painting on vinyl walls

hummingbirdluverOctober 4, 2006

Has anyone tried the venetian plaster on the vinyl walls? And can the vinyl be steamed off like wallpaper?

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The vinyl is actually a LOT easier to just paint over than to try and remove. I had an incident where I was trying to remove one of those strips in the center of the wall and it made the vinyl wallpaper start to rip off. That stuff isn't meant to come off. It's attached to paneling but it's not smooth and the wood starts to splinter! I ended up having to put up paintable wallpaper to cover the mess. Not again!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 9:37AM
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sweets98, Did the paint stay on the vinyl? Was told one needed a special vinyl paint. I would'nt mind painting one of my rooms.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 9:19PM
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Just painted the master bath and the master bedroom with Lowes American Tradition Series and didn't have any problems

Bath before and after:

Bedroom before and after:

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 5:05PM
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lynnenefan, loved your bedroom,a beautiful color, I ,m convinced.
Have an old quilt on the wall behind my bed like you do.
Loved the story on your "PAGE" also. Lost my husband of 48 yrs 3yrs ago. It was hard.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 11:49PM
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Yes, we venetian plastered right over the vinyl. We wanted the strips between the wallboard sheets taken off, but didn't want to have to deal with the difference in texture between the areas of where the gaps were (after having filled in the gaps and painted, there was a difference in texture), so our solution was to venetian plaster the entire room. We LOVE it and have had so many compliments on it. We did a pretty rough coat, lots of trowel marks and it really gives a nice farm-housey feel to the room. It has held on amazingly well to the walls, and the only areas I've had that have needed touching up are where some of the higher/raised areas have been brushed against in high traffic areas. A friend of mine who lives in a stick built house and did her venetian plaster over regular drywall has had the same problem with her raised areas. I will look to see if i have a picture to post, if not I will take a pic and post it for you too see.

Also, we have painted every room in our mobile and have never used a "special" vinyl paint, nor have we primed the walls. We use good quality, high coverage paint and take our time. The results have been wonderful with no peeling or flaking and nice smooth coverage.

jiggreen :)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 3:36PM
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Since I posted those other pictures of our remodel we have been busy with the next phase - this is our family room and dining area. THe kitchen is now done but haven't gotten pictures taken - it is the same color as the dining area, No problems at all with paint peeling and we didn't do anything special...

family room - before.....


dining area - before....


architectual changes - we added beams and archways between some rooms - before...


    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 8:28PM
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lynnenefan, did you remove the strips on the walls, or did you add wider ones which you painted white. I don't notice any strips in your bathrrom or bedroom.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 6:19AM
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We removed the strips from the bath and bedroom and dining area and just put drywall mud in the gaps and I just kinda lightly roughed it up to look like the textured finish on the wall. I wanted the cottage look in the family room so just put up wider strips where the seams were - they are 1x3's......


    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 4:56PM
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I've just recently finished re-doing all the walls in my second manufactured home. In the first home, I stripped the walls of the vinyl paper, but on the second home I decided to try it without removing it. It worked out just as well, with one exception.

Here are the steps I took:
1. remove all trim pieces including ceiling and floor trim. I started in one corner and numbered each piece to make putting them back up easier.

2. Fill in the gaps between panels with drywall mud, and cover the seams with drywall tape and mud just like you would normal drywall. Let dry and sand smooth.

3. If you need to add a second coat of drywall mud, it's VERY IMPORTANT that you prime the first coat with latex primer before you add the second coat of mud. Otherwise, the second coat will cause the first coat to bubble and you'll have to start all over.

4. When you've got the walls dried and sanded smooth to your liking (I'd suggest using a lamp to get angled light rather than overhead lighting to make sure the seams are smooth) you can either paint or use some other sort of texture. I used an air compressor and a texture gun I picked up at the hardware store for 10 bucks to spray the "orange peel" texture onto the walls. It was fun and easy!

5. Put the trim back up, and you're finished!

I now have the look of a stick-built home rather than the sometimes cheap and outdated look of vinyl-covered paneling.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 9:52AM
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lynnencfan, I love what you have done with your rooms.

Great job! My wife got some good ideas.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 12:00PM
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I would like to know if anyone has experienced this when painting on vinyl walls in mobile homes. I used 3 coats of primer (kilz) first then used a dark cranberry color over the primer. The paint and primer just peeled off (after it dried) in huge sheets. Does anyone have a clue why this happened.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 10:18AM
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Hi all!
Boy am I glad I kept searching for info on what to do with these awful vinyl coated walls, in my single wide MH! You have all given me some super wonderful ideas about how to make my house into a cozy home with color. I sold my house in NE Pennsylvania a little over 2 years ago and moved to NW FL. We have 3.25 acres and are in an agricultural area east of Pensacola and I LOVE being able to look out my kitchen window and look at Goldie the Palomino two properties over and hear roosters crowing to wake me up, my little slice of heaven as it were. Best of all I love the sound of bird song in the morning and, the smell of fresh air. Where I lived up north in my twin home, I could shake hands with my neighbor in the next house w/o going out the door we lived so close to one another, lol.

