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What on earth can you do with Artex ceilings??

(64 Posts)
ReshapeWhileDamp Tue 20-Jul-10 17:26:52

I hate the stuff. I honestly think that every single house I've lived in has had various incarnations of the stuff - swirly like philly cheese, spikey like Christmas cake icing, undulating like - well, I always thought the Artex effect on the bedroom ceiling of my old flat reminded me of intestines. grin

We have spikey Artex currently (bequeathed by previous owners) and it always looks grubby. Cobwebs get stuck on the points, as do fragments of the feather dusters we use to try and remove them. I had some success with a stiff broom when we were cleaning up to put the house on the market, but it means thousands of fragments of the spikes falling on the brush-ee, an instant hairwash and vacuum (me and the floor), and if you're unlucky, a trip to the doctor to remove the bits from your eye. hmm

Really, it's ghastly stuff. Whatever possessed people, etc.

We're hoping to move into a house that, yet again, has the stuff on all the ceilings. Not a big fan of polystyrene tiles. What else can you do to get rid of it or disguise it? Can it ever be skimmed over by someone with, say, a PhD in Advanced Plastering? grin

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 20-Jul-10 17:30:58

You can plaster over them - DP does this a lot (he is a builder). The alternative is to grind the artex off but nobody would ever do that as it is a helluva job and would make the world dusty.

Get a plastyerer to give you a quote, can't imagine it would cost that much.

ReshapeWhileDamp Tue 20-Jul-10 17:38:10

You can have them plastered over then? I always thought it was almost impossible. I suppose it's easier if it's the swirly type rather than the prickly sort, since the swirly tends to be shallower.

Ok, thanks, will look into that. smile

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 20-Jul-10 17:39:50

No, it can definitely be done. DP plastered the bathroom when he moved in as it had artex WALLS (what is wrong with these people) and it looked unspeakable.

Adnittedly it was the swirly maniac type pattern, not the spike urchin look.

LynetteScavo Tue 20-Jul-10 17:39:54

I think skimming over it is the only answer.

We lived in a house with artex everywhere, except the garage, which had a beautifully smooth ceiling! So I feel your pain.

ReshapeWhileDamp Tue 20-Jul-10 17:53:49

lol at Artex wall-horror! grin

I can't remember if the house we want to buy has hedgehog ceilings or swirly intestine ceilings. Either way, I think we'll get someone in.

EnglandAllenPoe Tue 20-Jul-10 17:58:32

my house has 100% artex (smoothish, not 100% regular)

it is crap.

GOML - our artex bathroom wall has since been Aqua panelled and is currently being tiled.....DH greatly enjoyed chiselling the lot off.

If DH is still unemployed, i am planning on him learning to plaster well enough to do them all.

using skim-over as an amateur = not easy to get a good finish. we have tried on a small bit.

ange8 Tue 20-Jul-10 18:04:31

If it has spicy artex, the plasterer will usually chip off the 'peaks', then skim. In some of our rooms, we were able to soften the artex with a wallpaper stripper, then scrape it off. The ceilings still needed skimming though - as the artex is usually there for a reason!

ange8 Tue 20-Jul-10 18:06:08

Spicy artex? Should be spikey!

herbgarden Tue 20-Jul-10 18:08:35

We're having all the artex in our house plastered over in our renovation - we have a selection of patterns although the spicy...or rather spiky is the most tolerable. The really swirly is the most hideous.....!

In some houses depending on age, they won't remove it due to asbestos concern which was obviously popular in the 60's/70's....

ChippingIn Tue 20-Jul-10 18:11:12

I'm currently doing up a flat - someone in their infinite wisdom decided to do all the ceilings (except the small bedroom) in different styles of Artex - it's lovely hmm
It was all done at different times (you can tell from the type of plaster etc) - the stuff in the lounge doesn't even look very old confused. The walls are all a right state - my mum suggested putting up anaglypta paper and just painting it all - I said - yeah, not quite the look I'm going for.... (rolls eyes)

I have just had a quote for the plastering:

Kitchen - Walls £240
Ceiling£120
Together £330

Lounge - Walls £260
Ceiling £150
Together £380

Master - Walls £250
Ceiling £150
Together £370

Sml Bdrm - Walls £230

Bathroom - Ceiling & Walls £310

Hallway - Walls £190
Ceiling £70
Together £220

All the rooms are fairly small.

So, for the entire flat £1970 - and hopefully a bit of a discount on that if I get it all done at once?!

GOML - any chance you could ask your DH if he thinks this is reasonable (we are in the SE). None of the other plasterers I got in to quote bothered to send quotes back (along with the plumbers/builders - clearly they have too much work on around here!!).

