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Painting Interior Walls

Ok, so we just bought a trailor in Bennett Springs, Mo that we are wanting to spruce up to make it into a vacation rental and are also currently living in it...I'll be asking many questions on this to let you all know now! lol Anyway it's one of those trailors with the 'set-up' walls with the "wallpaper" already on it... My husband says that we will have a very difficult time painting or setting up new wallpaper and doesn't know how we would even begin to do it- so ultimatly my question is how would I proceed to do this??? I would prefer to paint but don't want to spend money on something that isn't going to stick... Is it a matter of 'Scratching' or sanding the walls, then maybe a special kind of primer and paint???? If I sound super ignorant and there's no special kind of primer or anything then I apologize cuz the gods honest truth is that ultimatly I'm super ignorant about this stuff...

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Posted 2013-01-13T21:10:02+0000  by SonjaMason SonjaMason




The "wallpaper" in manufacturer homes is actually not wallpaper at all, but a vinyl coating that is bonded directly to paneling or drywall right from the manufacturer of that product. It can be painted or wallpapered over.


If painting, a good acrylic primer such as Glidden's Gripper or Behrs' Primer No.75 will give good adhesion to this vinyl type material.


If wallpapering, similarly , a primer should be first applied to the walls to assure that the wallpaper adhesive will stick. The cellulose paste used on todays pre-pasted wallpapers will not stick to to such vinyl surfaces directly.


My assumption is that your trailer has patterned strips which cover the joints in these wall panels. These strips certainly can be painted over, but a much better appearance will result if they are first removed and the joints patched. This is done similarly to patching new drywall seams. A self-adhesive fiberglass tape can be placed over the gap and a couple coats of drywall mud applied. This must be feathered out several inches on both sides of the tape ot avoid a perceptable high spot.  Once sanded smooth with a sanding block, the seam should be spot primed before painting.


I would caution that homes which are not heated in the winter in cold climates are often subjected to cracking at the drywall seams due to extreme temperature and humidity changes. Drywall and paneling expand and contract in unstable climates.


The walls can be finished with a quality acylic paint, such as Behr's Premium Plus or Gliddens  If the walls are of a strong color, you might want to have the primer tinted close to the finish color. I would probably opt for an eggshell or satin sheen, rather than a flat. These give better scuff resistance and washability than a flat paint. Such qualities are desireable in a rental!


Hope this has been helpful.

Posted 2013-01-14T05:39:24+0000  by ordjen

Hello SonjaMason - welcome to the community.


Ordjen has a lot of good points on how to move forward with your project.  I wholeheartedly agree with the use of primer as often as possible on questionable surfaces.


 However, I would like to suggest possibly using an oil based primer instead of a latex (water based). This will greatly improve the adhesion of any type of paint you use as a final coat.  Sometimes there may be issues with the paper that water based primers could cause it to bubble or release.  Also, there may be a film present on the surface (like smoke or cleaners).


Make sure there is proper ventilation when you use an oil based primer.

Posted 2013-01-14T15:01:05+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL


Were there true wallpaper on the walls, rather than this RV industry hybrid,  or indications of other problems , such as nicotine, my recommendation would have been for an oil based primer. As to adhesion, Zinsser rates BIN, CoverStain and Zinsser123 all excellent on vinyl wallcoverings. I would add Gripper and Behr 75 to that list.


I,  like most homeowners,  would prefer to avoid smelly, noxious, high VOC  oil based paint and primer products, given a reasonable alternative. I have spent countless hours rolling and spraying BIN and CoverStain, both are excellent products, and both can be over kill at times. Gripper, Behr 75 and Zinsser 123 are reasonable alternatives to oil in this instance.


Ah children, breathe deep and love that toluene! :)

Posted 2013-01-15T05:19:04+0000  by ordjen
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