Now I can add some color to my interior spaces too! I am not sure I want to remove the connecting strips though and will probably paint them the same color of the wall so they will sort of blend into the background. As to the strip of moulding at the top I am still not sure. Decorators say that if you have low ceilings don't put up crown mouldings, as it will make the ceiling seem even lower so I think I will change it out to actual wood, or perhaps that newer light weight styro material, as it is now just a cardboard type material, and paint it the same color also.I am concerned about the top strip absorbing the paint and possibly swelling? anyone had this problem? Any thoughts?

Another thing is, this house has no wood trim ANYWHERE! nothing around the windows at all and the doorways have the same trim as the tops of my walls, so we'll be removing that awful stuff and adding real wood mouldings there too, and also be changing all the doors out as well to panel doors. These plain luan doors look horrible and cheap, I am going to experiment with one door first, see if I can add wood trim to it and make it look like a panel door, paint it and see how it looks, will let you know and send pics when I figured out how, lol.
Another project we are going to begin next year is to enclose the deck the previous owner built. It is a whopping 16 X 30 and has a roof, so we are going to incorporate it into the main house structure to make a new entry/living-room. Our tiny little place is only 2 BR 2 Bath now so we think this will be a good benefit for overall square footage.
Any more ideas please be sure to share them, I am all ears, lol...


ps. Lynncenfan, Your pics are super and a true inspiration! Thanks for sharing them!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 11:31AM
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You will be so happy that you took the time to fix up your new home! So many people think they are just mobile homes and don't do much work to them but you can update and remodel a mobile home, too. Paint REALLY makes a HUGE difference!

We have also replaced some of the "Trim" with wider stuff and have worked on trim around the windows. The only thing is DH isn't so gung-ho anymore because he keeps saying how in about 5 years, we won't be living in this single wide anymore. We want to put a double wide on another part of our property so we have more room. I LOVE my home, I just wish I had MORE storage! I love Primitive Antiques and I'm just about out of room for furniture and I would LOVE to have more some day and a basement to fix up and mess around in!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 7:48AM
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I'm bumping this up to answer some new questions on painting vinyl walls.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 3:31AM
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Another way I covered my vinyl walls to attempt to make them look like drywall was from a tip I found on another internet site.

I took off those ugly strips and filled the grooves. Unfortunately, not all the grooves evened out...I should have used drywall mud instead of spackling compound according to a drywall expert. After cleaning the walls I used a primer, Kilz, I believe. After that I used this great wall covering which is very heavy. It's like wallpaper but much heavier and you are instructed to apply it horizontally. I found it at a local paint store. After THAT (!) I primed once again. I applied an eggshell paint and the texture from the paper gave it the look and feel I was looking for.

Just another method. Time consuming but well worth it. Oh, I did this in a bathroom which has no ventilation and it is holding up great!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 11:46PM
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My husband and I got married a year ago and bought our first home. A double wide 4 bed 3.5 bath on an acre of land.
I did my master bed room and other rooms with just plain ol white paint to get rid of the horific pattern of vinyl walls. I removed the strips in the den but not in the bedroom. The bedroom looks ok with the strips and the den looks awful with out the strips and just gaps. It was just to get the ugly out, but it is not finished. what are the best ways to get the gaps out and bring in color to the rooms?
Also if you have more pictures that always helps for inspiration. The pictures I have seen so far look great!!! Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 6:26PM
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Lynnencfan, could you tell me more about your ceiling beams in the after pictures? They look really good - much more substantial than the before strips. But are they heavy/expensive/difficult to build?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 4:33PM
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lindakimy - didn't mean to ignore your question just got back to this forum - I spend most of my time in the garden web forums. They weren't hard at all to do - at least according to my hubby - he did the following

1 - routed out a 2x4 to screw up over the furring strip

2 - nailed a 1x4 over that that we had pre-painted

3 - cut 1x6 in half and nailed them to the sides - also prepainted

I hope these two pictures kinda show the process

he did it all pretty fast. The last pictures shows the walls before we had put the 1x3's up to cover the strips we took off but after we had painted. We used the beadboard already there as the backs of the built-in that you can see in prevoius pictures in this thread

Hope that helps explain it for you....


    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 11:14PM
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WOW! I am so impressed with what you all have done with your mobile homes! My husband and I have a DW in a park here in NY. We are throwing around the idea of putting it on a piece of land on a foundation, we LOVE our house but hate the park we are in. I want to get rid of the strips and drywall the whole place to make it look like a regular home. Is this expensive to do? Should we just fill in the strips, can you tell up close that there were strips there or should we do the whole wall?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 5:33PM
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One of the paint stores that supplies the pros told me to prime the vinyl with XIM. Pronounced "zim". Says it is the best primer for that purpose. I have not yet used it. Expensive.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 7:48AM
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Thanks for the instructions and pictures, Lynn! That does help.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 11:47AM
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pam123 mentioned that her paint came off in sheets but everyone else seems to have no problems with applying paint directly to the vinyl walls. Any idea why there have been different experiences? Perhaps it is based on the year the home was manufactured because they have used different products over time?

I just purchased a 2000 MH and want to paint almost every room because the patterned walls are hideous. Any advice? I don't want to end up with peeling paint but I also don't want to put extra time, effort, and money into it if it's not necessary.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 10:52PM
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Peeling paint is usually a nightmare to correct. Lots more effort than doing it right to begin with. Paint sticks only to whatever is immediately under it. If it is accumulations of grease vapors and dust, peeling is inevitable. Absolutely clean surfaces are required for good paint adhesion. There are other causes for peeling, but lack of preparation is one of the principal causes.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 12:46PM
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lynnencfan, those look great. I have been wanting to paint these horrid looking walls in my DW. I'm so glad I found this forum. Now I know how to do it. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 11:21PM
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Lynne - did you use drywall tape with drywall mud? And did you prime any of the walls? Standing close to the wall, can you noticeably see where the batting was before? We're purchasing our first home (a 2000 MH) and I'm dying to get rid of the dark green wall paper in the living room, as well as the batting strips that connect the panels.

