Get Rid of Wall Strips in Mobile Home

Solution to wall strips in my mobile home.Howdy all!  I have decided to remove the User Forum from this site since it doesn’t really seem to generate any discussion, but rather,  just bogs down my site and makes it slower to run.  I’m hoping that discussion will be active if I just get down to business and keep writing here…which is my real desire, but there is always some project going on around here!

On a happy note- I do have lots of photos and posts that I can share as soon as thing settle down for the Summer and I can get those thoughts together.  There have been lots of new things happening here, things I’m dreaming about getting done, and lots of questions I’d like to ask all of you out there who like to make your mobile homes even “homier”.

So- on to the topic- since I’m removing the forum, I’m going to make a few posts with the topics from the forum that actually did have questions and responses there and I will open up all posts for comments from registered users.  Yes, you must be registered to post, but that helps to keep the site more clear of spam for your viewing pleasure.

Here’s the Big Question of the Day-

How do you get rid of the strips that separate the wall board pieces in your mobile home?

MMHM Member “skrapwood” asked:

“Has anyone found a way around those lovely lattice strips they use to join drywall board without replacing the drywall all together?  Either by decorating or another way of taping the seams?  We tried using a stucco effect but the seams just cracked.  And we tried just painting over them as if they didn’t exist but that doesn’t seem to work either, they are still there in all the wrong places.”

Me again:

I would love to hear all the ways people are doing it, whether you’ve had success, even if you’ve had not so much success, since we all want to know what is a bad idea in order to save ourselves time and money.

I’ll post the rest of the questions throughout the week if I find more.  I know there’s one coming up about those infrared heaters.  I’d really be interested in some lively conversation filled with your opinions on those.  I’m not too optimistic!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend y’all.  I hope you find the time to site back and enjoy your labors at your home rather than always laboring.

Remember,  just say “no” to wall stripping!

Peace out-

The McGees


  1. I came across these great posts on mobile home walls. What I can't find addressed here is our situation. Believe it or not, our manufacturer did use caulking on the joints. What we would like to do if possible is peel off that ugly vinyl wallpaper and tape the joints. Then of course put on a primer and paint. Is it possible to peel off that vinyl wallpaper? Has anyone tried this? Opinions welcomed, thanks.

    • Hi Ron. Thank you for visiting our site. I apologize for the late reply. You cannot peel the vinyl off the gypsum board. The paint will soak in and be a mess if you do. Also, the vinyl tends to keep the inside gypsum chalky stuff inside the board itself. If it isn't there, the interior starts to crumble. You can paint over the vinyl, or you can take off the strips and apply something new like a paneling or beadboard, or we have even covered the walls with luan and wallpapered or painted. We have also done shiplap in two rooms and LOVE it. Very easy to apply and cheap if you use luan and rip it at 6 inch strips, then nail to the wall with a nail gun.
      Best of luck with your walls!

  2. has anyone tried paintable caulking?i have taken the strips out of a closet and tried putting caulking in cracks,this would let the walls move alittle and not hard to do,but I will and try to post the outcome after i get done.

    • Thanks for visiting! Many people who have commented here have mentioned they have used caulk rather than mud to fill the seams because it is flexible and less prone to cracking. I imagine paintable caulk would be a fine choice. We'd love to hear how it goes when you finish. Feel free to share your experience here or share pics on our facebook page at

  3. I removed the strips of moldong in all of the main rooms of a mobike home i’m renovating. I removed them, painted all of the walls with oil-based paint (i read somewhere that latex paint would cause the paper on the walls to peel). Then filled the lines in with spackle and treated line a wall. It turned out great.

    • Hi Kim! Thanks for sharing your project.

      We have never used oil based paint and have always had good luck with it. Newer paints are paint with primer and are high quality compared to older latex paints. We have never had peeling with latex paint. We've always used low VOC latex because we are sensitive to strong chemical odors that oil based products can have.

      I'm glad your project came out great! If you have pics you'd like to share to show us all how it turned out, please feel free to share them on our facebook page at We would love to see your finished work!

    • …Kim, I am glad to hear of your success. These strips have been a thorn in my side for 20 ,yrs. I want them gone and living now on a fixed income, replacing paneling is out of the picture. So, I am wondering what you put on it in the gaping hole between the pieces of drywall once you removed the strip? My gaping hole is usually about 1″ .

