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To be considering artexing my ceiling?

(73 Posts)
KirstyJC Mon 24-Mar-14 11:36:29

We moved into this house 3 years ago. It is a lovely old cottage with the usual woodchip-holding-the-walls-up kind of decoration that you might expect. We are slowly sorting this out, but are really skint so having to do it ourselves.

My problem is the ceilings, in particular the hallway and sitting room. They are a pure vision in artex. It is like someone was trying to decide which pattern was the most horrible and couldn't decide, so went for a mix of all of them.

The sitting room has: fan swirls, thick combed lines, wavy fan lines, and wobbly pattern around the light fitting. It is appalling and despite us living with it for 3 years, it still hasn't faded into the background.

So, looking around it seems that my options are to either
a) pay someone to sort it out, which we can't afford for the forseeable future,
b) try and live with it which is failing miserably,or
c) sort it myself.

My recent plastering attempts are, um, well lets just say it's a good job it was inside a walk-in cupboard! So I am now considering buying more artex and going over the top, with a less in-your-face stipple effect instead. That would still be bad, but trust me it would be a whole lot less bad than currently!

I just can't seem to bring myself to buy artex! Would that BU?

KirstyJC Mon 24-Mar-14 12:15:49

B&Q do a 10k bag of powder for just under £14 plus I would need the brush tool thingy, which they don't seem to stock.

Homebase has a repair kit which is a bit more, £25, but it includes the brush. That would be enough to cover the hallway ceiling (very small area) and then I could keep the brush and just get the powder for the ceiling if it did look passable. I have brushes/sealant to put over first already plus buckets/plaster mixing thing for the drill etc.

So it would be £25 for one room, and maybe another £28 or £42 depending on how much powder it takes.

I must admit I am tempted - that's a cheap temp solution!

girlwhowearsglasses Mon 24-Mar-14 12:17:39

We had super-duper-scary artex in every single room in our house when we bought it. Its a long story but we knew we would be sorting it before we moved in, and also I know it contributed to a beautiful Georgian house not selling for a whole year before we bought it.

So: its not as difficult to solve as you might think. DO NOT try to remove it by sanding etc - seriously, if you are doing that you are better actually replacing the ceiling (we did this on landing ceiling).

We did pay someone, and this is what he did - he painted it all over with a special PVA sealant - it was blue in colour and is there to bond new plaster to the Artex. He then plastered over the ceiling. You need a wet edge, and you need to put the plaster over the sealant stuff within a certain time window so it's tacky. This is what I remember. Don't worry about how thick it will be, our was really thick and nasty - it all looks lovely now.

I'm not sure you'd want to do it yourself though - but I could imagine it would be possible, especially if there were a lot and you learnt as you were going. It took about a day per room.

girlwhowearsglasses Mon 24-Mar-14 12:21:31

I think this is the sort of thing they did - PVA provides a key for new plaster to skim, and seals old plaster meaning the new plaster dries slower - allowing you time to work it easier.

KirstyJC Mon 24-Mar-14 12:23:30

Thanks girl - will have a look at that link after

I really wouldn't do it yourself - you'll just go from the fat to the fire.

Just put it on your list of things to save for and prioritise. I think if you do it yourself the ceiling will end up looking like that polished turd, just without the polish.

BornFreeButinChains Mon 24-Mar-14 12:24:11

what about lining paper and wall paper?
for celiing
we got rid of a house fill of wood chip ourselves with steam remover took a while but was no big deal

ICanSeeTheSun Mon 24-Mar-14 12:25:53

Would this work

mrsleomcgary Mon 24-Mar-14 12:33:19

DON'T try chipping it,sanding it or removing it in ayway! Artex is notorious for being full of asbestos and asbestos wasn't banned in this country until 1999 so no guarantees you don't have it (i used to work in the building trade so have experience with asbestos removal)

Could you get some polycell smooth over,I just used it in my spare room to smooth the walls but it does over artex as well. We managed with two tubs in a pretty big room, cost about £80 and gave a good finish, really easy to apply as well.

KirstyJC Mon 24-Mar-14 12:34:01

Oh I have just seen that link is for plastering over it, there is absolutely noway I can plaster it myself - as someone said upthread there is a reason plasters are paid a good wage! I was only considering putting artex over the top as if I stippled it then it doesn't need to be a smooth or flat surface.