I hate to bump this thread back up, but I'm dying to know since Lynne's results look so fantastic. Excellent job on all the room, BTW. They look fabulous!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 6:57PM
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I'll bump it up again -- I'd like to know too!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 4:30PM
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Hi - Thanks for the compliments - sorry I didn't get back sooner. To answer your questions - no we didn't use any taping. We just filled the cracks and then smoothed them over. I did leave a little bit of texture to kinda match with the walls which were slightly textured. If you stand real close - yes you can find the seams if you are looking for them but then you can do that with wallpaper also so that doesn't bother me. From a distance they look great and we have gotten many compliments on how nice the place looks.

It has been close to a year now and we have had absolutely no problems with any peeling or the seams showing up or cracking. I might add that this is a smoke free house so there was no nicotine build-up and we are out in the country so there are no factory emissions in the air. I sometimes think that enviromental issues play into how well paint may stick to a surface. When my late husband and I lived in northern Delaware we had a terrible time with paint surfaces and I now blame alot of it because we lived up hill from a steele factory and refineries along the Delaware River. Our furniture and surfaces always felt sticky and dirty no matter how much I cleaned them or dusted. I don't have that problem here at all.

Hope that answers all your questions....


    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 10:06AM
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I'm so glad I found this thread! I am in the process of deciding what to do in my girls room. Several years ago I primed and painted and haven't had so much as a single problem with it. It needs it again now that my dd has finally learned to quit drawing on the walls. My older daughter is notorious for sticking nails and tacks in the wall, so it's full of holes. The first time I painted, I puttied and sanded the holes, but you can still see where they were. Little bumps everywhere.

SO... I would like to texture their walls, not a lot, just enough to make any imperfections look normal. KWIM? Removing strips will be hard, esp. with the paint on it, and I have a shelf along one wall that I can't figure out how to remove (screws have been puttied over). Any ideas on that one?

Thus, what is going to be my easiest coarse of action here? I'd like to use the texture paint you can get at Home Depot. Should I just do it right over the strips, even though they'll still stick out...

If I used the sprayer to spray texture on (my inlaws have one but they've not used it yet), how much room do you need and how big of a mess does it make since I'm dealing with carpet and a bunkbed that has to stay in the room???

Anything I do I have to do myself as my dh is SO busy, and other than painting, I'm really not all that handy. LOL

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I love the pics that Lynne has posted, esp. your living room with the yellow and white strips. That is so neat!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 11:30AM
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Did you use a spray on texture on your walls or one you used a knife to do?
I love the pictures!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 4:34PM
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mjva - if you are speaking about my pictures and walls - no I didn't use a spray. The walls were already textured panel board that came with the house originally. When we removed the strips we filled the cracks in with drywall mud and then I kinda hit that with a sponge to replicate the wall texture - then we painted....


    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 4:45PM
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I was looking at your pictures and it looks like we have the same wallboard. It is sort of a greyish white with a textured sort of look to it. We have some that are flowers also. I got excited when I saw how yours turned out. I am so nervous about painting as I saw one house where it looked awful!
One more small question, did you use spackle or regular drywall mud? My husband was worried it would crack.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 9:21PM
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Oh my goodness! I can't believe how fun this is! I am in the early stages of buying a MH for myself and my young son but was concerned about whether or not I can paint the walls inside or not....Lynnencfan you are amazing! I love what you have done and it gives me hope that I can transform an already nice MH into one with my own touches! I never considered our first home to be a MH but when I saw the one I have made an offer on we fell in love with it and the acre it sits on. This is going to be so much fun! Thanks to everyone's information! I would like to know how to replace the countertops and carpet. Guess I will post a question re: that! Thanks!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 11:24AM
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How long did your process take? I am starting on my living room which is a decent size. I need to take down the strips, fill, prime and paint, and put in new flooring all within 2 weeks for the arrival of my new furniture. I am scared I won't make it. Is there any pointers you can give me. I wish I could just pay you to come and do it. lol, I am so afraid it will turn out like crap I keep putting it off. I absolutely have to now that I ordered new furniture. Nothing like a deadline to motivate a girl. Wish me luck.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 1:38AM
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Hello! I'm very new to this wonderful forum.

I live in a tw and am very interested in painting the walls of the two bathrooms. The other walls are drywalled and painted already. The previous owner covered the original vinyl in the bathrooms with wall paper, so I'm wondering if I can paint over that just as I would the original paper. There's no way I'm going to tear down the paper (I'm too lazy), so should I just get used to the print, or is there a good way to paint it? and what about the seams where the edges of the paper meet? That is my second big concern because I don't want them to peel and show after I've painted. I've read all the postings about painting the original vinyl walls and am very impressed with everybody's patience and creativity!

