Nearly finished white walls! (birch plywood, painting and window trim)

It’s been a long time since my last update, but I’ve got a lot to show for it! The past couple weeks have been spent finishing up a majority of the interior walls.

As alluded to earlier, I chose to use 1/2 birch plywood for the walls. There were many factors to this choice. I wanted the look of clean, white, painted drywall, but knew that unless done in a very particular way with flexible tape and such, drywall was was likely to crack as the house jolted and bumped during highway travel. Wood, on the other hand, is more flexible, and if the joints were left unfilled, a little wiggle room would be left for the walls to flex a bit as the house traveled.

I first considered 1/4″ birch, but it was simply too flexible and warped to easily to rest completely flat against the walls studs. I needed something a bit more rigid. So 1/2″ plywood it was. I carefully cut each piece for a perfectly tight fit along the roof and wall corners, to avoid the need for excess to trim to cover gaps. I also hand-planed off the sharp corners on each edge, to help soften and mask any imperfect joints. There are places where protective plates, framing hardware and nail heads make it impossible for the plywood to rest perfectly flat and some joint have one sheet sticking out just a hair past the other. But with a lot of help from the amazing Duncan MacMaster, the plywood came out beautifully, and joints and imperfections were kept at a minimum.

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With the wall surface in place, I thought “why not go ahead and paint it?” So I got some all natural, non-toxic paint from Green Building Supply and started prepping. Each finish nail used to fasten the plywood needed to be sunk with a nail set, and then each hole filled with Spackle and sanded smooth. Edges were masked and we were ready to paint!

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The paint I used was a primer and paint in one, and it took two coats for perfect, solid color. We chose a warm off-white color (nearly white), for a nice clean look, but not too cold.

It took 2 pretty long days for some of the finish work and to complete the two coats, but the finished walls are fantastic! The plywood turned out as good as I could have hoped, with joints that are hardly visible.

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Once the painting was done, Duncan got a quick start with the window trim. I got some similarly stained pine to match the ceiling and short end walls, so it will all tie together well. To see what the finished wall would look like, I also went through and installed all of the wall plates for the outlets and switches. So nice and clean looking now!

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During this time, I’ve also done some other fun misc. things like installing the porch ceiling (using the same T&G beetle-kill pine) and creating the deck and fence to house the propane tanks on the trailer tongue.

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Next up: I’ll have photos of some more interior plumbing work, more finished walls in the kitchen and bathroom, plus possibly finished shower walls and a beautiful bamboo floor! Stay tuned…


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Author: Alek Lisefski