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Our Remodel Q & A

So many people have been asking specific questions about our mobile home remodel so I will try to answer them as best I can in this post.  As more questions come in, I'll just add them here.

First of all...let me just say, that we aren't professionals.  We're just learning as we go, but we're happy to share what we've learned...  maybe you can use our ideas and improve on them.  

Q.  Did you have to remove the vinyl wallpaper before painting/texturizing?

No... we painted over it with Kilz®, which is a good stain blocking primer  (we used two coats in some places).

At this stage, you could go ahead and paint your walls any color you would like and it would look fine.   However, as a personal preference we added texture to our walls at this point.

Q.  Did you remove all the battens/trim from your walls...and how did you patch it?

Yes, we removed every bit of the mobile home trim that was on our walls, around doors, baseboards and anywhere else it was used.  In some places it exposed large gaps that had to be filled before we could texturize our walls.

Sorry, we didn't take any pictures of the actual tapping and bedding process, but this is what we did:
  • Buzz filled the seams in the walls with painter's all-purpose acrylic latex caulk.  He used caulking because it is flexible and durable.   
  • When he finished caulking, we used a self-adhesive fiberglass joint tape over each of the seams and on the inside/outside corners where the gaps were too large to tape, we used  Quik-Tape® a steel reinforced flexible drywall tape.  Once all the taping was done we used a pre-mixed joint compound to skim over the tape. (make sure to apply the joint compound may take two or three coats, but try to keep it as smooth as possible)  
  • At this point, we were ready to add the texture to our walls.
Spraying on Texture
We used a hopper to spray a pre-mixed texture to our walls.

It was a messy process, but the end result is amazing, and we'd definitely do it over again if we had to.   *After four years, it's holding up very well ... we haven't seen any flaking or cracking.

(see detail of the texture in the picture of our ceiling below)
  • We're in the process of adding baseboards throughout the house. We've also used similar molding around the interior doors.  It is MUCH better than the thin strips of trim that were there originally.

Q.  Did you add crown molding around the ceiling?

No... We had originally thought we would have to because when we removed the original trim there were such large gaps.  However, once Buzz had filled the gaps with caulking and we prepped to paint we were pleasantly surprised at how nice this area looked without crown molding.  

Not perfect by any means ... but for the most part, it looks pretty good.

What makes this work is the blown on texture ... I'm sure that without it we would definitely have had to add crown molding.

After four years we haven't noticed any cracks or other deterioration in this area, but I'll keep you posted as time goes by.

Q.  What paint colors did you use in your home?

 I've had several people ask about the paint/color choices in our home.  This is a list of what we've used so far:
  • Interior Walls & Trim - Behr Premium Plus Ultra (Home Depot) Aged Parchment UL150-10.  We used flat on the ceiling, eggshell on the walls and semi-gloss on the trim.  We chose to use the same color on the walls, ceilings and trim to help expand our space, and it works!
  • Kitchen Cabinets - Behr Premium Plus Ultra (color matched) from Martha Stewart Living Heath MSL212 & Valspar's Eddie Bauer Home Amber Yellow EB25-2
  • Exterior - Valspar Exterior Paint (Satin) Asiago 6005-1A  on the house, Outland Subtle Taupe 6005-1B on the trim & Smoked Oyster 6005-1C on the shutters
I don't have the exact colors we used on the dining room cabinets or the guest bathroom cabinets, but they are both a medium gray.  

Q.  How hard was it to close in the doors or other openings you didn't want?

It wasn't hard ... we closed off a door in each bathroom and an opening between the dining room and living room.  This collage shows the process in our Master Bedroom/Bath

Q.  When you painted your kitchen cabinets, were you able to paint over the "fake wood" ?

Yes.  I described part of our process in my post "Kitchen Remodel - Phase One", but I'll go into more detail for you here.

We were perplexed on how to paint the cabinets, because even though the doors were real wood, the cabinets themselves were a fake wood.  Our fake wood is like a particle board wrapped in a vinyl.  It was in good shape, and we weren't prepared to replace our cabinets at this time (and probably never will be)

The solution:  We painted all of the cabinets and doors with a contractors bonding primer.  This primer has a bonding agent that adheres to the surface of whatever you're going to paint. Because of the adhesive in the primer, we were able to paint right over the  fake wood parts of our cabinet and it stuck like glue.  We used the Valspar® brand, and it's worked beautifully for us, but there are certainly many other bonding primers out there. 

Once the primer dried, we applied two coats of a good paint to all the cabinets.  After three years, they're still holding up great!

Our dining room cabinets were a little different.  

We did prime the cabinets with the bonding primer, but we simply painted over the original wood doors after we had lightly sanded them.  The reason we did it this way was because we wanted a distressed look on the doors. After we applied two coats of paint (sanding lightly between each coat) we distressed the doors with a light grit sanding pad to give them an aged look. We also applied a coat of Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax to these doors for extra protection.

Q.  How much did you spend remodeling the interior of your home?
    • Floor Coverings - Carpet/Tile - $3,550.00
    • Appliances - Refrigerator, Range, Dishwasher & Washer & Dryer - $3932.00
    •  Heating & Air (inside/outside unit) - $3800.00
    •  Misc  - Appx  - $3000.00
      • Lumber
      • Molding
      • Electrical
      • Plumbing
      • Bathroom Fixtures
      • Doors
      • Hardware
      • Light Fixtures
      • Blinds
      • Paint
      • Caulking 
I think it would be safe to say that we've spent approximately $15,000 on our home.  We've purchased quality when we could but also took advantage of outlets like Habitat for Humanity, Thrift Stores, Discount Centers & Garage Sales.  After four years...we're still very pleased with the choices we've made.   It goes without saying that we could probably have purchased a new home for what we've spent on this one, but even in a new home, we would have wanted to make some of the same changes.  We're Happy!  We're Blessed!