What is venetian plaster? I think I have an idea, but I wonder if it can go over the 2nd wall paper on my walls without coming down? I'm not able to open any of the pictures on this computer, so I can't see what everybody's talking about. Thanks for any input!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 10:17AM
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CaSandra - we got the bathroom/bedroom done in just under two weeks and the family room/dining/kitchen took about 3 weeks with Thanksgiving thrown in there. We did the family/diningroom and then cleaned up all our equipment two days before Thanksgiving so I could clean the house - had turkey dinner at our place and then started in again on Friday. I was decorating for Christmas about 4 days later - keep in mind we are both retired so could work non-stop......


    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 5:36PM
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Lynne, you've done an outstanding job. Or should I say, you and the Mr.. I have the mudding etc. figured out, but I don't know what to do with the corners. They are outside corners, somebody said about putting screening and then mudding but I am just not sure. Any advice. Thank You Lana

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 11:23PM
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Okay, once again, someone is re-upping this thread...ME! I am new to this forum and just have to say to Lynne what a fantastic job and how lovely everything came out. I've been working on remodeling and upgrading our DW for a while now. Planning everything is what's taking the longest. I have a practice board that I'm working with to experiment with different techniques and using a bedroom closet to see how it works on a larger scale. I was originally going to just tape and mud the seams then emboss a texture into the seams with crumpled foil. Now I'm thinking that I'll just do the seams then skim coat everything. I really would rather have smooth walls anyway. I'm willing to be everyone's lab rat so you can keep checking back on my page to see how things turn out (and maybe learn from my mistakes lol). You all are so adventurous and a great inspiration! I hope I can offer help is some form to those who need it.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 2:28PM
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Sorry to butt in here but couldn,t resist. My first home was a 72 double wide mobile and we remodled the whole thing from roof to ceiling inside and out. Wood paneling paints up great and so does the vinyl walls. The exception is paneling that is vinyl made to look like paneling .Paint peels right off it even with special primer. Your best bet with that stuff is to sheet rock right over it. If you manage to pull off a piece of that stuff you,ll see it like a streachy plastic all the way threw. Our mobile looked like a new one when we were threw .There is just so much you can do with them . I think the key is to replace all the low quality things they were built with average to high quality products. We put in oak hard wood floors and really nice carpet. We also replaced every single piece of trim in the house with real wood trim. We completely gutted and replaced the bathroom and kitchen as well.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 12:42PM
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I a SOOO glad I found this site. I usually just go to the Garden sites. I am going to close on a 2006 Palm Harbor DW next month, and I've been wondering how to redo the walls. I LOVE what you've done. The previous owners decorated in modern and browns. I want shabby chic garden, so it will be a big transformation, a little at a time.

Was the paint you used latex or oil-based?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 9:25AM
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Wow, am I ever glad to have found this site. I am in a 2 year old DW and anxious to do something with the walls. I have lots of ideas and am so glad to see that someone else has done so many of the things I have thought about and been successful with it. Just a little concerned about it looking good since I don't have any experience with drywall mud, etc. Does using a sponge or something like that do a good job sort of matching the slight texture that is on the vinyl that comes on the walls?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 5:37PM
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Tejas Pacas - I used latex semi-gloss on my walls

riverrat - I did use a sponge in the dining area and bathroom to give it an ever so slightly textured finish

in the bedroom I wanted it to looks like rough plaster so the job wasn't done as smooth....


    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 8:27PM
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I just found this forum! Do you have any idea how long I have been trying to find information on how to paint walls in our DW??? This is just TOO COOL!

Just a few thoughts. Our place is a summer place on salt water, a 1972 dinosaur! Environmental conditions are a bit harsh. Pea (puke) green carpet and avocado EVERTTHING except for the orange and gold bathroom! We inherited it from my in-laws. First thing we discovered (other than the horrid dog urine soaked carpet smell) was there were no shutoff valves on any of the toilets or sinks! You don't want to know how we discovered that!

Anyway, the place is like a cave---all fake dark panelling with the vinyl coating. I spent several years trying to find out if it could be painted and just decided to take the plunge. We do have the funky gold/orange and gold/green vinyl wallboard in the kitchen and bathroom. I started in the kitchen and scrubbed it well, then a coat of Kilz to seal it. So far the only place the paint has peeled is right over the stove where it gets hot and greasy. I'm guessing I may have missed some grease.

Next I did the master bath. It has held up beautifully, and the texture on the wallboard actually adds to the nice look. I even put up some wallpaper border over the paint. On to the small master bath. It just had panelling. Broke a few pieces of trim---it was VERY brittle, but managed to save most of it. I did the Kilz thing in there, painted it a bright white and painted all the trim pieces and cabinets a Williamsburg blue. Put the trim back up and it really turned out nice. So far, even with the poor ventilation (no window) the paint has held up.

Now I'm trying to convince DH to let me paint more. He hates painted panelling, so I may have to texture it and paint---glad to see someone else has tried it. I've already forgotten, on the vinyl coated panelling did you prime before you textured? I was really thinking I was going to have to put up wallboard.

Something else I did that may interest some of you. When we first moved in, the avocado stuff really got to me. Couldn't do much about the appliances (cost) but I used white marble contact paper and covered all the countertops. That was back in 1998, and they are just now starting to peel and ding a little. I also covered a big round table (it was primary bright orange!)we use in the sunroom for summer meals and games with black marble contact paper. An amazing difference for a little money!

Wow! Almost 10 years and finally found someone else doing the same thing!!!

