How to Eliminate Seams in Mobile Home Walls

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Eliminating the seams in mobile home walls makes the rooms look larger and more finished. Mobile home manufacturers cover walls with panels of vinyl board and fasten them in place with battens. Contractors refer to the battens that cover seams as “batts.” Remove batts to expose the raw seams, then use a plaster product or joint compound with drywall tape to eliminate the seams in mobile home walls.

Things You'll Need

  • Putty knife
  • Hand brush
  • Fiberglass mesh tape
  • Joint compound
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Paint or wallpaper
  • Remove the battens from the seams. Battens have brads or tacks that hold them in place over the seams. Start at the bottom of the wall. Slide the blade of a putty knife between the batten and the wall and twist the blade toward you. Continue in this fashion all the way up the wall.

  • Sweep dust and dirt out of the exposed seams to ensure that seam tape will have a secure bond.

  • Apply fiberglass tape over each seam. The mesh-type of seam tape has an adhesive backing. This allows you to tape the seams before having to spread joint compound.

  • Cover the taped seams with joint compound. Contractors refer to this compound as “mud.” Hold the putty knife at a 45-degree angle and spread a thin layer of mud over the surface of the tape. Smooth out rough spots and ridges in the mud and allow the joint compound to dry.

  • Eliminate surface blemishes in the mud with medium-grit sandpaper. When the surface of the mud feels smooth to the touch, apply another layer of joint compound and let it dry.

  • Prepare the surface of the dried mud for finishing. Sand it down a final time and decide on a wall covering. The seams will now accept paint or wallpaper of your choice.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use quick-drying joint compound for a speedier job.
  • Ventilate the area well when sanding joint compound—it produces lots of dust. Wear a protective mask if you you have a dust allergy.

References

  • Mobile Home Living: How to Update Vinyl Walls in Mobile Homes
  • "The Complete Guide to Finishing Walls and Ceilings Includes Plaster Skim-coating and Texture Ceiling Finishes"; Tom Lemmer; 2006
  • "Black & Decker Building and Finishing Walls & Ceilings: Drywall, Paneling, Ceiling Tile, Wall Covering, Trim Moldings, Texturing"; Phil Schmidt; 2002
  • "The First-Time Homeowner's Survival Guide: A Crash Course in Dealing with Repairs, Renovations, Property Tax Issues, and Other Potential Disasters"; Sid Davis; 2007
  • Photo Credit Monkey Business Images Ltd/Valueline/Getty Images
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