Before you get started, you should make sure what mobile home walls you have.
Cover them up
We put this idea first because you could use it as a starting point for our other makeover ideas. It’s surprisingly easy to cover up wood panels in a mobile home so that no one even knows they are there in the first place. And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean replacing them altogether with another type of wall.
Generally speaking, your wood-paneled mobile home walls will consist of vertical panels with either thick seams in between or with mobile home strips covering these seams. If you have strips, you’re in luck, as we have written a guide on what mobile home strips are and how to remove them. You can also find the steps to cover up the seams once you’ve removed the strips using drywall caulk in the guide.
Once you’ve done this, you will have a completely flat looking surface as your canvas. You will almost definitely need to paint over the walls once you have done this as the caulk will be visible where you used it. So, we’ll cover that next.
Paint them, of course!
Does this one sound too obvious? Well, you would be surprised at all the interesting things you can do and effects you can achieve with paint! Choosing your favorite color of paint and splashing it all over your walls isn’t all there is to it.
Whenever you plan to makeover some part of your mobile home, one of the first things you should think of is paint. It’s easy, super effective, and relatively cheap. Even if you keep the same color, a new coat of paint will go a long way to make your walls look newer, cleaner, and more attractive.
Here are some of the ways you can use paint to update your wood panels:
Paint them dark
If you want to downplay the panels themselves and highlight the other fixtures in the room, painting the wood panels a darker color is the way to go. The darker color will obscure the texture, if any, of the panels as well as the seams between them. By placing lightly colored shelving or furniture in the room or against the walls, you will make them stand out and make the wood panels even less prominent. Darker walls with lighter floors and ceilings will also make the room feel taller.
Paint them light
You could go in completely the other direction and paint your wood panels a lighter color. This will highlight them along with any texture as well as the seams. You could then also pair it with darker furniture. However, this style is not for everyone. What will be nice with lightly colored wall panels is even lighter furniture, fixtures, and trim. This will make the room feel larger, airier, and more welcoming.
Embrace the panels
We wouldn’t recommend this for any room, but for a kids room or a games room, you could choose to highlight the panels as part of your design. For example, you could choose two colors and paint the panels one and then the other across the room. You can also keep the wall strips and paint them a color that contrasts nicely with the color of the rest of the wall. Another creative idea is to highlight the natural lines in the wood, if they are visible, by painting them a different color from the rest of the panel.
If you want more advice on picking the right color paint for your home, we have a guide just for that. Also, if you want general help on the practicalities of painting mobile home walls, check our article Painting Mobile Home Walls With Style.
Texture your walls
Another fantastic way to cover up wood panels, give the interior a completely different feel, or perhaps create a unique effect, is to texture your walls. Depending on the type of texture you use and your own preference, you might want or need, to remove the wall strips and cover the seams first. However, using a texture in between wall strips or as part of a board and batten design can work.
There are a number of different ways to texture mobile home walls:
You can either use special paints or techniques to create textures just using paint. Popular ones include a stucco effect, bubbly effect, a shiny glaze or a rough texture by mixing paint and silica sand. With this technique, you’ll also have free reign when it comes to colors and shades.
This is probably the most hassle-free way of texturing your walls. A textured wallpaper has bezel designs on it that you get by merely plastering the wallpaper on your walls. Some textured wallpapers can also be painted afterward, giving you even more control over the final outcome.
Luckily, when it comes to manufactured homes, there is no shortage of wood panel types with which to makeover your home. You can find faux designs for metal, wood, stone, etc. These panels can usually just be fixed on top of your existing walls. However, you can also replace them if you feel it’s necessary. You can also find brick face type designs, though we doubt you will want to use these indoors.
We’ve created an entire guide on texturing mobile home walls, complete with the steps on how to identify and prep different types of surfaces.
Technically, you could view this as a form of painting. However, it comes with enough unique considerations of its own that we mention it separately. It’s becoming a trend at the moment with people using it to create a rustic type feel in their homes.
It’s popular for a number of reasons:
- You get to keep the wood grain or paneled look of your walls.
- It creates an eclectic and rustic look and feel.
- It’s easy.
- It’s affordable (technically even cheaper than painting).
- And, it suits the mobile home living feel.