      • Hi Rhonda. Thank you for visiting and commenting. We use Drydex filler. It goes on pink and dries white. It has worked for all of our seam needs and nail hole filling as well as bigger areas that need repair.

  4. Didn't think anyone could advise on this problem.
    We also just purchased a manufactured home and have the same ugly strips everyone is talking about. Have been researching wall treatments with some texture to hide the area when the strips are removed. It's great to hear from others with the same problem and the results of their trials.
    Thanks everyone, love this blog!

  5. This appears to be an extremely old thread, but I was wondering if there are any updates to some of these tried ideas? I have a 1983 mobile home that is so dark from the paneling that I feel like I live in a dungeon. I want to lighten it up with some paint, but I am concerned about painting the wood itself. The wainscoting may be a good idea for my living room.

    Thanks, Kim

    • Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.
      I have painted glossy bead board in our home and it was very successful. I've also painted smooth paneling before.
      You can use Glidden's Gripper product prior to painting and then use a paint with primer in it and it adheres very well.
      For painting glossy surfaces, I follow this process:
      Wash the walls down with warm water, dab of dish soap, and a microfiber cloth.
      Let the walls dry for a day or so.
      It may be beneficial to scuff the walls up a bit with some fine sandpaper before washing, but I haven't had to do this.
      Apply Glidden's Gripper product (found at Home Depot) and let it dry for 24 hours.
      Coat with the paint with primer in it of your choice. Flat paint is nice on paneling. It makes it look more house-like, but a satin is okay too. Don't go glossy or semi-gloss.
      Let dry. The lighter the color paneling, the more coats of paint you will need. Since you've covered the paneling with Gripper, which is white, you will likely need two good coats of paint to cover and make it look nice.

      Good luck with your project!

      • I am wondering what the result here was. I have a 1982 Marlette which I bought new, for most part it is well built. There is better quality dark wood paneling except in kitchen and baths. I want to paint the wood look to maybe a sandy white. I intend to let it stay looking like wood but try for a cottage look.
        I might could do that my self but have subfloor redone with plywood. I have been renting it out but I would like a retreat. Thanks for any suggestions.

        • Thanks for visiting, Johnnie. It sounds like a nice solid look you have in your home. We have painted paneling as well as glossy bead board with success in the past.
          For glossier surfaces like this, here's what we have done:

          1. Wash the paneling down well with warm water and a dab of dish soap with a microfiber cloth
          2. Let dry overnight
          3. Scuff with fine sand paper
          4. Wipe down or vacuum dust from sanding off of the wall completely
          5. Prime with Glidden Gripper (this is excellent at helping paint adhere to glossy surfaces)
          6. Allow to dry overnight
          7. Paint with a quality paint with primer in it of your color choice. You will likely need more than one coat to be satisfied with the result.

          We love a cottage style look and that has been our goal with every renovation we've done, so I understand your desire to go for that. How nice it would be for you to have a retreat!
          Good luck with your project. If you have a chance, pop over to our facebook page and share some before and after pics. Our facebook friends would love to see it!

          • Thank you I think your suggestion would be lovely. I have lots of before and some after I will post pictures when I have a bit more. I am wanting to get into it to do cleaning.

  6. We are also in the process of redoing. I have taken off all strips and peeled off all the vinyl coating. That actually worked pretty good for me not leaving much of a mess. I have taped the joints. I did the knock down version in one bedroom, it didn't turn out bad.. Anything better than strips. The other bedroom I skim coated. Getting better as I go. I used a window squeegee to help smooth out my skim coat. Work over the the taped joint in outward motion so it wouldn't be so noticeable. I'm getting better as I go but not sure I could ever get it totally unnoticeable. The squeegee works wonders…

    • Hi Debbie. Thanks so much for visiting and for your comment.
      How exciting that you've taken on the wall strip removal project. Of all the things Mr. McGee and I do in our home, mudding, skim coating, and sheet rock are the only things that terrify us. We had a terrible experience with it once. It's a long and traumatizing story of a home renovation gone wrong!

      The squeegee sounds like a terrific idea! We'd love to see pics of what you've done so please feel free to come and share on our facebook page!

    • My neighbor’s mobile home has the type of battens that look like an “H” when viewed from the side. In other words, there’s just as much batten BEHIND the joint as there is there is in front, meaning they don’t just pop out. If you try to remove one, the back part of the batten pulls the whole wallboard out.

