Mobile Heartache to Mobile Home!

by MichelleB
Four years ago, we moved into a 20-year-old mobile home on a farm. Being a city girl, I was at a loss with what to do with this place that had sat empty for 2 years and was being reclaimed by the critters and insects that inhabited the land. The kitchen was particularly daunting as you can see. It took me 3 years and testing the waters in all the other rooms before I could even figure out where to start in the kitchen.
When we first moved in we bought new appliances and changed the white for stainless steel. The kitchen got an industrial cleaning and de-mousing and then we used it like that until the end of winter 3 years later.
This is what we moved in to.
Floors: The linoleum was staining and turning purple. If you set a chair in one place for a day and moved it there would be four deep purple squares in its place. I knew we had to do something about the flooring .

I went to my local home renovation store and tried to find the cheapest alternative. Mobile homes shift depending on the weather so the industrial vinyl tiles I found fit our need perfectly. It was so easy. I pulled off the old lino that was only glued down on the edges and laid out the tiles. It only took a few hours and cutting them was a breeze. Cost: $260

Notice the backsplash is missing. Hammer + Ugly Tiles = Fun!
Painting: The next step was painting the cupboards. A good cleaning with TSP, a base coat of Kilz primer and then 2 coats of Behr paint in "Papier Blanc". We took countertops off as I planned to replace them.

I took down the old trim around the windows and used 1X3" pre-primed trim to trim them all out. I did square cuts instead of a mitre cut as I'm concerned with the shifting it will just crack the corners of the mitre.

And this is where I came to a stand still. I do not like painting. I'll do it but I'd rather use power tools and build things. Luckily I have a sister!

My sister flew out and started painting everything from the dining area to the other end of the mobile home in a taupe colour. She is a painting whiz, in the meantime, I worked on the mosaic backsplash. Note the cupboards are all done and the old hardware replaced. I liked the rustic look of it and saved tons of money by not replacing it.
Island: I removed the old island top and stained and used 7 coats of Varathan on a pre-cut bamboo butcher block top. I have no intention of cutting on it without a cutting board so felt this was the best way to protect it. This is the only place I feel I'd do something different as water droplets on the Varathan cloud up. So far they have disappeared but if the water sat for hours I'm worried it may not.

I did go to our local Habitat for Humanity Restore and pickup drawer sliders for $2 a set and made pull out drawers for the island. It makes organizing and accessing the things we keep under the island so much easier!
Countertops: We went to Ikea and picked up two inexpensive counters in a black speckle. With the help of my hubby, the cutting and installation of a new tap were a breeze. We kept the old sink.
Pantry & Storage: The pantry got a header and footer put in for the barn door I had planned for it and more shelving was added so I could store more items.

The useless shelves around the corner became my baking cupboard and holds all my mixers, food processors and other cooking items that nobody else is allowed to touch!

We have an old corral area that had a wood fence surrounding it for countless years. Whoever put it in had those boards screwed in top and bottom with three screws on each side. I'm so glad they did because it gave me perfectly weathered, completely unwarped boards to make my doors out of! I figured it out as I went along as I have never built doors like this.
Lighting: Luckily my husband has skills. We replaced an old ceiling fan and ugly track lighting with 3 lovely pendant lights!
What happened to the dining room? We decided we didn't need it. We weren't using it and the island seating has become a favourite place for us to sit and talk. We turned the dining room into what we call "Goat TV". We have a lovely sitting area in which to share time and look out at our farm animals. Spring with 4 new kids was particularly fun!
The closet by the door became my mini mud room. I used white tiles on the bottom shelf to hold shoes, put a couple of bins in to hold gloves and such, and there is a key tray and somewhere to hang jackets.
I'm so glad we tackled these projects. I finished painting the beam that goes through the middle of the house a few nights ago. Just in time to find out that we need to sell the house as we have a great opportunity in another Province.

I really hope I make another farm wife's day when she walks in and sees her nice new kitchen!

Estimated total cost: $2500 and about 6 months.
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  • Kathy Grubbs Kathy Grubbs on Sep 25, 2019

    I live in a mobile home and want to paint my cabinets, I think they have a laminate coat on them that has began to come loose and chipping. Is this a lost cause ?

  • Jan Jan on Oct 28, 2019

    Thanks for showing your DIY for Mobile Homes, most ideas are for stick built homes, am thrilled that you stepped out of the norm and added what can be done for Mobile Homes. I applaud you as there are a lot of us out here living in Mobile Homes and want to make some changes, especially in the kitchen.

    I do have a question though, my bedroom door has a hole in it as my son got made and used his fist to make the hole. How can I cover that hole, it's fairly high up and closer to the hinges then the center of the door. The color is a blonde wood and the door is hollow, can't replace it with a normal size door, and even if I want to wallpaper the door the hole would show up. Any suggestions sure would be appreciated  .... Thanking you in advance!!

  • Jewels Jewels on Oct 08, 2022

    Great redo! For your kitchen lighting, was there two separate junction boxes in the ceiling? It looks like the piece of wood runs from one to the other so just wondering? Thanks!

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  • Lisa Lisa on Feb 13, 2022

    How was your Island countertop attached to the base? Can you please tell me how you got it off of the base? I cannot for the life of me figure out how mine is attached and it is the last little bit left to my double-wide remodel.

    • Tonya Tonya on May 07, 2024

      Lisa - I hope you have figured out your island problem but if you haven't you can always just knock the current one down, go to Home Depot and purchase 1 18" & 30" base cabinets with drawers make sure you get the one with drawers not the sink base, (that gives you 4 feet of island) screw them together to attach - 1 49"x36" (gives you a touch of overhang) piece of plywood for the top L brackets to secure, then get you a nice countertop - I got the live edge butcher block. Instant island depending on the cost of countertop, $300-800 (the live edge set me back $342 with 10% military discount). I love mines plus it's girl friendly, male muscles optional lol

  • Bec11742889 Bec11742889 on Apr 17, 2023

    You gave me a little more confidence I live in a devil wide, and been wanting to do my kitchen too but I’ve been scared. Thanks for encouraging me.