Mobile Home Exterior Paint Ideas

Lorna Hordos

Painting a mobile home can give it a quick, relatively inexpensive update or a vivacious, vintage vibe.

Anyone who thinks mobile or manufactured homes are boring or insubstantial probably hasn't seen one that's attractively painted. Painting ideas for your quaint abode include those that help keep the home cool or give it a modernizing boost. Paint won't adhere properly to a dirty or chalky surface, so clean the siding well, especially removing any residue from weather-beaten aluminum.


A 1977 or older mobile home may have been finished with toxic high-lead-content paint. Such tainted paint can break down with age or by sanding or simply washing it. If you question the home's age or paint's safety, have a risk assessment done by a certified lead-based paint professional before starting any renovation project.

Cool and Contemporary

You likely know that white reflects sunlight, while black or any dark shade absorbs it, so putting the latter on an aluminum-wrapped, thinly insulated home practically turns it into an oven. Besides, dark color makes a compact home seem smaller than it is.

You don't have to use bright, burn-your-eyes white, however, to enjoy cooling benefits; just remember that the more pigment, the more heat absorbed. Push back rays with contemporary light slate blue, tan, taupe, cream or beige.

Vivaciously Vintage

If you're going for whimsical throwback, pale yellow, baby blue, minty green or even petal pink nod to vintage mobile-home living.


  • If your home is in a mobile home park, and you plan to use an adventurous shade, check the contract for approval -- and be neighborly; discuss any bold paint-color plans with at least the nearest residents.  
  • Unconventional exterior colors make homes less marketable to the average buyer and can even bring down an otherwise attractive home's value.  

Take It Down

You can paint the skirting darker than the siding for a grounding or anchoring effect, but this can visually chop a squat home nearly in half. Taking the body's paint color down over the skirting to the ground makes an efficiently sized home seem taller.

Step It Up

Painting steps and railings white ties them into white trim and can emphasize the entryway, especially against a midtone or dark body color.

Trim It Up

Trim color is about as important as the siding shade. You'll almost always win with white trim, no matter how pale the siding and skirting. But as long as the color you choose is lighter than and suitable for the body's overall hue, good results should follow.

Shutter Down

Paint any shutters to match the trim, if you're after a downplayed effect, or paint them to match an attractive standout door, resulting in a bold, welcoming look.