This is really exciting, I hope everyone keeps sharing---the good, the bad, and the ugly!!!

Linda L

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 9:44PM
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LanaKay~ I'm not sure if I'm answering your question or not, but here goes: My fiance & I just purchased a 1985 single wide that we are fixing up out in the country. I just got done painting the living room & kitchen. (Living room had blue & white contact paper over the walls w/ brown & white under it & kitchen had large pink & mauve flowers all over it... Lovely!) Anyway, I had to do some outside corners and I was very hesitant as I have never done anything like this before, however, they turned out very well... Actually they turned out better than some of the flat seams I did.

Anyway, this may not be the proper way to do it, but what I did was put on 1 coat of mud, then just kept building it up way over where the actual corner should be then, when all layers were dry I sanded it w/ a sanding block. Like I said, this worked well for me, but it is time consuming.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 8:23PM
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This thread really helped us out quite a bit. First we removed all the trim pieces from the walls, then we tape and used joint compound to fill in the cracks. We primered it, then painted using Valspar Kitchen/ Bath soft gloss paint. We then sponged it to cover up the imperfections that were still present to the eye.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 1:32PM
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Very very nice dedrick - sponge painting and textured painting can cover a miriad of wall imperfections - your walls look wonderful - good job.....


    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 1:33PM
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I have a 1992 manufactured home and am researching refinishing the walls. Have painted on them before with no problem. Cleaned well, primed with Kilz then painted. Used a few coats of paint but hadn't purchased a good brand. Now want to take off the strips, fill the gaps and repaint. Went to Lowe's and gentleman there said he would use a Plumber's Compound in the bathroom since high moisture could cause drywall compound to crack. Said to make the plumber compound the texture of drywall paste and apply in the seam with a putty knife and sand smooth. No taping required. Then to prime and paint as planned. I haven't started yet. Anyone have comments regarding the recommendations? What have others used to fill the seams?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 9:50AM
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(Someone asked why "cranberry" paint was so problematic, and didn't stick) Red paint has different properties and rules. Use a grey primer, allow 5 days to 2 weeks between coats, deeptone base, because red has less titanium pigment in it, etc. i've seen red paint slump right off walls, when people recoated too early--much like the sheet-test when making jelly. stop into a serious paint-shop and talk to them, before buying your red paint.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 3:24PM
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I have painted almost every room in my DW I am just starting the kitchen now, bought this brand its a 2000, i couldnt stand looking at those darn strips anymore so i got to work. i used a all puropse joint compound to fill in the cracks then smoothed with a wet cloth and just a little bit of sanding, i got brave and painted my DR red its a small room so i figured i could get away with it and it came out great!! i put a litle bit of sand in the paint! for paint i used american tradition, well it was not any better than the wal-mart paint (latex semi gloss) which i used in the laundry room, in some of these rooms you have to get creative! in others you dont like my kitchen now the cracks are real small and there are only a few of them so this should be pretty easy, also i did not prime one wall, i am new here and will send pics as soon as i figure out how???

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 12:59PM
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dedrick, great job on your bathroom. I have a couple questions though. How did you do your outside corner? I don't think my inside corners are gonna be a problem, but I'm not sure how to do the outside corners. Also, someone mentioned drywall mud not holding up in a bathroom because of the moisture. How is yours holding up if you used drywall mud? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 12:43PM
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I just started to remodel our guest bathroom. We were also told to use Plumbers Putty, I do not like it so far, I will check on it tomorrow morning and will let you know how it came out, right now I would not suggest it.

its hard to put into the seams as it balls up and will not stay put, I have done my best to get it into the seams and will see if it dries and if i can sand it smooth, prime and then paint.

The bucket the putty came in says that its not suppose to crack...good...but also says its not suppose to harden.
There might be different plumbers putty that would work, idk- i just explained to the home depot guy what I was doing and he suggested this because our bathroom has no windows and it will get very humid- and he said that normal drywall mud would crack in those conditions...

anyone else use drywall mud in nonventilated bathrooms and it crack?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 12:46AM
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Hi im a plumber and the one amazing thing about plumbers putty is that it wont harden at least not for a good 10 years or more. The helpfull person at lows steared you wrong. The way to do it is use drywall mud (Compound) this is the way people have been doing it for many years. when you paint it like I beleave you intend that will waterproof your mud. Hope this helped.
Anyway lots of great info here thanks it helped alot.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 8:14PM
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I painted over my double wide walls 5 years ago and had no problems with peeling paint. I suspect that primer is a bad idea. I did use primer on the doors and trim and this turned out to be a mistake. I used it because the trim was smooth and the walls had there own texture. When I pulled off the tape around the trim the paint came off the trim anywhere where it also stuck to the tape. Therefore primer is a bad bad idea!!!

I really think the best look comes from plastering over your existing walls though. we did the master bedroom with flat walls and the rest of the house with a rough hand plastered texture and paint over that.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 1:02PM
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Hi. I am new to this sight and also a new owner of a DW manufactured home from 1999. Right away I knew I wanted to paint the rooms, so I searched and found this forum VERY helpful!! So far we have started my daughters bedroom. It is a work in progress, but we wanted to make sure the paint would stick to one wall before painting the entire house!

So first thing we did was clean our walls with a dry cloth. I read somewhere that it was a big mistake, not painting on a clean surface.