      How do you remove that type of batten? My neighbor has neither the time nor the inclination to install drywall to all her walls. Any advice?

      • Thanks so much for visiting our site and commenting, Robynne!
        I do have advice. We had success removing our wall strips (a bitter higher set like you suggested) by scoring them first with a carpet knife. You could use a box cutter, but the carpet knife is a bit sturdier and provides more leverage to do the job well. Score it a couple of times on each side to be sure the vinyl wall covering is cut off completely from the strip, then gently use a flat head screw driver or a kitchen knife to pry the strip gently away from the wall from the bottom up. Do it slowly, so if you find places where the vinyl is still attached, you can score again in that spot to keep from pulling a huge swatch of it off.

        We have had great success with this method. It's a little more time consuming than just ripping them off, but it's worth the time spent.
        Good luck to your neighbor!

  7. looking to remodel our mobile home live in palm harbor,fl anyone recommend anyone or company that do mobile homes

    • Palm Harbor is a great area! If I had my preference, we would have moved to that area when we bought our house in Fort Lauderdale. I can't help wonder if we would have liked Florida more if we had moved there to begin with. Maybe when we retire….Clearwater beaches are so beautiful!

      Does anyone know a great contractor who would work on a manufactured home in this area? Please advise this visitor if you do. Thanks!

    • Yes call Mike Horton. You’ll find him on FB. He’s close to you. Or call 704-819-5321 tell him Bo Thomas said to call.

  8. I removed my strips, removed my carpet, painted everything with Kilnz shlack based primer to seal away smoke, water damage and pet pee. then I took paintable caulking and put it in all the grooves, smoothed it with a putty knife. Then I took fiberglass webbed tape and set it over the seams of the paneling, every 4 ft, using caulk, and a four inch blade. I then used drywall mud over the taped seams with a six or 8 inch blade and spread a light coat over all the grooves filled with caulk. This is will be the last time the grooves will show. There is a little shrinking if you just use the drywall mud, hence me using the caulk first. Then I did two more coats of mud with a 12 inch blade then a big blade..not sure how big it is 18-20 inches at least, Then, here is the trick. You take drywall mud, mix water into it, until it is like a nice pancake batter. You buy a restore roller used to roll wood stain. It is black plastic and the best way to describe it is looks like a stippling sponge make-up artists use to create day old stubble. You roll that thinned mud on and it looks like orange peel. After it dries, don't sand it. Take your 12 inch blade and just just lightly knock off some of it to a smoother texture. (actually backwards orange peel) texture. It is unbelievable. I'm going to try to link a youtube video. If you can't see it, my key word search was: do it yourself roll on texture, orange peel, drywall mud. wood roller. 77Avadon77 was the user who posted it. It is soooo fabulous, I can't thank him enough!!!! Oh, I had one little crack down the wall where I didn't use tape, behind a door. I took caulk, put it on my finger and pushed in the crack, then wiped off the excess, so the texture was still there, then when it dried I painted it. It hasn't showed back up in the past 6 months. : )

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Mark! I am always looking for new ways to get rid of wall strips. And so are half of the people who visit this site! I will include the video you shared and your suggestion of how you did the work in my next "Video of the Month" segment. I am looking forward to trying this method sometime soon…after we get another huge remodel project done :-)
      If you have pics of what you did that you'd like to share, please visit our facebook page and post them there. We'd love to see them!

    • I did basically the same, Mark. I finished the walls with a skim coat of regular drywall mud, but did not texture. The walls look great.

  9. I was told that because we live in a climate of all four seasons we were not to seal our outside walls that in a mobile home if will cause rot, that is why they are there. Having said that and me looking at him in mortification of having to redo all.our sheet rock work, he says only exterior walls should be able to breath. We also acquired home made down south which has no moisture barriers with so we will be redoing some but not all anyhow. Hope this helps. I just try n paint them the same color or the accent color instead.

    • Thanks for your comment, Nicole! One thing is for sure, you will likely get different advice regarding mobile home from each person you ask. A reputable home inspector or licensed and insured contractor are our go-to advisers for all things mobile home before we begin many of our more complex projects.

      Good luck with your home projects!

