I'd wash and lightly scuff sand your accent wall, then prime with Shieldz, then apply your wallpaper as usual (if you can't find Shieldz -my Ace quit stocking it but can special order it- a different bonding primer, like BIN, would work similarly).

Oh...and if you don't need the primer to cover a pattern, Shieldz has a clear Wall Size that specifically says it works on vinyl.
Shieldz Clear Acrylic Wall Size

Here is a link that might be useful: Shieldz Universal Wallcovering Primer

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 12:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can now answer my own question and thought others may be interested in my experience. I did buy the pre pasted vinyl wallpaper and a special vinyl on vinyl paste. It cost $13 to paste one roll of paper so for me only an option for a feature wall. I pasted the back of the paper over the dry pre pasted glue and applied directly to the well cleaned vinyl wall board. I had to take care not to get glue on the surface of the paper and kept wipeing it down as once the glue dries it would be impossible to remove. It was a hot sunny day and I actually watched it drying. There were few 'bubbles" and they dried out very quickly. Next morning I had a beautiful red feature wall and I was thrilled and relieved. I should tell you I am quite an experienced paper hanger.
All my painting has been very successful and BIN is my primer of choice. Don't like the smell or the brush cleanup but I love the product.

Thanks to all those who went before and posted here. It gave me the confidence to go ahead with my makeover.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for reporting back, Sue! I'm glad your project turned out like you wanted. :)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 1:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have been wallpapering our 2004 Palm Habor doublewide with log look wallpaper using vinyl to vinyl glue and it works very well.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My son in law who is a painting contractor, painted the walls in my mobile home with Kilz and then a good quality paint. Some walls were the vinyl and some were paneling. It has held up real well and looks really nice. He put texture on some of the walls too. It looks like a house, not a 1971 mobile that it really is.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To remove those battens (them nasty strips), I purchased a drummel. It is a small power tool with hundreds of uses around the house (my wife says they use one where she has her finger nails done at). All hardware stores carry them. They start from around 30 dollars to over a hundred. They cut, sand, drill, and do many other jobs.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 10:37PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Grouted Vinyl Tile & moving Mobile Home
I have recently purchased an older mobile home. It...
manufactured homes info
Hello. I am in need of information on manufactured...
Regular furnace in MH?
Can you put a regular furnace in a MH? Is it primarily...
Heat Pumps
Is your New manufactured home Energy Star certified...
Moving an old Windsor (70's) single wide SAFE?
A friend of mine has a 1970 ish Windsor 14X 70 or 12...
Sponsored Products
Crackled View to The Coast II Wall Art
$439.00 | FRONTGATE
Eliot Leather Bumper Chaise - Brighton Polinesia Blue
Joybird Furniture
Victorian Garden Giclee Art Base Table Lamp
$99.99 | Lamps Plus
Russia Ash Wood Base Mini Desk Lamp
Lulu Planter
Grandin Road
Cypress Mission Chair w/Sunbrella Cushions
Pink Baby's First Tooth Box - PINK
$135.00 | Horchow
Series 7017 Blue Cloud Black Sconce
$144.00 | Bellacor
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™