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

42 Comments:

  1. I purchased a roll of the nylon mesh seam tape, spackle and joint compound. I used a six inch putty knife to apply the spackle over the tape, allowed it to dry, sanded the joints and applied a layer of joint compound with a ten inch blade. I've allowed this coat of joint compound to dry and then sanded. The wider second coat of joint compound has allowed to spread the compound out more evenly over the joint giving it a more finished look. I've also purchased residential crown molding and baseboard molding to go around the walls and molding to frame out around the windows and doors in the room. I purchased a satin finish Valspar paint with primer built in, which gives the wall a beautiful finish. I think it is best to spend a little more for residential quality products because they will give you the residential finish you are looking for.

    • Welcome Kimberly and thank you for taking the time to comment.
      Your process sounds interesting. I'm glad you're happy with it. A lot of people have been coming by and sharing their wall seam secrets recently and I'm so glad because it's the question we get asked the most around here! I'm happy to see so many tackling this issue and being willing to share it with others.

      Sounds like you ended up with a lovely finish!
      Happy remodeling!

      The McGees

  2. Ive recently textured a triple wide i used drywall paper tape and red dot joint compound to fill in wall strips and than shot the texture straight over the paneling it painted it and it came out great ! its been about 2 months and so far we haven't seen any cracking! I don't usually work on mobile homes and have learned theres a completely different set of rules codes and regulations for them. I have another customer in the park that wants me to do the same to her ceilings, they have removed a bunch of walls and opened it up, put wood floors and textured walls, my concern is I've noticed the ceiling sagging in the living room and don't want to add anymore weight to it, can anyone tell me what ceiling paneling is attached to and how i might reinforce it before i try filling it in? I was told there are 2×2's every 12 or 24 that i could possibly screw into does anyone know if thats correct?

    • Hi Leah. Thanks for commenting and visiting our site! The process you came up with for the walls sounds great. I will be interested to hear if you can make it work for a ceiling as well.
      I don't know what type of mobile home you are going to be doing the ceiling on so I can't tell you what it looks like inside the ceiling, but we have wanted to redo the ceilings in a couple of our rooms that we haven't recovered yet and this was an interesting thing for me to research. Thanks!

      Here's a video of an older trailer that is a single wide and what the inside of the ceiling looks like : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3z7z48P3Gg
      Here's a video of a double wide that is newer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr_ptTEAQcY
      Hopefully these will help you get a better sense of what's up there to continue with your work.
      Good luck! Please feel free to come back and share your project success with us!

      Happy remodeling!
      The McGees

  3. All postings were interesting. Has anyone tried replacing the tiny strips with something more substantial. Our living room walls have one side paneling and three sides painted. So how do we deal with that, considering that I do not ever want to use wall paper?

    • Hi there. And thank you for visiting and commenting!
      Have you tried larger strips? We did use the flat trim pieces that were about 2.5 inches wide to serve as sort of a cottagy looking wall trim in one room. I liked it, and now that you mention it, would consider doing it in another room.

      How about covering the whole room with a light paneling that looks whitewashed? This would come in 4×8 sheets. I love the look of that type of paneling and think it is lovely in a mobile home. You could use painted wider strips to cover the seems and it would have a cottage look to it. I have thought of doing this in my bedroom.

      Good luck with your projects! You sound motivated to get to work!

  4. Becky Altobelli

    Does anyone know of a Contractor that works on Mobile Homes. (Drywall, electrical, plumbing etc?) In the Orange Country/LA area.

  5. Hello all, My husband and I purchased our mobile home over 10 years ago and we have tried a few methods to remove the strips between the wall panels, the best method we found was…
    Drywall tape and compound… regardless of your method if your mobile home is not on a concrete/blacktop pad it will move/settle with the seasons. We used 2 methods…1) tape and mud joints only and 2) tape and mud joints and feather coat entire surface. Method 1 allowed more movement in the walls thus joints cracked Method 2 which we recommend is great with NO cracks.

