Painting Vinyl Trailer Walls And Need Advice!

If walls could talk, mine would say " I hate you, I hate you so much that I ooze ugliness because I like seeing you cringe..."

Well I'm ready to fight back. But I'm not prepared. I heard a few people say that TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) will give the vinyl a good 'tooth' for the paint to adhere to. So I guess I have to invest a good week and a ton of muscle into just scrubbing the entire house down.

But then I don't know which primer to use and what finish to paint in. High-gloss would be easy to wash given my kids are young and hand-to-the-wall hourly.... make that minutely if you can fathom that as a word. But high gloss will bring out all those wonky grooves and cross-hatch looking textures in the vinyl, making it the same wall, different color. ew.

OK. Option number two.... matte finish or eggshell if that's the right term for it. Little dark finger-print stains and rubbed off areas where I tried to get rid of them....

I know there's a semi-gloss out there but am not too sure of how the finished look is.

Can I sand vinyl walls? Probably not.

Can I wallpaper them? If so, how? That paintable wallpaper is pretty awesome, by Debbie Travis...

Somebody out there HAS TO have painted their trailer walls before, or masked the ugliness SOMEHOW!

Any help/ideas/links/stories

"Mwahaha I'll ooze and ooze till your head explodes!!!"


Painting Vinyl Trailer Walls And Need Advice!

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KimPuff on Jan 28, 2013:

I have a question, if someone have tried painting over the wall before, what if you move the RV, does the paint c-r-a-c-k?

Anonymous on Nov 28, 2012:

All u need to do is sand down the entirety of the walls. Then, you'll need to wipe the dust off, prime, then paint like normal. Those trailer walls are a pain. Use an electric sander!

Tony on Nov 14, 2012:

I have a 2006 clayton mobile home with vinyl coated sheetrock. I wanted the place to look more like a house instead of a mobile home. What I did was primed the walls, next I taped and floated the seems on the sheetrock, then I used a spray texture, the last step was using a good paint/primer in one for my final coat and color. New moulding was hung around the windows, doors, ceiling, and floor. Its been 2yrs now and the place still looks great. No pealing, no bubbling, no paint falling off the walls. The place feels more like a house and I get complimented on it all the time. Use a closet to test some diffrent methods of painting and texturing. Its a good way to keep any mistakes hidden. Once you get what you are looking for, go with it on the rest of the place. Good luck.

Ben on Jul 02, 2012:

I do what they call rehap for moble homes and it includes repairing everything and including painting over all damaged walls  and vinyl walls as well. In my experence we have to cover it with at least 3 coats of very good paint the only sanding we did was over the drywal patches we had to do for holes and such and it looked very good 

Anonymous on Nov 11, 2009:

I need to paint the inside of my trailer house (16x80) - but I'm not sure how to or if I can use different colors in the living room area and the kitchen area since they run together (very open floor plan) - suggestions?  Tan furniture -

GeorgiaGirl on Jul 08, 2009:

I HAVE painted vinyl trailer walls (on a rental unit).  Actually I kiltzed them first (it was an older trailer when we got it with some land) and had my painters come and spray it with white flat paint.  Now 9 years later, we sold our home and moved into that Rental unit (debt free)...  We had to patch and re-kiltz a couple of walls (where the renters had knocked holes & ruined with markers) but the paint itself was still ok - no flaking/peeling issues.  The only place where I've experienced a peeling issue is actually on the door "frame" of one my girl's rooms where the door had been rubbing a long time.  I finally just peeled this off and will re-prime and paint and should be fine now that door has been fixed.  

 For our family, I purchased a much higher quality paint for my base coats (various store brands Behr from Lowes and Home Depot's store brand I think Olympic?.  Used semi-gloss in bathrooms and kitchen, satin sheen elsewhere-washability. 

I used some faux painting techniques to mask the "lack of" texture on any of the walls (only texture being where repairs had to be made from people slamming door handles or furniture into walls).  Used dry brushing, marbling, ragging, veining, etc...  Even some "homemade" venetian plastering. Everyone says my walls look really nice and I'm not a professional (though I have two sisters that are interior decorators approved it all).  Also re-did kitchen cabinets and they look absolutely gorgeous considering they're only "trailer" cabinets. 

Hope that helps

deejmore on Apr 06, 2009:

Semi gloss paint has a sheen that makes it easy to clean off. I use it on woodwork and in the bathroom/kitchen but It does show the flaws in the texture..   Flat paint hides a lot but it doesn't clean off very well.. I use eggshell, it cleans off better and it is about as shiny as a real egg..  Have fun!!

dewonangus on Apr 05, 2009:

I think different manufacturers handle clean up differently.  I have used some expensive brand labels with huge disappointment when is comes to cleaning.  In our current home I used Behr's washable flat paint and am very happy with it.  We chose the flat as our home is 30 years old and I wanted to minimize the flaws.  In addition to that, we live close to a lake and also get the reflection off the water which magnifies any flaw.  When I painted the vinyl is was about ten years ago and the products available today are so much better.  I also find Behr paint very forgiving.  I'm not sure, but I believe that they have came out with another product about a year ago (since I painted) and I think it is supposed to be even better. 

DestinybyDefinition on Apr 05, 2009:

Thanks for the reply, d. Love your work, btw! How does the semi-gloss handle cleaning? I imagine you've wiped down your window sills once or twice? Is it really reflective, semi-gloss paint? I just don't want any sheen that will give away the texture of my walls.

dewonangus on Apr 05, 2009:

I haven't painted vinyl trailer walls, but I have successfully painted vinyl window sills.  I washed them down with TSP and then gave them a good rinse with warm water.  I used an interior primer that I had tinted close to the wall colour and then painted with a semi-gloss.  Good Luck!

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