Next, we took off all the strips... if you are planning on moving the home in the future, I don't recommend taking the strips off. Their purpose is to give the home some bending room as it travels. The strips came off super easy for us.

We taped all the cracks underneath the strips and spackled with Dap, the one that is pink, but dries white. After drying we sanded and then put a second layer. It has worked fine so far, but is very chalk-like and chips easily before it is covered with primer. The chalk-like texture caused a lot of dust after sanding, so I continued to wipe the walls with a dry towel through the whole process (think 'clean surface')

The Dap brand spackle has not peeled off. We have had no problems with it, but our vinyl walls might be a different texture than some...

After the Dap dried over night, we primed the wall with Kilz2 Latex. I think it's fast drying, so we put up three coats pretty quick. An employee at the home depot told us not to wait longer than three days to paint over the primer because it will cause peeling, so we took his advice and painted the next day! Some people might be having problems with peeling because they wait too long??? The paint is a semi gloss, light blue color from home depot. The images aren't great because I took them at night, but you can get the idea...

There is definitely noticeable areas where we had to spackle, but I still like it better than the generic wall paper. We painted wall number one about a month ago and it's still sticking strong! We live in pretty high humidity, too!! I also want to include a photo of the door trim missing, so you're not surprised by the gap size! We are planning on buying new trim for the entire room because I don't like what was up, but if you are planning on using the same trim, make sure you number it, so it's easy to match up later!!

More to come!! We still have a lot of work to do! Just to make it clear... I totally LOVE the painted wall. It's not perfect, but much much much better than before. I will update if there is any peeling or problems!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 12:01AM
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Hi everyone. Boy am I glad I found this site. I want to paint the vinyl papered walls in my single wide. The problem is the previous owner had a grab handle bar in the bathroom. I removed it but the holes from the bolts are about the size of a quarter. I don't know how to fix this. Drywall compound will just fall through to the inside of the wall. How do I fix this? Also some areas of the vinyl are puckering. Do I cut these areas off and then spackle it? Thanks

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 12:59PM
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Cleoa~ Drywall mud won't fall through. You have to get some drywall tape (I think that's what it's called), this will hold the mud in place. Put the tape on, mud over it & let dry. You'll have to repeat this a couple or 3 times maybe, but it's worth it. We had a several holes the size of baseballs if not bigger in our SW that we bought last year. I patched them all & unless you know they're there, you can't see them. Fixing up the walls in this SW was my first experience w/ drywall repair, so I'm sure I didn't do a great job, but it's so much better than huge holes in the wall & that horrible vinyl paper! :)

Hope this helps, email me if you'd like.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 12:38AM
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First thank you everyone for posting pics, and "how to's". I have no imagination when it comes to remodeling our DW. It is 8 yrs old and has three boys running through it and a husband who ranches. Needless to say it needs some serious attention. Here are my questions, can I just take the strips down, mud and paint? Or do I have to tape and texture the whole wall? I don't think time or money is available to do the entire wall. Also, has anyone else had the problem with their carpet "rippeling"? Can I just get it stretched? Or do I need to have it replaced totally? We don't have basboards around the floors of our home at all. Is this why it rippled? TIA to any one who repsonds. And btw, please keep the photos coming!!! I need ideas!~

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 4:32PM
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I am soooo glad to find this forum. I hate the strips on the walls. Our walls our sheetrock with vinyl paper over it. It has a smooth texture. I have read that texture will not adhere to vinyl paper. Has anyone tried texturing over the vinyl with good results? If you do not texture before painting can you tell where the strips were?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 1:27PM
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yes you can texture your walls, but remember, these are mobile homes and they are made to shift in different types of climates. As far as I have read, you need to strip the battens, tape the seams, then prime the wall, then texture it. Apparently the texture will not stick to the vinyl covering on the wall boards. Many people in another forum I read have done this will success, some not so much success. Some get huge cracks cause the house shifts. I do plan to do this to my home, I cannot stand the strips (battens) anymore!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 3:50PM
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I recommend washing the walls with Murphy's Oil soap (or similar cleaner), suitably mixed with water and then rinsing throughly. Grease vapors from cooking and from hand prints will not be removed by wiping with dry cloth.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:16AM
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I am ready to actually start removing the strips in preparation for painting. They appear to be glued in place. What works best for removing them?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 5:27PM
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Anyone tried using Behr paint plus primer? I hate the extra work of priming then washing the rollers then painting then washing the rollers again. I would like to just the paint plus primer for a few coats then washing my rollers once. I just finished our small bathroom a couple months ago and it turned out great. I am doing my youngest daughters room right now and would like to know if the paint plus primer would work just as well.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 4:38PM
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this thread has been a huge help! we are in the process of doing our walls now - so far no problems.. will post pics soon.. :)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 4:49PM
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Are any of you in area's where there is major differences in temps? I live in NH and was told that doing any of this would cause massive problems with the shifting of weather if the house moves? My house is on a good slab of concret not blocks it was built in 2003 and when we bought it they inspected it to make sure it was done properly by some person who I guess tests it for weather and he said it was better than most done in Florida! Does this mean that movement would be limited in the first place?