    • Thanks for visiting our site and for taking the time to comment, Renee! Everyone is always asking the best way to get rid of the wall strips and you've offered two great ways based on your experience.
      Happy remodeling!
      The McGees

    • What do you mean, "feather coat entire surface"? I have done some drywalling, so I know how to make the seams nearly invisible (I'm not professional), but "entire surface"? Do you mean to coat the entire wall with mud?

  6. Has anyone covered their ceiling with a paneling? Specifically, I'm thinking of using a wood paneling to give it a cabin feel. The outside is already sided in cedar.

  7. Thank you for all the ideas for removing the strips. Will try one of them and then paper, with heavy paper from Lowes. They do look bad.

    • Welcome, Goodie! And thank you for taking the time to comment. Good luck with your projects. If you think of it, please do come back and share your experience! It's so great to see how other people solve these problems and I love it when folks share their stories. Check us out at our facebook link too and comment there if you'd like.

      Happy Remodeling!

      The McGees

  8. So far, I've used bead board to completely refinish walls in master bathroom. All the trim around windows & doors had to be replaced. Wainscot necessary for vaulted 14' ceilings. Our goal was to get rid of all the plastic! After paying contractor & buying all materials (we tiled floor, ripped out plastic garden tub, replaced skinny shower with much larger with bench. replaced all cabinets, etc.) we spent about $17,000 which I don't consider "cheap". Prior to that we had covered all the popcorn ceilings with a finer textured gypsum purchased from Palm Harbor factory because the feds won't allow them to be sold in 16' lengths to general public.

    My next idea on the strips that I hope will be a bit less expensive is to replace the strips with a wider lattice-type strip, repeating once in between each 4' span if that makes sense & then caulking, priming & painting. Best to adhere these strips to walls before painting, as the thinner wood tends to warp if you paint or prime first. This whole process about the walls is a nightmare to me & costly to correct no matter what you do if you are old & have to pay for labor. When we bought this house over 30 years ago, it was the largest, most expensive doublewide on the market & we receive compliments on how sturdy it still seems; however, we have poured a lot of money into maintaining & improving. Good luck to all of you!

    • Hi Victoria. Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment!
      We have run into the problem of having the walls too high at the center for a whole sheet of whatever we are covering the walls with. I can relate to the $17,000 figure. Our first major overhaul included new floors throughout, a new bathroom, bedroom, new hand built wood skirting, all new windows, a pellet stove for heating, new water heater and pressure tank, and new wall coverings plus wainscot in three rooms. That totaled about $16,000. Not bad, I thought. But then in the last few years we have put on a new roof, added a concrete patio, another new bathroom, and a laundry room redo, a pergola, and a whole new living room. I don't even want to tally how much more we've spent. But it has really increased the value of our home so I'm not worried about it. I'm proud of you for keeping the same mobile home for 30 years and maintaining and improving it to your liking. That's quite a fete! We are almost at 20 years here. I think we'll stay a while and enjoy our hard work. You are correct, it is cheaper when you can do the work on your own and we do feel it more and more with each job we do ourselves. We can feel every nail hammered in these bones of ours! Good luck in your future projects….
      The McGees

  9. No doubt, we all hate the seam strips on walls! I was given a solution for covering the grooves in faux wood paneling that I feel would be a great solution for this issue in our vacation mobile home. A professional recommended using the paintable wall paper sold by Lowe's and Home Depot that has been mentioned. He said to apply a good wallpaper adhesive and apply the wallpaper horizontally rather than floor to ceiling. He said that
    any hair lines where wallpaper strips come together is hidden when quality paint is used. I plan to do a small bathroom very soon to test this solution. This wallpaper product is thick enough to avoid filling the grooves in the wallboard but you could. Wish me luck!

    • O.P.B-

      Thank you for visiting our site and for taking the time to comment and offer your helpful tips. You are brave indeed to tackle those wall strips. We have tried every way from Sunday to work around them and have had some hits and some misses. We wish you luck in your project and would love for you to come back and share your experience once finished!

      All the best,
      The McGees

  10. Consider using cloth material or cool, inexpensive alligator vinyl (look it up on Google images) on walls just as you would wallpaper. You'll have a designer finish you can be proud of!