  10. Bought a used mobile home. Didn't look to bad (it needed some work) but when they took the furniture I out saw many rooms where the original (builders grade) wallpaper had come loose & they never fixed it. Can you reattach this wallpaper, how do you do this, or do what instead?

    • Hi Robin. Thanks for visiting our site!
      I was never happy with the wall coverings in our manufactured home from the day we purchased it new. They just didn't have many options where we purchased the home, so we were stuck with floral prints and wiry stripes. I'm not sure how to repair the wallpaper as I can't see it to assess the damage or material you have. A few options you have include: Use wallpaper glue to reattach the torn sections, cover the walls with bead board or paneling (paint it a light color for a cottage style look rather than dark in a small space), if damage is on the lower section of the wall, apply wainscoting to the lower 2-3 feet of wall, apply a new wallpaper over top of the old or remove the old and apply new pre-pasted paper. We have shared many posts here that show different ways we have resurfaced our walls. We've even used sheet rock. I hope this helps. I know you may be looking for a low-cost fix, and repairing what you have would be the easiest, least expensive option, but without seeing your walls, I can't offer any other solutions.

  11. I used fabric tape and spackle for the joints. Once dry and sanded, painted the room. For the first 6 months it looked great. Now that it has been 2 1/2 years, every joint has cracked from floor to ceiling. Now it is going to be a mess to fix. I think I will be using silicon next time.

    • Thanks for visiting our site, John.
      We have had wall shifting too that has cracked wallpaper over joints. It's upsetting because it seemed to happen in one night all of a sudden. It shifted about 1/4 inch! But just in one spot on the end of our home. I imagine silicone would be a better choice for these types of projects. Much more flexible. I wonder what others think. Maybe someone will post here in response.
      Good luck with your projects!

    • What kind of silicone would you use? I know next to nothing about home repair but I’m hoping to learn something from this site. We have a double wide that is fully paid for on land that I love – but I would really love it if we could make the inside look better and more homey – starting with those yucky strips.

    • john don't beat yourself up I have use fabric type on a older home. I also had to have it repaired by a professional dry wall finisher. I was in formed all professional use paper type. the fabric type only last a few years. I had a older home so my husband an I down sized to a manufactured. and I can't stand the strips either so am gathering info on how to take care of it without hiring a pro. I had worked on our old home for over 20 years and not feeling like putting in that much work again.

  12. I am happy I found this site. I am about to start removing the strips, and retexture a wall, in a mobile home that I am about to move in to very soon. I was really excited to do it, until someone told me that the walls could shift if not done properly. I am planning on using acrylic caulk, fiber joint tape, and then sealing over that with joint compound, and sanding. I hope to use a hopper to give an orange peel texture to the walls. Hopefully, I am doing the right things to avoid shifting and cracking. If anyone else has any suggestions, I would be more than open to them!

    • Thanks for visiting, Sarah, and for sharing your comment. It sounds like you have a great plan! Please feel free to come back and share your experience once you've completed it. We love to hear about everyone's projects. You can do it here or visit our facebook page at

      Good luck and we look forward to hearing how it went!

  13. My wife and I are replacing some of the paneling in our double wide and removing all of the strips and molding in the other rooms. We are planning on using the all purpose painters caulk for the the seams that aren’t so large and tape and mud the large ones.

    Once we complete this process we will texture and paint. We will share pictures as we take them during this renovation. If anyone has used this method and has any tips, please post them.

    • Chad- Thanks for posting your plan. I can't wait to see how it turns out so please share pics on our facebook page so we can see all of your hard work. Good luck with your project!

  14. I'm confused, HOW do you remove those strips? I'm afraid I'm going to rip the wall apart if i try to get them off.

    • Hi Jane! Thanks for visiting our site.
      We always score a line along either side of the strips with a carpet knife first, just slightly under the edge of the strip. Then, either a putty scraper or a flat head screwdriver from top to bottom or vice versa gently peeling it away from the wall. If you do it slowly, it should come off easily this way. They don't normally glue them on, just tack them in lightly. But if you don't score the sides with the carpet knife, it may rip the papery coating on the gypsum board around the strip.

      I hope this helps!