I was gung ho for this until a contracter told me I would be making a massive mistake. =\ He popped my balloon. I'd love some opinions PLEASE.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 12:46AM
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Brinkle1952 let me know if you have any luck with your interior doors. I have been wanting to do something with
mine also (they are the plain flat luan). I could get new
slab doors and replace them but the door jambs are actually
not in great shape. Cant just get the door and frame because I have 3 inch partition walls and standard jambs are wider. Was thinking of custom making jambs but not sure
how to route for the door hinges. Let me know if you have any luck not seeing much information on this

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 8:03AM
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I painted over white patterned walls in a 1997 MH. I washed the walls with soap and water then used Kilz primer, just one coat. Then I painted with RED Valspar paint. It took 3 coats but is very pretty. It's a kitchen and it still looks good :) I wish I knew how to post the pictures :(

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 8:23PM
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FYI, for painting a tricky surface like vinyl wallcovering USE THE PROPER PRIMER!! Your best bet is to use a primer that's designed to be adhesive, like Zinsser BIN or Zinsser Cover Stain. Both say they'll stick to all surfaces without sanding (though light sanding to scuff up hard-to-bond surfaces is always a good idea). Check the labels - most primers can't make the same claim. Glidden Gripper primer or Sherwin Williams Adhesion primer are other good options. Kilz is a fine everyday primer, but it's not designed to be a super-adhesive primer. I figure painting is a lot of work and I don't want it to fail, so I used BIN primer when I painted our bathroom. My dad was shocked that I could even tape over the paint a day later without it peeling off (he thought it would be problematic before it finished curing). Glad some of you have had luck using other primers, but for anyone just beginning this project, be careful and do a little research before you choose your supplies. As for Behr Paint Plus Primer, it's formulated for maximum color-coverage on properly prepared surfaces (rather than using a tinted primer when changing colors like many paints recommend); it's not designed to adhere to hard-to-bond surfaces like vinyl covered walls. Do a little research. Different primers do different jobs.

I've finished painting our bathroom, where the batten strips were intact, but now I'm ready to do the rest of the house...where my husband replaced the windows and did a rough job of removing the border, leaving gaps in the battens and peeling paper in one spot. Looks like we'll be priming, mudding seams, texturing, priming, and then painting...I can't wait to have it finished, but I get a headache just thinking about the work involved. Thanks to everyone who posted inspirational pictures!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 4:31PM
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This is a wonderful site. I live in a 2008 DW mobile home. And I hated the walls. We first started with the master bathroom. I Bed and tapped one wall but it was a little rough and I was afraid it might show to bad so I left the strips on the other walls. Wish I hadn't by the time I finished painting the whole room the biggest imperfections in the room are the strips over the doors. So the next bedroom was a new challenge I bed and tapped every seam including the corners. Then textured and painted, we put new MDF baseboard up on the ceiling and floors, it is beautiful. In the office We did the same. I read in several different books about different ways to bed and tape one said put your mud up first then to put your tape up. I found that this made it very difficult to hide the imperfections, so I put the nylon tape up without the mud then covered it with a very thin coat of mud sanded it , by the way I have invented a way to sand with very little dust my sander has a bag on it but the bag wouldn't hold enough of the sanding, so I attached it to the wet vac with electrical tape and turned both on while sanding, worked like a charm. I just finished the dinning room with new crown molding, and don't let anyone tell you it isn't hard cause the inside corners are the hardest, remember to turn the crown upside down on the oppisite cut it will drive you crazy. I have just started on my living room. But we are trying something different in there. We are going to put up Beadboard strips above the fireplace and maybe down one wall. This will be interesting. I think to make it easier to apply because of the thickness and the lack of studs in MH. I am going to have to figure a way to put somekind of thin sheet behind to hold my bead board in place. I know I can use liguid nails and have on some of my beadboard that I have placed on the divider walls in the hallway, But not sure how this one will work over heat I think it will have to have something more stable any ideas would be great and by the way LYNN I love the way you put up the beams in your house I am planning to do this also just wasn't sure how to do it now I do? Thanks

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 4:59AM
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Karen, thanks for sharing your experience! I started doing one practice seam in a closet, and it was enough to convince me that this isn't a project to take on lightly. I haven't been able to convince my husband to join in this particular DIY project, and I don't feel competent to do a good job on my own. I'm a perfectionist, and I'd rather live with our walls as-is than risk wasting time and money screwing them up.