I did spot those smoothover products but we tried something similar in our old house and it looked awful. I think realistically, if I am going to try something myself, the only way it stands a chance of working is to try and aim for an uneven/stippled finish. 'Cos it won't ever be even!

badbride Mon 24-Mar-14 12:44:18

I feel your pain: my house is heaving with sodding Artex and I hate it!

A cheap quick fix is to paint the ceiling with matt white paint to make the Artex less shiny. We tried that and it did seem to make it less noticeable. Quick and cheap to do too.

On no account should you sand or chip Artex, as others have said, it is likely to contain asbestos, which can be deadly.

HoVis2001 Mon 24-Mar-14 12:49:38

When I first saw the thread title I thought you were asking if you would be unreasonable to artex a previously un-artexed ceiling. I was thinking you were VVU! grin I hate the artex ceiling in our (rental house) bedroom and it isn't even an offensive pattern...

KirstyJC Mon 24-Mar-14 12:54:03

Bad - I have tried to paint it matt. Sadly due to the pattern we missed loads of bits and kept spotting random shiny patches! We have tried to patch those up with paint on no fewer than 4 subsequent occasions but there are still small shiny bits. I have now officially given up!

softlysoftly Mon 24-Mar-14 12:58:14

Buy a shed load of cheap floaty material. Pin in swathes to ceiling.

Pretend you are living in a yurt.

KirstyJC Mon 24-Mar-14 12:59:43

grin Inspired!

PigletJohn Mon 24-Mar-14 13:18:36


KirstyJC Mon 24-Mar-14 13:24:22

Yup, probably! Not quite the look we want either, and with our low ceilings might be a touch impractical too. Lovely idea though!

I am teetering on the edge here.....seriously considering just popping to Homebase to buy the artex.......!

Any further attempts to talk me out of it?!?! Better be quick!grin

Fresh artex smells like someones arse....there, that should put you off, haha smile

softlysoftly Mon 24-Mar-14 13:35:05

Aw you can get some lovely tie die non flammable polyester these days.

desperateforaholiday Mon 24-Mar-14 13:39:42

I wouldn't try and do it yourself.

I would use a matt paint on it and make the walls a feature so you arnt drawn to it.

RoganJosh Mon 24-Mar-14 13:43:38

I would try and smooth it over as much as possible and then paper it with a tasteful anaglypta if it would suit the age of your house.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 24-Mar-14 13:45:43

I'd save the £50 you're planning on spending and put it in the kitty for getting a plaster to sort it all properly. I do think it would be hard to do it right. Worst than doing the flat plastering I reckon.

EvenBetter Mon 24-Mar-14 13:47:23

Don't do it! It'll still look really shit, and you'll have paid and laboured for the privelege.
My first memory is of my uncle throwing me in the air as a baby and I banged my skull off the disgusting stippled shite on the ceiling.
THis house had it when we moved in and I had genuine feelings of anger towards it. Didn't clean it, didn't paint it, sneered at it. There was also wood chip in another room, including on the fucking ceiling.
Just don't.

PigletJohn Mon 24-Mar-14 13:49:42

" It is a lovely old cottage with the usual woodchip-holding-the-walls-up "

It's my guess that the artex was put up to hide sagging, cracked ceilings. Quite likely lath and plaster. So they will fall down sooner or later, probably while you are doing something to them. I wouldn't spend much on them until either they do, or you can afford to have them overboarded with plasterboard screwed to the joists.
If you look at the upper surface of the ceiling from the loft, or by taking up an upstairs floorboard, you can see what state it's in.

vexedfoxy Mon 24-Mar-14 13:50:46

Anyone who artexes a ceiling or anything else for that matter should have a full live sentence in a cell with artex on all walls and ceiling. Sensible polices for a happier Britain.

BarbaraPalmer Mon 24-Mar-14 13:53:41

either ignore it or get it sorted properly
no point in spending time or money on a bodge

i feel your pain, by the way
we're in a little Victorian terrace, where the plaster is held onto the walls on ceiling only by thick layers of anaglypta. Each time we've decorated a room it's taken us a fortnight to scrape the stuff off, and then £££ for a reskim, which explains why we've only done 3 rooms in 5 years.

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