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.

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.

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.