Artex Ceiling Removal Tips

There are few things that will make a builder take the stereotypical sharp intake of breath faster than an Artex-ed ceiling. There is little doubt that the textured finish is long-lasting, easy to use and as tough as old boots, but textured and artex ceiling removal is every builder or DIY enthusiast’s nightmare.

This could well explain why so many rented flats (and perhaps even your own home) have 1970s or 1980s textured ceilings to this day.

artex ceiling removal

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The main problem with artex ceiling removal is that no one can quite agree on the best way of dealing with them, although most agree that simply trying to chip away at the rock-hard material is not the way to go about it. Whether you decide to steam, grind or chisel the finish away you are likely to emerge from the experience with bleeding fingers, blunted tools and something of a lumpy texture on the ceiling. You could also be putting your health in danger as some older textured ceilings will have been bonded with asbestos when they were put up.

artex ceiling

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If you have an asbestos-bonded ceiling then the only way to get rid of the asbestos is to get rid of the ceiling it is on. You will need to use an expert to do this as asbestos fibres can be deadly. Be sure to use a contractor who is a member of ARCA (Asbestos Removal Contractors’ Association) to undertake the work. This can be costly but it is the only way to safely remove asbestos.

removing artex

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If you are in any doubt about there being asbestos in your ceiling then you should have an ARCA-registered tradesman come and test it. But if you are lucky enough to not have an asbestos-bonded ceiling then you may be able to simply cover up the existing textured ceiling. This is especially effective where the ceiling is not too thickly textured and you can use a PVA primer such as UniBond to create the adhesion needed. You can then smooth a coat of plaster over the top to create your new finish.

how to get rid of artex

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If your ceiling looks more like a hanging relief map of the Himalayas then you may need to take a different approach. With heavily-peaked Artex or textured finishes the best option is to either remove the ceiling before rebuilding it with plaster boards and a skim of plaster, or create a false ceiling below the existing finish. Under-drawing a ceiling in this way is a common solution for creating a new finish without an extensive demolition job and battening the existing ceiling before plaster boarding it can be a cheaper option than replacing an existing ceiling. In some settings you could also consider tiling the ceiling if you can establish an even enough base to work with.

artex removal

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All of this can be seen as a great lesson in considering the consequences of work before you carry it out. Of course, there are always occasions when we will want to carry out major work on our homes but you should consider the need to repair or replace decorative work before you undertake it or ask a tradesman to.

That way you can weigh up the benefits of the work against the potential pit falls that it may bring with it. After all, that decorative Star Wars-themed cornicing and black glittered bathroom suite may seem like good ideas today but replacing them or persuading a potential buyer of their aesthetic value could be a difficult job.

For professional help with artex removal, post a job on Rated People in our Painter / Decorator category to receive quotes from our qualified and trusted tradesmen.


1 comment

  1. I can see why it would probably be the safest option to hire someone to remove the asbestos instead of trying to do it yourself. We recently discovered a rotting foundation in our home and have been thinking about hiring some demolition experts to tear it down. This way we can start over and have our house built just for us.

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