    • Thanks, Wendy. I like this idea! I've seen pictures of alligator vinyl and while I never would have thought of it, it could be a neat idea. I also like the idea of fabric covered walls. The wallpaper we put in our bedroom is made with a fabric weave so it is really heavy and needed to be pasted, but it is beautiful. I have often thought about the possibility of covering walls with fabric. Thanks for these great ideas and for taking the time to post on our site.

      The McGees

  11. My husband and I just recent purchased a mobile home and I have been racking my brain for ideas on how to remove those strips and refinish the walls to make them look less, well, "cheap". The previous owner added cedar wood siding to the outside of the house so it looks like a small log cabin, which is really awesome! But, the guy was a bachelor and the inside definitely needs a woman's touch. I plan to pull up some of the carpet because it is just destroyed in certain areas and we have to refinish some walls where the guy cut holes to repair some piping damage and then just left it like that.

    From what I'm gathering, removing the strips isn't as treacherous as it seems and, as long as we make sure the sheet rock is firmly in place, we can remove them without some terrible fiasco happening. Also, beadboard, wainscot, and paintable wallpaper are great ways to cover the not-so-perfect walls.

    I'm loving the forum and all of the great info! So appreciative for it!

    • Hello Rachell, and thank you for your comment!

      Of all of the questions we get here at Mymobilehomemakeover.com, the one about how to remove and cover the wall strips is THE MOST popular one. We have used several options. One room we covered in a thin luan board and then wallpapered and wainscoted. Another room we simply removed them, filled the seems with some DAP and then wallpapered. Another room we completely covered with beadboard, another room we completely covered with knotty pine tongue and groove. There are really so many solutions to this problem. It's just a matter of how much money you want to spend and how much energy you have to do the work. I did cover another room with some paintable wallpaper that is thick and designed for walls that have lots of blemishes. It worked pretty well, but I painted it with a soft-gloss paint. I'm getting ready to repaint it with a flat paint. I think it will look much more like stucco if it's done in flat. Right now it looks too much like a mobile home wallpapered wall for my liking!

      I hope you have great success with all of the projects you have underway. We'd love to see pictures if you care to share them on our facebook page or send a link on our site here.

      Happy remodeling!

      The McGees

  12. I took of the strips in my living room, filled it in with plaster several times. Painted it and what a mess, resealed the area with Kilz and painted again, still awful. Today I am buying sand to put into my paint and try again, very expensive so far and time consuming, but I really dislike the strips down the wall, it make it hard to decorate with pictures etc. I hope this sand in the paint works

    • Hi Norma. Thanks so much for your comment!

      It's great to hear all of the ways people have tackled this problem of the wall strips. Our very first remodel project many years ago was exactly this project…to remove and paint over the wall strips in our living room. Unfortunately, it led to my husband and I both in tears…seriously :-). And our solution in our state of emergency was pretty ingenious. What I will say about that experience is just this….DON'T USE SPACKLE to cover the seams. You can use a soft joint filler or hole filler and smooth it out and let it dry, but don't use spackle. It is evil stuff.

      If you have some photos of your solutions you can share, please post a link. We'd love to see them!

      Happy remodeling,
      The McGees

  13. Hello, I have removed my strips, and mud and tape over the crack making sure that my sheet rock, was attached firmly to the studs,in some cases I have had to put some panel nail in to secured.i am working on my third room,you do not have to sand they have special sponges to use to smooth out the dry mud, also I wet my tape before I apply it to my sheetrock mud and it seems to help. I AM a loser woman and am doing this by myself but it seem to being doing fine.

  14. Working on a 1200sf now. Have used a black & decker sander to first sand out the paint edges left by the strip removal, then spatula in sheetrock joint compound as it comes for the straight strips. May take one more
    sanding and a skim coat of joint compound to finish off the joints, even them out, cover the peeled paper that
    may be there. I used Sheetrock brand outside corners, fantastic and simple to install using a paint stirrer, joint compound and a 3" roller,,,no better way to do it. The plan is to texture and knock-down. I use silicon in the inside corners, then joint compound either side and sand it. I'll let you know if it works. Using a small room to try all different ideas. Great site, thanks so much.

