How to Refurbish an Old Mobile Home From the 60s

Refurbishing a mobile home from the 1960s is an ideal way to achieve your homeownership dream on a budget. A 1960s mobile home will need TLC and elbow grease to drastically change the look of the space within.

Things You'll Need

  • Crowbar
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Flooring
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Bleach, optional
  • Sponges
  • Scrub brush
  • Joint compound
  • Paintbrushes or paint rollers
  • Paint
  • Trim
  • Window cleaner
  • Weatherstripping
  • Window film
  • Light fixtures
  • Power washer

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Inspect the roof, plumbing lines and electrical circuits for damage. Inspect the toilet, bathtubs and sinks for leaks, and the flooring under these for damage. Check duct work, and furnace or AC units. Repair any problems, following building codes in your area.

Remove carpet and old flooring down to the underlayment, using a crowbar. Sweep and mop the floor to remove dirt, debris and odor. Old flooring will collect smells that may be impossible to eliminate without removing the material. Consider replacing the old floor covering with new laminate flooring for an updated look.

Wash down the walls and floors with a mixture of 1 cup trisodium phosphate and 3 quarts warm water. Add household bleach if smells or stains from mold and mildew are present. Wash the walls and floors with sponges; use a scrub brush to remove hard stains. A mobile home from the 1960s may have odors from its glory days; TSP will eliminate odors and give you clean work surfaces.

Fill the cracks in paneling with joint compound. Paint the walls with a premium odor-removing primer followed by two coats of premium latex paint. Older mobile homes are traditionally single wides with small rooms; use bright paint with a glossy finish to make rooms appear larger. Trim the walls, windows and doors in a material that reflects your decorating style.

Remove the cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. Remove the knobs, door hinges and hardware. Paint the cabinets and doors with a coat of primer and two coats of premium latex paint. A full gloss finish will allow you to wash the surfaces in the future. Paint the door knobs and hinges with a matching metal finish. Metal finishes like silver, gold, bronze and hammered copper are sold in spray cans.

Clean the windows and doors and inspect them for leaks. Apply new weatherstripping to create airtight seals. Apply window film that reduces the amount of UV rays entering the home. Replace windows and doors that can't be repaired or updated.

Install new ceiling fans or light fixtures. Mobile homes from the 1960s generally have lower ceilings than newer manufactured homes. Light fixtures that hug the ceiling, rather than hang from them are ideal. Updating light fixtures is a way to change or enhance the look of a room, while on a budget.

Power-wash exterior walls with TSP. The cleaner will remove stains from the aluminum siding on mobile homes. Paint the walls with a premium exterior paint. Install shutters to update the look of the mobile home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cover outdated wallboard with textured wallpaper for a classic look.
  • Textured wallpaper can be painted any color you choose.
  • Remove cabinets, built-in wet bars and chests of drawers that were typically installed in older mobile homes.
  • Paint the roof with a waterproof sealant.
  • TSP is a very strong cleaning agent; wear protective goggles and gloves when using this product.

References

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