  15. Amanda Robinson

    I just redid the guest bath and had to do something about the walls. I hated the wallpaper which could not be removed and had to deal with the seams. I muddled the seams without tape but my seems were very tight and smooth so others may need tape. I also filled in all holes and sanded all blemishes. Then i primed the entire surface with mildew resistant wallpaper primer and put up pre-pasted wall paper with a 3D wainscot texture from floor to ceiling. I then painted 2 layers of a latex paint in a blue/gray I loved and put up white trim. I had no drywall experience and had never hung wallpaper prior to this project and it looks great. It did take a couple of weeks for the paint to stop being tacky (sticky) because of the multiple layers of wallpaper, adhesive, primer, and paint. I waited until then to hang towel rods and decor.

    • Thanks for visiting and sharing your work with us, Amanda. It sounds like you were pretty busy. That's a big job! If you have pictures you can share, please visit our facebook page and let us see all of your hard work. We love to see what others are doing with their mobile home remodeling projects.

      Good luck on your next project!

  16. I decided to use the tape just to be on the safe side – completed most of it on Sunday! Just have to sand it all down and paint. Slow progress but cannot wait to see the end results. We appreciate your advice and this site! I will share pictures once complete!

  17. Hi Rachel, and thank you for commenting. If I had it to do again, I would tape the joints. We have had shifting and in the rooms where we removed strips and didn't recover the wall with something else, we had shifting cracks at the wall joints. In all the rooms where we recovered the walls with a different kind of wall board or knotty pine, we have not had a problem.

    Good luck with your project. If you have a chance, please share your pics on our facebook wall. We'd love to see your work!

  18. I hate the strips also but what is the easiest way to remove them?
    And I was wondering if acrylic caulk would work because it would give and not crack?

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting, Debbie.
      We've removed the strips in each room. We've solved this differently in each room…some not so successful. We normally cover the walls with another type of wall board or, like in the case of the living room, we completely covered the walls with knotty pine. Each time we've removed the strips, it left large gaps. So, we needed to fill them a lot with gap filler. Recently, I found a blog that described a great method for doing it. They did use painter's all-purpose acrylic latex caulk like you suggested because it is flexible. I wish we had tried that method! Here's a look at their efforts. It looks pretty terrific.

      Good thinking on the caulk! Good luck with your projects.

    • Thank you for the link!
      I want so badly to get these strips off & they did a great job
      I also want to paint my walls and ceilings the same color…..something light & neutral to really "open it up".
      Has anyone on here done that & can you post pictures?
      I have Googled walls & ceilings painted the same & I really like the look!
      My husband is not sure about this so I am going to start in my bathroom first.
      Please post pics if you have already done this.
      Thanks so much!

      • We painted our ceiling a slight shade lighter than the walls when we covered the living room with knotty pine. It's very slight and you almost can't tell to look at it. But I know the difference since I was up close and personal with it while painting it.
        Check out the two posts we did about our living room remodel. There are lots of pics of the paint in these two. There's no reason you can't paint the walls and ceiling the same color. People paint walls and ceilings white all the time. Why not another color?
        Post 1

        Post 2

        These are not the same color, but they are just about one shade off…barely can tell. Do what makes you feel good about your spaces…it's YOURS…if others don't like it…so what!

        Happy Remodeling!
        The McGees

  19. Well in my old house we scuff sanded the walls and kilzed them and then painted over said strips….in my larger double wide that I bought as a foreclosure and noe I have a hone with no mortgage that was twice the size I had before. …we have done methods….we have tapped and muddled the joints and sanded them out and only had one joint Crack but had more to do with a person’s body falling hitting it. …and we have also just put joint conpound in smaller cracks and sanded them out. Either way haven’t had an issue as long as you prepare your surface correctly.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting, Christina!

      Good on you for finding a home on foreclosure and getting a good deal! We're hoping to retire and move South in 4 years or so. If we could find a place like that that only needed a little work, we would be in heaven! There's so many ways people have shared they are working with the challenges of wall strips. It is the most popular question we get here on our blog!

      Good luck with your future projects and thanks for sharing your advice.

  20. I found most of the mouldings in mine was vinyl wrapped. So I used a Vinyl primer, available at Home Depot, on everything first, then my paint stuck to it just like it would have on real wood. Also used the vinyl primer over all that wallpaper and it worked great to keep the paint adheared to well.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting Debbie! This is good information. Our wall strips were vinyl wrapped too, just like the walls. I can't stand that stuff! Thanks for the ideas and sharing your experience!

  21. the moldings r there for a reason works same as floating floor im just looking to cover them as weve already painted

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