    • Thanks so much for posting, Brian. I hope your wall strip solutions and experiments go well. And please do come back and share if you can! This is one of the all time most popular questions we get…how to remove and repair the strips in these walls.

      Happy remodeling!

      The McGees

  15. Thanks so much for your comments, Cowgirl! And also for visiting our site. I appreciate you sharing your hard gained wisdom on these topics. The walls in mobile homes are a special creature (as are popcorn ceilings) and I think one of the things we battle and scratch our heads over most. I have a dream that one day someone- maybe me!- will invent a really easy way to make those troubles all go away with a technique that takes one afternoon- is water based- and a few minutes clean up :-)

    I am taking some time to look at the links you shared now and maybe they will spark some ideas for me.
    Thanks again!
    The McGees

  16. Flip Flop Cowgirl

    A few thoughts: Spray foam insulation expands A LOT after you spray it in and is quite difficult to remove. I wouldn't go that route. If you are a pro at drywall bedding and taping, try using this: http://store.straitflex.com/product_p/ct-100.htm

    If, however, like, me, you are NOT a drywall expert and, after using tape you are left with big, bulky, lumpy messes when you attempt this (particularly if your wall boards aren't level with one another), I would try to fill with a FLEXIBLE caulk and then texture.

    I do recommend adding this to any texture compound you use this to help adhesion: http://store.straitflex.com/product_p/sb-12.htm

    Speaking of texture, I bought Wagner's texture sprayer. Do not recommend. Bought this instead and plan to refill the bags with a turkey syringe: http://www.amazon.com/home-improvement/dp/B0058KF

    I lived in a gorgeous site-built house in town and I miss having those lovely orange peel walls in my favorite color. So….I did my daughters' room with the crack tape, Wagner texture sprayer, etc. HUGE mess. I am getting smarter as I go….I hope!

    Great blog, by the way.

  17. Has anyone tried filling the gaps with spray foam insulation then covering with drywall tape. I am trying to come up with a way to rid myself of those strips as well. I have no idea where to start

    • Hi Mary! Thanks for visiting My Mobilehome Makeover and for commenting. You ask a great question. Those seams are just the peskiest annoyances in our homes aren't they? In our smaller bedroom, I believe we used a DAP spackle product that came in a little tub. It was white and really quite thin but like school paste…only chalkier. I cleaned out the seams really well and trimmed any of the wall covering (wallpapery junk they cover the walls with like flowery junk or stripes) around the edges of the seams. Then, I filled the seams with the DAP, and smoothed it down with a putty knife. It dries really quickly so within the day, I was able to sand with a find sanding block. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty darned good. After it was all filled and smoothed and sanded, I covered the walls with paintable white textured wallpaper and painted it. I am really happy with the way it looks. No seams and a nice color. Good luck with your projects. Come back and let us know if you have success with filling your wall strips!

      Thanks again.
      The McGees

  18. Thanks for all the ideas on how to get rid of the ugly strips..(Why do they do that?) I SIT HERE EVERYDAY trying to figure OUT HOW TO GET RID OF THEM. I have thought of the bead board and was pondering trying the spackle. I have also ordered some very real looking brick wallpaper (Vinyl) for an accent wall in the living room which will have a 60 inch flat screen on the wall with an electric fireplace piece below it so that will take away from any subtle remnants of the strips. Also hate that we have no molding around the floors..we are preparing to put in hardwool floors and will have our carpenter put the baseboards in for us. Has anyone tried to remove the large garden tubs and replaced them with a regular tub??? Bathrooms are next project :)

    • Thanks for commenting, Trish!
      It sounds like you have a good project or two in the works. Are you doing real hard wood? Or laminate wood look?
      In our first bathroom remodel, we did remove a garden tub and replaced it with a really nice house-style bathtub. It is a deep tub and has a rope design around the edge. It was pretty easy to do. If the opening isn't big enough, it may require reworking the mini wall behind the tub to squeeze it in, but for the most part, that wasn't a problem for us. I blog about it here: http://www.mymobilehomemakeover.com/2010/08/mobil

      Good luck to you in your projects. And if you find a workable solution to the strips, please come back and share!