Tomorrow a contractor is coming to discuss what options we may have for the walls; sheetrock, mudding the seams, replacing panels & battenstrips...who knows. At least we should get an idea of how much money we'll be potentially spending or saving.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:48PM
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Lynnencfan, what is the color of your bedroom wall, that you posted on this forum? My granddaughter wanted purple as her main color, but not so after seeing your pictures. I have painted one bedroom so far and wasn't that pleased by the end results. And I won't even say how long that took. I took the strips off, taped, used joint compound, let it dry, sanded, then used Kilz primer on the seams. I did the same thing with the inside and outside corners. Then I contemplated using the compound on the walls with a trowel to give the walls a textured look but ended up using the texture in a can instead. Which was very expensive. Then I painted the walls. Now I have walls that have paint missing in places, which may be due from the texture I sprayed on earlier. Did you use drywall tape on the seams after you took the strips off? Or just filled it with the compound? And also, have you tried or heard of anyone using Behr paint plus primer? I have alot more rooms to go and need all the encouragement you can give. PS. I love what you did by adding the beams and the archways. Thanks for posting.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 3:48PM
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I have a 1987 DW all the walls with vinyl covered sheetrock. A few years ago my husband worked at a mobile home plant so he overlayed every wall with vinyl sheetrock WITH Strips, UGH~ I am currently working on the LR and will post pictures later. To answer questions yes you can paint the vinyl covered walls and remove those ugly strips. I had some really big gaps when the strips were removed. Fill gaps with latex acrylic caulking. When dry use Dap or joint compound over the joint for a smooth finish. Most important I use TSP to wash walls. Old painter once told me never paint until surface is washed with TSP.It cuts grease and any other household yuck. Kilz2 or any good grade latex primer, I am using Sherwin Williams basic latex primer this time. I have rooms that have been stripped, gaps filled and painted with no problem with this process for 5 years. My dining room and kitchen has been painted 3 times but only because I like change or glutting for punishment. LOL.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 8:55PM
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Hello everyone, I am so happy I found this forum. I repainted my Kitchen and when I tried to remove one of the strips it removed chunks of sheet rock with it so I did not remove the rest of them. Has anyone ran into this?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 1:19PM
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I have the same problem as all of you, ugly vinyl walls and unwanted batten strips. Here's my solution. I decided to use beadboard in the bathrooms 3/4ths of the way up the wall to cover most of the vinyl and paint the top part leaving the batten strips on the top area. I have found that they don't bother me at all when painted as they kind of blend in. I did the same thing in my dinning room but used beadboard wallpaper instead of the real stuff, it looks amazing! For a look at my bathroom redo visit my blog at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: my guest bath redo

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 12:39AM
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bnts1993, I did have a couple areas where the batten strips were trickier to get up than others. If you're careful about pulling them up with a putty knife, though, you shouldn't run into issues. Some areas I had to loosen the batten the entire way down before I began pulling them up.

My contractor just finished texturing my kitchen & living room walls last week & I painted Sunday...the difference is amazing. It finally feels like a 'real' house! I will consider logies wainscoting idea in the bathroom, though.

logies, thank you so much for sharing! My first thought, was, well, her bath was in worse shape than mine was, but at least the colors were neutral...but the after! WOW! Truly inspiring, and now I have a new blog to follow. :) I'm planning to use beadboard as a backsplash in my kitchen. Did you use the 4x8 panels or tongue & groove?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 4:13PM
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I was not happy with the strips on my walls either. Have been systematically removing them. Next project is my bedroom. I saw a technique a few years ago where you prime your walls and do a paperbag treatment. Not having a lot of extra cash I decided to try one wall while my husband was away because frankly he was pessimistic. Save up paperbags you get from grocery store ect. Cost zero. Buy plain old white glue. Rip up the bags in irregular size shapes, mine were about a salad plate size. Crumble into a ball and set aside until you have a pretty good amount of balls. I put a drop cloth down where I was going to work before starting. Mix glue with water. I did 1 part glue to two parts water. Saturate a paper ball in the glue mix and open it up. Place on wall and spread out. I used a cheapy plastic trowel. continue until the wall is covered overlaying pieces. Make sure that you use the inside of the bag facing out unless you want the advertising to show. I have seen a bathroom down similar using newspapers. Let wall dry overnight at least and then you can put a protective poly on it if you want. You can also stain it. Looks similar to leather. When my husband saw it he was gung ho to finish the rest of the living room in this finish and we changed the molding out with 1X2s and added base board that was 1x6s. ck out faux paperbag treatments on DIY. The great thing is that dang, your little ones decide to color on the wall.. well just grab a bag and recover. We actually bought a basset hound who really hated being crated and chewed thru the crate and then chewed the paper off the wall. I was able to repair the damage without much fuss and you cannot tell where was.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 1:25AM
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LOL Sherrie, I had to paint our bathroom while my husband was away, too.

Do you have any pictures you could share of the paper bag treatment? I've seen it at my dentists office and I'm considering it for the back side of the kitchen bar divider wall, but I can't keep running back to my dentist's office just to remember what it looks like!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 9:25AM
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Here's an update on my master bath guys. I removed all the strips and primed the walls. I taped and floated the seams/joints with two coats. I followed that up with shooting orange peel texture on the walls and painting them with Valspar semi gloss. Big mirror over tub and two mirrors over sinks removed. Replaced vanity mirrors only. Replaced vanity lights, added new door, and added new faux wood blind to the window. I still need to add trim around the door as well as new door knob and change sink faucets.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 11:16PM
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I have to say I love this page. We are looking to buy a vacation/retirement home in N.H. and have checked out a few mobiles. I'm a white wall kinda gal and was very worried about refinishing the vinyl walls in these types of homes. Thanks to all of you, I have a lot more confidence in buying one knowing that I can re-do the walls with only some time and elbow grease. I'll be following along for more info as we get closer to our purchase.....thanks again!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 5:20PM
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This post is old, but boy did you all help me out! I have a 10 y/o DW cottage now! For anyone with these horrid vinyl walls. I suggest two things: Bin and Behr. To the poster who posted the pics with the 1x3's replacing those aweful strips...BRAVO what a great idea! Wish I had found that post BEFORE we did the LR! We still have our BR tho, and I love the idea. Thank you for sharing!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 9:21AM
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If you just simply want to pain the walls try using "Gripper" primer. They sell it at home depot and it's a miracle worker. Turns vinyl walls into paintable walls. I've done several rooms in my home using it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:29PM
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