How to Paint Vinyl Over Gypsum Wall Boards

How to Paint Vinyl Over Gypsum Wall Boards Like a Pro

Ready to update your home's style or give it a new color palette? Learn how to paint vinyl wall boards in your manufactured home like a pro! Follow these easy steps!

Have you ever thought about the materials used to create your home's walls? Most people think drywall is the only option, but Clayton Built® homeowners know otherwise. Other than finished drywall, gypsum panels are a popular option for manufactured and modular homes!

About Vinyl Over Gypsum

Overlaying the gypsum board of these panels is a coating similar to wall paper called vinyl over gypsum. From a glance, VOG can resemble finished drywall, and the biggest and most noticeable difference is the batten strips that connect the two panels together at the seam.

A large majority of manufactured homes use VOG panels for their walls, and with good reason. These wall boards are extremely lightweight and easy to install and replace.

They are also easy for home builders to install and are fire resistant.¹ Another perk of vinyl wall boards is easy cleaning and maintenance!

Manufactured home bedroom with bed and wall boards.

Even though a large benefit to VOG paneling is that it doesn't require painting, you may decide to do so if the panels look lackluster or if they don't fit your particular decorating style. Maybe you even want to paint them a color that will help you sleep!

Painting VOG can be a tricky task but with our step by step guide, you'll be able to paint over vinyl wall boards like a pro!


1. Gather Materials

When it comes to painting vinyl manufactured home walls, you really want to get the best of the best in primers, paints and tools. Many manufactured home bloggers agree that it makes all the difference between a job well done and a disastrous ending.

This means getting the highest quality primers, paints, brushes and rollers that your budget will allow, but don't worry. It'll be worth it due to its long-lasting nature.

2. Take Preventative Measures

Before you introduce primers or paints into the project, you need to decide which areas to paint and which to leave alone. Make sure to line the edges of your wall with painter's tape and cover the floors with tarps so you don't end up with a mess to clean up after the project is over!

3. Remove or Keep Your Batten

Following your room prep, you need to determine if you want to remove the batten stripsand fill in the seams, which can be quite difficult, or if you'd rather leave the strips where they are and paint over them.

The latter is the easier option of the two and can result in a beautiful finish just the same! If you like a challenge and choose the latter, you can learn more about this process from an experienced home remodeler.

4. Clean Your Walls

First things first, you must clean the area that will be painted. Your painted vinyl manufactured home walls will last longer and shine brighter for years if you take this simple and easy step!

For vinyl covered wall boards, use a damp rag with dish soap or your favorite homemade cleaning mixture to scrub the wall boards and batten strips prior to painting them.

Be careful not to scrub too hard, though! If you have paper wrapped wall boards (not vinyl wall boards), scrubbing could potentially loosen or pull the covering off. Wiping your paper wrapped wall with a basic, multi-surface cleaning material works well instead.

If you're wondering whether you have paper covered sheetrock or vinyl covered sheetrock, evaluate your wall by feeling it! A smooth wall board means it is paper wrapped and a textured wall board means it is vinyl covered. You can also ask your friendly home consultant for help determining the difference.

5. Add The First Coat

Man and woman painting walls in a manufactured home.

Just like any other wall in a home, priming the surface is the first step. Priming a clean surface will ensure that your paint color is well bonded to the VOG panel walls. Again, you have one of three options when choosing a primer: oil-based, acrylic or a two-in-one primer and paint base.

One manufactured homeowner and blogger named Tracy recommended an acrylic Sherwin-Williams paint based on her own VOG wall board painting experience.

If your VOG walls are more glossy, an oil-based primer may work better. We suggest using oil primer and oil paint.

Expert Tip: Testing Your Primer: After you clean your wall board, apply a 3"X3" sample of primer on your wall. Let it stand 24 hours. Then put masking tape on the primed area and press down firmly. Try to pull off the tape quickly and if primer comes off of the wall with your tape, look for an alternative primer.

Whether you choose to use an oil based primer, acrylic primer or a two-in-one primer and paint base, you'll want to splurge a little on a high quality paint in order to get the smoothest, cleanest paint job.

6. Get to Rollin'

Now it's time to start rolling! The best way to paint vinyl walls is by using the same best practices for any paint job.

Most professional painters recommend doing two thin layers of paint rather than one super thick layer because it yields the best results. Not to mention, you're less likely to end up with a dried paint drips along the wall, which can be unsightly.

When you begin painting over the vinyl walls, start with the largest areas. Use a big, fluffy roller to cover the most area in the least amount of time. Rollers go by nap size, and a 3/8 to 1/2 nap will work well for your roller!

When you get close to some of the trickier to paint areas, such as the edges or batten strips, switch to an angled brush or a smaller finish roller. This will allow you to cover the harder to maneuver spaces.

Clayton Built® homes offer great color options for VOG walls, but if you want to customize your home by painting over your VOG wallboards, you can indeed make your home your own!

1. Manufactured Housing Gypsum Construction Guide. PDF. Charlotte: National Gypsum Company, 2003.

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