DukesOfTripHazard Tue 20-Jul-10 20:05:52

We have cottage cheese on one ceiling grin Will be gone soon. Vile hideousness.

mrspickles Tue 20-Jul-10 20:41:39

We had ours skimmed over and it made me SO happy. About same sort of prices as Chipping In. Have just asked DH whether it was swirly or spiky and he said slightly spiky. When explaining to DH this was a question on MN he has also expressed confusion that anyone would ask Mums about this. I have suggested that mums also have husbands, or god forbid, may in fact know about plastering themselves.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 20-Jul-10 21:26:10

Chippingin - I spoke to DP and he says that the prices quoted seem pretty reasonable. He says that he would charge for our kitchen (5M x 4M) he would charge about £250. So a bit cheaper than you but we are in the west country so probably not as steep as SE.

ChippingIn Tue 20-Jul-10 22:09:18

LOL @ MR Pickles - you'll have to tell him it's not all babies, breatfeeding and bitching!!

GOML - thanks for that. The kitchen in the flat it small (2.8 x 2.8) about half the size of the lounge, but I guess it's more akward... I think it's probably got more to do with the location. Everything is more expensive here!

The lounge is the least offensive with a not-very-deep, still a clean white, finish - can't describe the finish, not sure how it was achieved...

The kitchen has deep, dirty swirls...

The hall has that shell shape - original lot, very deep and cracked in places - I would have chipped it off by now as it's awful and a small place but one of the builders put the frighteners on me, telling me it probably has asbestos in it!!

None in the bedrooms - just cracks from people walking around in the loft - sigh.

Limpopo Tue 20-Jul-10 22:11:34

We had ours skimmed over too. I am very happy with our lovely smooth ceilings Would defo recommend.

ReshapeWhileDamp Tue 20-Jul-10 22:36:08

Thanks for indications of what it might cost. Ooer. Still, it's got to be better than staring up at bloody spikes and swirls in yet another house!

Hope this won't be an asbestos issue - house in question is a 50's semi - how likely is it, I wonder?

ChippingIn Tue 20-Jul-10 23:23:20

If you are having it skimmed the asbestos doesn't matter (or so I've been told!!), it's only if you want to chip it off/sand/level it.

I was only thinking of doing it in the hallway as it's only tiny area and it's very old, heavy and cracked - so I think the first bit would come off easily and the rest would have me wishing I hadn't started!! But it's soooo thick I would prefer not to plaster over it as I thick and the peak are very sicky-outy I'd need 3 layers of plaster and I'm worried the weight of that much plaster might make it fall off!!

ChippingIn Tue 20-Jul-10 23:26:04

... and from what the builder said, it's quite likely your 50's semi would have asbestos in it

It's not guaranteed though and you can chip a bit off and send it for testing. I was thinking about doing this, but I might get the bathroom ceiling replaced and if I do I'll get the hallway done at the same time and hopefully if they can just cut the whole panel of the hallway out (it's only about 1mx2.5m) then it wont be an issue (chipping says optimistically!!!).

eandh Wed 21-Jul-10 07:38:11

My house (built in 1986) has asbestos inthe artex (we had a huge leak in bathroom so big patch of lounge ceiling fell through) the surveyor came and tested it (posted it somewhere) confirmed asbestos so at at present I am ceiling - less as compnay came yesterday to remove all the ceiling and plasterboard (looked like something out of a sci fi movie in their suits and huge trailer thing on my drive..DD2 and I had to be out of the house too)

Now waiting for drying equipment to arrive, then twhen drying certificate issued another company will come and put up new ceiling and coving and it will all be beautiful and smooth (oh and they are decorating the lounge/stairs/landing too grin) just waiting for tests to to be done on carpet and sofa as the artex fell on these and they may condemn and replace them if asbestos present!

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 21-Jul-10 09:20:01

I am going to get DP to teach me plastering, and go round all the 70s and 80s houses with flyers 'get rid of your artex'.

Would probably make a fortune.

I would be CRAP at plastering though (had a go once, it is fiendishly hard).

EnglandAllenPoe Wed 21-Jul-10 09:58:26

ah, asbestos was used in the artexing substance itself...

that means i have a house load of mildly asbestosed ceilings!

'back to flat'ing it would be ok though...

EasilyConfusedIndith Wed 21-Jul-10 10:07:32

I feel the artex pain. Our hose has it on all the ceilings. In here we have circles with spikes in the middle, in the dining room we have massive spikes which were not nice on the knuckles when tapping to try to find the beam to hang the laundry maid! I'd love to chip it all off and see what is underneath. This house was built in the late 1890s, artex does not do it justice! Those prices make me though, could be a while before we can do anything.

notyummy Wed 21-Jul-10 10:08:42

God, artex ceilings - hate them!!

Just had both bathroom ceilings done - looks sooo much better!

Would like kitchen and sitting room done next, but that is unlikely TBH.

It is a fairly modern house, and I think the ceiling were done noe more than 6/7 years ago - WHY????!!!

Bramshott Wed 21-Jul-10 10:13:10

We have steamed artex off with a wallpaper stripper, which is unpleasant, but cheap! I didn't know about the asbestos though, so I'm hoping what we steamed off was asbestos-free!

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