Wall Batten Strips

 

Mobile home wall strips sometimes referred to as batten strips can make your mobile home look old fashioned or out of date.  If you are looking for an easy way to upgrade or remodel your mobile homes appearance removing these vertical wall strips from your walls might be the answer.  Removing these strips is a sure way to give your mobile home more of a modern look inside and make it look up to date especially if you have a used mobile home.  So, if you are looking for a new look this is your answer.  

Here you will learn what these little wall strips do for your mobile home, if you should remove them and a how to get started with your DIY project today.

What are these little wall strips?

These little wall strips that run up and down your wall approximately every 8 feet help to cover the seam between the paneling or drywall in your mobile home.  These wall strips are usually made of a light plastic but sometimes they are wooden. 

The main reason that mobile homes feature these types of walls strips is because they make it easier to transport and assemble the mobile home.  When the mobile home gets to its location it is easy to pop these panels into place and then cover them with a quick wall strip.

 Wall Strips in Double wide

Rather than spend the time taping and sanding seams factories found it just easier to run a quick plastic strip between the seam to cover the joint where the two panels meet. This makes the process of putting walls up quicker and cheaper for the factories so they can make these mobile homes affordable.

Should I remove these wall strips?

The answer to this question is YES.  You can remove the wall strips to your mobile home.  Many mobile homes do this every day to give their mobile home a more stick-built home feel.  The best part about this type of upgrade to your mobile home is it is something that you can do yourself.

 

How do I remove these wall strips?

Removing the wall strips to your mobile home is simple.  Grab a hammer, a putty knife or a crowbar.  Then gently work the strip up at the bottom being careful not to damage the side of the panels of the wall.  Simply pull up and you will see these strips are typically quite easy to remove. 

If you happen to peel up any pieces of drywall just cut the paper.  Do not pull on the paper finish to the drywall because you will just do more damage. When you go to cover / mud the seam you can fix this easily.  The same is true if you happen to put a small hole in the wall while trying to remove these wall strips.

I would recommend starting in one room rather than removing all the wall strips at once.  Doing finish work to fill in where these strips were does take time and some elbow work.

Once the wall strips are removed there is one final step you will want to do before filing these in.  Double check to make sure the wall seams are free of any tacks, staples or nails.  You do not want to be running your hand quickly down the wall only to snag into one of these.  

Wooden Strips

When you remove wooden wall strips its important to remember that the strips can break.  These wooden strips can make little tiny slivers of wood.  You want to make sure that these slivers don’t get down into your carpet because they are tough to remove.  It is hard to get them to come up even with a vacuum.  So be sure to protect the floor to keep this from happening.  

 

What do I replace the strips with?

Now that you have removed the wall strips you are going to want to find something to replace them with.  You have a couple different options when it comes to replacing these wall strips.

One of the easiest solutions would be to travel down to your local hardware and to pick up some caulk and a caulk gun. This might be your most affordable solution as well.   Caulk makes for an easy one step process Be sure to check the caulk tube to see if it is the correct one and it will adhere to your surface, there are so many options when it comes to caulk.   You simply caulk the seam and then wet your finger and run it down the seam to smooth it out.

Wall Strip Caulk

Then take something with a straight edge such as a credit card to run down the wall to make sure that the caulk is even with the wall.

Once the caulk has fully dried you might find that you have a couple areas that need to be filled again.  Keep adding caulk and letting it dry until you have the look you desire.

This option is typically better if you plan to wallpaper the walls or if you plan to put some type of board over the walls.

A more professional finish

If you are looking for a more professional finish this process might take longer.  However, the finished result is amazing.  Here are the tools that you will need to professionally fill your wall strip seam.

  • Shop vac (if you have one) 
  • Plastic Sheets
  • Drywall knife
  • Drywall compound
  • Sandpaper rated for drywall finishing
  • Dust / drywall mask
  • Eye googles / eye protection 

Drywall mud options

Drywall mud comes in a couple different types.  You can purchase small buckets of it for small jobs.  They even have a quick drying formula so you can get the job done faster.  The faster drying formula comes in a small bucket and is pink in color.  When the mud dries however it dries white.  

No matter which mud you choose just be sure to give it a good stir before you apply it. 

Use plastic to protect your floors

Before you start this process it is best if you lay down plastic sheets on your carpet or tile area.  Getting mud or dust in your carpet / tile is tricky to get out. Prepping the area you are about to work in will make the clean up process quicker.  Once you are done sanding you can simply fold up the sheet and throw it in the trash.

This tip will save you time 

TIP:  If you don’t have any plastic sheets simply take a trash bag and cut it up the seam.  Then lay it down on the floor.  No matter if you use plastic sheets or a trash bag just be careful moving around.  The plastic does cause a slippery surface and you don’t want to fall.  

No matter how hard you try to keep all the drywall dust or mud off your floor some is bound to get through.  If you have a shop-vac handy these are amazing at cleaning up the dust.  

Starting the process

 You will first put one coat of drywall mud down to fill the crack and then run a small thin coat to hold your tape in place.

I would first recommend that you make a run of mud approx. 1 inch wider than your drywall tape.  Place the tape on the seam and then run one more coat over top of the drywall tape.  This will cover the tape and give you a finished look. 

Bubbles and drywall tape

TIP:  When you are putting mud and tape on the wall strip seam and you happen to get any bubbles in the tape simply follow this step.  Take a pin or a razor knife and pop the bubbles.  The tape will almost immediately go back down and the bubble will disappear.  

Allow the mud to dry and then sand out the mud to a smooth finish. 

Once you start to sand be sure to put on your google and sanding mask.  The dust from this process is very messy.  

You will probably need to add one more coat on top of the wall strip seam just to finish out any final bumps.

Save time following this tip

TIP:  You can use a fan to speed up the process of helping the mud to dry as well.  

When you are all finished sanding your wall take a slightly damp cloth and softly wipe down the wall and seams.  You do not want the walls covered in dust when you start to paint.  If you do this the paint will simply roll off the walls causing a bigger mess.  So be sure to finish cleaning off the walls before you start to prime or paint them.  

TIP: be sure to put your drywall knife in hot soapy water once you are done putting mud on the seams.  If you let the drywall knife dry with the mud on it it is more difficult to get the mud off.  

This smooth professional finish will give you a seamless wall.  You can now primer and paint the wall to your desired color.  

Replacing and Hanging Wall Strips

If you have a broken wall strip and you are just looking to replace that one you can do that as well.  Be sure to pull the one strip off the wall as described above.  Then go to your local hardware store or a Lowe’s or Home Depot store were they typically have these in stock.   

In conclusion, this is a great project for you and the family.  You should be able to easily finish removing the wall strips in your mobile home in a couple days and have them looking great within a weeks’ time.

 

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