      The McGees

    • We removed the garden tub and the sinks that was on each side of the tub. Replace the sink on the left of the tub and the tub area with new cabinets and double sinks. The sink on the right side of the tub became our new 60" shower and a new closet where the old shower was. If you would like to know more email me.

      • Hi Clara. Thanks so much for your comment.
        If you have pictures online of your work, please do share a link here or on our facebook page. We'd love to see it!

        Happy remodeling!
        The McGees

  19. I am currently trying Fast 'N Final Lightweight Spackle by DAP ($6.00 at Lowe's) for filling the seems on a wall. I'm using my son's old room as an experimental room for different products. I am considering using Behr Texture paint and doing a "knock down" texture that can look like plaster. Has anyone used this product yet?

    I'll report on my success or failure with the DAP product once I figure out what to do with this wall.

  20. I totally agree about the wainscot. I plan to use some in my living room with a light designer gray color. Pics of that will follow for sure :)

  21. I replaced some of that stripping. I found if you make sure the existing drywall is secured to the joists/wall you wont get that separation. I used a FINE spackle as opposed to the more thick kind. It's so much easier to work with and leaves a more perfect finish with less sanding. Also I used latex semi-gloss paint as it's more forgiving than matte finishes. It's not pristine but you'd really have to look very close at certain angles to tell. This to me is a much better alternative to the ugly strips of wood. I'll post before and after pics soon.

  22. Here's the reply I sent Skrapwood on the forum:

    Hi Skrapwood! Thanks so much for helping us to build our forum.

    We have tried several different things and have had some successes and some failures. We spent a lot of money on a beautiful fabric wallpaper for our bedroom. We put a wide strip of wall repair plain wallpaper over the spots between the wallboard pieces. I think the strips we used were too wide as they are visible under the nice wallpaper.

    Link to pic:
    http://www.mymobilehomemakeover.com/wp-content/up

    In a bathroom we redid, we used only the wall repair wallpaper and painted it when we were done. This worked fairly well, but in some spots you can still tell there is an empty strip below the paper. A few things we have done to our walls that we are happy with are as follows:

    In our living room, we used a spongy, thick wallpaper that looks like marble. We purchased it at Lowes. It was pretty inexpensive, like less than 15$ per roll. We put white wainscot on the bottom of many of our walls just to provide extra insulation on exterior walls, as well as to get rid of the empty strip sections you're talking about at least on the bottom of the walls. Plus, it looks more like a house with wainscot. Home Depot has a really simple, inexpensive wainscot product that comes with a top and bottom rail, then you get packages of 8" wainscot sections that slide into one another. It's so easy we've done a whole bathroom after work in an evening.

    Livingroom pics:
    http://www.mymobilehomemakeover.com/wp-content/up

    http://www.mymobilehomemakeover.com/wp-content/up

    The spongy wallpaper can also be purchased with a few different textures and colorless so you can paint it. Just look for wallpaper that suggests that it is for wall repair or covers bad walls. Lowe's has several to choose from. The wallpaper we special ordered for the bathroom I mentioned above wasn't as thick as I would have liked it. It's hard to judge when you are looking at it online.

    I know you said you didn't want to replace the drywall, but we have replaced several walls (and even one ceiling in our bathroom) with beadboard. It looks fantastic, doesn't need to be painted, and when you use trim pieces to cover the seams, you get a "cottage" look that just looks great.

    We have tried spackling it. HUGE mistake. One of the biggest, most depressing blunders we have ever had while remodeling our mobile home. I do not recommend it at all.

    I hope some of these ideas spark new ideas for you. Please feel free to reply and ask about any of them. I'm happy to elaborate. And, as always, if you find a great solution to this really annoying problem for all mobile home owners (right up there with popcorn ceilings!), please come back and share your solution with us all here.

    Good luck!

    Beth and Darren

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>