Painting a Mobile Home

I need to paint a double wide that I am selling on a Note. What is the best paint / paint additives to use. (Re-painting the same color)

Thanks -

Any decent grade exterior latex will work, it’s mostly in the prep work. I bleach the home using 50/50 water and bleach in a hand pump garden sprayer and then scrub any bad spots with a long handled brush. Rinse with a garden hose and let her dry. Roll with a heavy nap roller on an extension.

Best wishes,

Ryan Needler

Don’t know where you are so that can have a huge effect on painting methods and materials. Painting homes in Tucson where I once owned a park is different than in NE Ohio where I now find myself. This is the method I use as it will stand up to some pretty nasty weather conditions and look good for at least a decade:

Physically scrub the home using a solution of water, bleach and TSP. Scrubbing every inch is necessary for physically abrading the existing paint.

Rinse REALLY well.

Mix the first coat of paint using and emulsifier (I use EB Emulsa-Bond) at a ratio of 4 parts paint to 1 part emulsifier.

Use FLAT paint for the first coat. This is critical as emulsifier needs flat paint to work correctly.

I use either Sherwin-Williams A-100 or Behr Premium Plus Exterior because I can paint all the way down to 35 F.

Paint 2nd coat using paint with a sheen such as gloss or semi-gloss. Flat doesn’t look so great.

Mix in a flow enhancer such as Flo-Trol according to directions.

Use sheepskin roller covers with a 3/4" nap.

The reason for the emulsifier is that it is soft and adheres well to the underlying paint. You will never remove all the chalking (oxidation( no matter how hard you scrub and the emulsifier makes paint stick better. The 2nd coat is necessary as the first coat is “soft” and will not weather well. Flow enhancer makes your roll on work look like it was sprayed.

This method is only slightly more costly than others and you will be amazed at the results you’ll get. I used a couple of the local “professionals” and my work looks better than theirs at just a fraction of the cost.


Wheat Hill

What type of siding?

It’s the old school 60’s metal siding

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I live in the Los Angeles area. I can usually get away with a good washing on the outside but many of the park managers are now requiring me to paint the home before reselling it. Any suggestions for buying the paint etc without having to pay full retail for it?

You get exactly what you pay for. Also, what is your time worth? Cheaper paints take more to cover a given area and are much harder to work with. I rarely mask anything simply because top quality paints tend to run/drip much less than lower quality ones. So, yes, you can buy all sorts of cheap paints that will take you longer to apply and the finished result is not that great. All that said, simply doing a top quality prep job will make any level of paint quality look better.

Glad to hear PMs are requiring paint jobs. I’m (no so) gently encouraging my residents to paint their homes and do it according to my specs. Makes a world of difference in how a community full of older homes looks.


Wheat Hill

Thanks Rolf, I usually try to get high quality paints etc. I was just looking for away to get them without paying full rack rate, like via a contractor like discount. I have heard that some paint companies will offer substatial discouts to national RIA members etc.


You might want to try the new Valspar Duramax exterior paint. I really like it so far. It dries thick, bridges gaps and cracks and almost has a rubber feel to it. Seems to be very durable to our weather conditions and you can paint down to 35 F as well. It claims to be self-priming but I primed bare wood or metal first anyway. Great coverage with one coat. Not cheap at $30/gal from Lowes but it seems to be well worth it.


I’ve never heard of this paint but I’m interested. Where do you buy it?


I buy it at Lowes.

I have either scrubbed the home with TSP in water with a brush or lately have been pressure washing them. I used Behr premium Exterior paint (from Home Depot) with excellent results. Yes, it is more expensive. My first paint job is still looking presentable after six years!

HOWEVER, the last two 5 gal buckets of Behr Premium Exterior paint (at $115 ea.) were VERY DISAPPOINTING. Both were much thinner, ran easily and covered more poorly. It was blue over blue and tan over white. Should have been fine.

I will consider the Valspar or Sherwin Williams next time.


Thanks for posting this info. Several people in my community are planning to paint this summer and I think I will stop recommending this product. Without exception, all the pros out here in NE OH use Sherwin-Williams and that tells me a lot.


Wheat Hill


Do you still use emulsa-bond in the Valspar paint or just the paint as it comes?

Thanks - Tim


I just use it the way it comes right out of the bucket. Valspar has several lines though. I am talking specifically about the Duramax line.


Going to Lowe’s this week to check out this product.

What concerns me with any new paint is how does it bond to the existing paint? You can scrub or pressure wash to your heart’s delight and still not get rid of all the chalking. Emulsa-bond solves this problem.


Wheat Hill