How to Make the Exterior of Your Older Mobile Home Look Better

A mobile home is basically a simple metal shell that covers minimal wooden framing and interior wall coverings.

A quick clean up, a coat of paint and a bit of landscaping will brighten up your mobile home.A quick clean up, a coat of paint and a bit of landscaping will brighten up your mobile home.
This minimalist approach to construction means the owner of a mobile home must be constantly vigilant with routine maintenance and repairs. If you purchase a used mobile home, or if your own mobile home has seen better days, it will take some work to make it livable and presentable.

Clean up the yard. Remove all debris and any excess materials from the property. Do not store cars, tools or anything else around your mobile home.

Strip the old paint off the mobile home by sanding each surface with fine-grit sandpaper. Start on the top of the mobile home and work your way to the bottom. Take your time and sand each surface to the bare metal.

Slip the tip of a tube of silicone caulk into the cutting hole in the handle of your caulk gun. Squeeze the trigger of the caulk gun to cut the tip off the tube. Pull the puncture tool out from under the front of the caulk gun.

Push the tool into the hole in the end of the tube of silicone to puncture the diaphragm inside. Lay the tube of silicone on its bed on the top of the caulk gun.

Apply a bead of caulk over every seam on the mobile home. Look for seams around mechanical fixtures on top of the mobile home as well as around windows, doors, lights and water fixtures on the sides. Smooth each bead of caulk by wiping across the top of it with a wet rag.

Apply an even coat of acrylic-based metal primer to the hull of the mobile home with a 3-inch paintbrush. Let the primer dry for one hour and apply a second coat. Let the second coat of primer dry overnight.

Apply three coats of latex paint to the hull of the mobile home. Let each coat dry completely before applying the next coat. Wash your brush with clean water and let the brush dry after you apply each coat of paint.

Surround the lot with a prefabricated, stand alone fence. Stand two sections of the fence in place and drive a 16d nail through one section and into the other every 8 inches up the seam between the two pieces.

Drive the head of each nail flush with the wood. Connect enough pieces of the fence together to surround the lot leaving the driveway and a walking entrance open.

Drive a 3-foot piece of rebar 12 inches into the ground 12 inches from each end of every section of fencing. Attach the fence to the rebar by twisting tie wire around both pieces.

Plant a variety of flowers and small shrubs around the base of the mobile home and the fence. Use whatever color scheme you wish in your landscape design. Consult a local nursery to learn which plants thrive in your area.

Things You Will Need

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tubes of silicone caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Wet rags
  • Acrylic-based metal primer
  • 3 inch natural bristle paintbrush
  • Latex paint
  • Prefabricated fence sections (3 feet by 8 feet)
  • 16d nails
  • Hammer
  • Rebar pieces (36 inches by 1/4 inch)
  • Tie wire
  • Assorted flowers and small shrubs
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask


  • Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand tools.
  • A dust mask is required along with your gloves and glasses when sanding.
  • Always call your local utility locating service before driving rebar spikes or digging to plant flowers.

About the Author

After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.