The steps to whitewash walls are super simple:
- If it’s a wood surface, give it a go over with sandpaper to create a bit of texture.
- Buy a suitable paint depending on the type of wall, the color you want, etc. You don’t need to go with white. You can create interesting effects by using darker colors on lighter walls or vice versa. Look around online for examples.
- Dilute the paint with some water. Ask your local paint store what would be appropriate for your paint and factor in how pronounced you want the effect to be. 2 parts paint to 1 part water is the norm.
- Apply a layer of paint and while it’s wet remove some of it using a sponge or a piece of fabric.
- Like any painting job, leave a protective finish that will also stop it from being chalky.
Stenciling mobile home walls is another effective, affordable, and versatile way to update the look of your mobile home wood panels. Like all the form of painting we have talked about, it’s up to you whether you want to stencil on an uninterrupted surface or leave the seams/wall strips visible.
Painting the wall strips a certain color and then using stenciling in between them can be a creative design choice all on its own.
Stenciling is also flexible because you could use textured paints or a whitewash to create unique effects. You can also create soft or sharp contrasts, blend interesting color combinations, etc. The stencil designs that are available are also vast and range from kiddies dinosaurs to ornate and fancy patterns. Heck, you can even create your own!
It’s almost easier than painting because you only have to paint certain areas and you don’t have to worry about going over areas you aren’t supposed to.
The easiest way to stencil wood panels is to buy cut out sheets with the pattern you want. You then simply stick the sheet to the wall and paint in the cut out designs. Cutting Edge Stencils have some amazing tips, products, and examples to get you started.
Board and batten
This is one of our more work-intensive ideas. However, it could result in an amazingly classy and sophisticated end product. It’s not impossible to incorporate your existing wall strips in a board and batten design, however, for consistency and more freedom it’s probably best to remove them first.
However, the seams of your wall panels could very easily be a part of your board and batten design. Again, it’s up to you whether you want visible seams in between your battens or not.
A style that’s timeless is to go with whiteboard and battens and then paint the walls a light color like sky blue, faded yellow, etc. You can also go for something more modern and brood like dark board and battens (think mahogany) and a sultry, creamy wall.
Another solution is to not do anything at all to your wall panels! There are many other ways to obscure them or completely hide them from view. However, it goes without saying that combining some of these solutions with an interesting paint color or texture could open up even more design possibilities!
- Storage and Shelves: use bookshelves, cabinets, tall closets, etc. to hide parts of the wall or draw attention away from it. Open shelves that you fix to your walls are especially effective at this while also being a modern interior decorating trend. Just look at these search results on Pinterest to see what we’re talking about.
- Art: No, you don’t have to buy exorbitantly priced classical masterworks. It could be as simple as printing out a design you like, framing it, and hanging it on your wall. Of course, it would be a little creepy to hang all four walls in a room full of these. However, pairing a wall with art with others with shelves, windows, etc. could work.
- Curtains: No, we’re not kidding. You can find plenty of examples online of mobile homeowners exasperated by the wall panels that just hang some curtains over them. This solution is especially suitable for something like a baby room and can make the room appear less rigid.
A few final ideas
So far, we covered all the most useful ways to implement your wood paneling makeover ideas. However, there are countless more ideas that you can find online from people who have tried to update the look of their mobile home wood panels. We recommend that you spend some time looking at ideas on Pinterest or hobby sites to get inspiration.
For example, you could do one of these:
- Transform into a modern work of art: Just look at this spectacular custom walnut wood wall panel installation by Shari Misturak of IN Studio & Co. Interiors.
- Replace the panels: If you want to go all out, you can simply remove all the wall panels and replace them with new ones.
- Move it to the ceiling: You can create another interesting effect by paneling the ceiling and creating flat walls. Having both the ceilings and the walls paneled usually doesn’t look great.
- Change the direction: Similarly, you can achieve a different feel by swapping the vertical wall panels for horizontal ones.
Feel inspired yet?
We hope that this article has provided you with a few thought-provoking and inspirational wood paneling makeover ideas that got your fingers itching to get started. There are so many fantastic ideas to choose from that your biggest challenge might be only to choose one! Once you have your walls done, you can check out How To Make Yours A Luxury Mobile Home or Mobile Home Makeover Tips That Will Transform Your Living Space for even more ideas, tips, and advice.