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Polystyrene hell

(23 Posts)
Mrsfullhouse Fri 10-Jul-15 08:18:02

Hi! We've just bought an excouncil property
and EVERY ceiling is covered in polystyrene tiles and EVERY wall is covered in woodchip wallpaper...

First of all... Aaaaagh why????
Second of all... How do I remove these monstrosities without having to replaster every surface of a three bedroom house??

Does anybody have any experience of this? What removal products are the best/ most cost effective? How do I do it without completely ruining my house?

We complete on the 28th of August, my husband goes back to school (as a teacher, not a student!) on the 2nd of Sept with insets etc. My mother has just come out of hospital and my father (who is my usual dogsbody when it comes to diy) will have his right arm in plaster. I have two Ds's under two and have 4 weeks to do it all as we are having a new boiler fitted and then everything is being refitted- new bathroom, new kitchen etc.

Have I bitten off more than I can chew???

Any advise would be greatly appreciated- what to do... And just as importantly what not to do!!!

Do not have the budget for a professional, so it's up to me!!!

Thanks x

BasinHaircut Fri 10-Jul-15 08:21:34

Fingers crossed the tiles might come away from the ceiling with relative ease. That's my experience of them.

I have no advice, just wanted to offer a glimmer of hope! Good luck.

You may want to rope in many friends to help though.

Mrsfullhouse Fri 10-Jul-15 08:34:31

Did they leave glue patches? Did you have to replaster or just paint and then did the glue patches show through?

I literally didn't sleep last night for the total obsession that this has become in my loopy head!

Totally stressed out already and we don't get the keys for another 7 weeks!!

Thanks for replying xx

DevaDiva Fri 10-Jul-15 08:38:05

From my limited experience tiles like this are used to cover up crap plaster hmm we got ours off relatively easy then went over the patches with a streamer to get the glue remains off.

Top tip for any stains, before painting go over patches with some gloss paint this will stop the stains coming through the emulsion top coat.

Good luck, I'd try to get the children out of the way to keep you sane grin

snowaccidentprone Fri 10-Jul-15 08:45:29

We had polystyrene ceiling tiles in ds2's bedroom.

They came off really easily, but they had obviously been put up to disguise the poor state of the ceiling.

I put down a dust sheet and taped it to the floor. Then using a large scraper dug it between some tiles, then scraped it underneath. The tiles came of really easily.

I used the same scraper to go over the rest of the ceiling, wand and get off all the peeling paint etc. I then filled the cracks and holes with filler. I always use powder filler so that I can mix it to my preferred consistency. Use can add a few drops of ova glue to this to help it adhere to the ceiling in.

I then gave the ceiling a sand. It took a while and was quite messy, but it looks good now it has been painted.

If I could have afforded it I could have just had the ceiling plastered after removing the ceiling tiles. It would have been a lot quicker and easier for me. But we didn't have enough money to do this.

I would do one room at a time and trget that finishes before moving onto a new room.

snowaccidentprone Fri 10-Jul-15 08:46:15

Get that finished

snowaccidentprone Fri 10-Jul-15 08:50:01

Woodchip is a pita to remove, especially when painted over the top.

Use a wire brush to scrub the top layer of paper off, then either use a plant mister with hot water and remover or a steamer to get the paper off.

It will be messy, so again tape down dust sheets.

And console yourself that at least it isn't artex wink

Mrsfullhouse Fri 10-Jul-15 08:53:58

Thank you, I need to do this as cheaply as possible. We bought the house for cash- it was very very cheap, and have used every last penny to do so!

Any thoughts on woodchip and how not to end up in a lunatic asylum when removing millions of square feet of it?

I've looked on tinternet but there is so much crap/ conflicting advice!

AgentProvocateur Fri 10-Jul-15 08:56:49

I love removing wallpaper and ceiling tiles. If you're in a five-mile radius of Glasgow, I'll come and help you one weekend grin

Mrsfullhouse Fri 10-Jul-15 08:59:14

Sorry, posted too quickly! Any products in the water or just plain water?... There are a million layers of paint on top...

I can see myself developing a horrific case of tennis elbow here!

Also... Just to add to the fun, there is one room covered ENTIRELY In artex- walks, ceilings and even inside the fitted wardrobes.

If I didn't love the house (and wasn't desperate to get out of the inlaws) I would really really ffing hate it already!

But the garden is amazing, so perhaps if it all goes tits up and I end up lying on the floor in a pile of discarded woodchip and polystyrene, sobbing and proclaiming that I'm batman, we can camp on the lawn!

Mrsfullhouse Fri 10-Jul-15 09:01:26

-agent, couldn't be further from you if we tried!! South Somerset, but I love you anyway, thank you!

Mrsfullhouse Fri 10-Jul-15 09:03:30

-Snow, how long does all this crap take? Say for a room 14 x 14 to strip the ceiling?
Uninterrupted time that is, I need to use a magical equation that will factor in time spent telling toddler not to eat the polystyrene.

snowaccidentprone Fri 10-Jul-15 09:25:49

Our tiles came off easily - an hour for a small room.

Depends on how well the tiles are stuck on/come off.

Always overestimate the amount of time it'll take, then you'll be pleasantly surprised if you finish early.

Maybe 1/2 a day?

Get friends to help and pay them with food and wine?

wowfudge Fri 10-Jul-15 09:41:14

Definitely tackle one room at a time and finish it before moving on. It will incentivise you to carry on and will mean there is at least somewhere to retreat to when the rest is getting you down. Maybe tackle a bedroom first so you can prefect your techniques then do the living room (if not the artex hell).

Mrsfullhouse Fri 10-Jul-15 09:46:33

Can I just drink so much wine that living in the seventies seems appealing?
We have three weeks to play with before we move in, hoping to crack at least upstairs by then.
How much (if I suddenly came across a miraculous pile of money) would you pay someone to do it?
I'm wondering if it may just be easier due to the darling boys being little buggers and the fact that I may cock it up!

Mrsfullhouse Fri 10-Jul-15 09:47:01

Also- can you said artex flat?

PigletJohn Fri 10-Jul-15 10:03:59


but you can have it plastered flat

Artex and woodchip are usually used to cover up defective, cracked and loose plaster, so you may need to have it repaired properly, and possibly pull down the defective stuff, which is surprisingly dirty. Don't order your carpets yet.

Mrsfullhouse Fri 10-Jul-15 10:16:19

The more I look into it, all the signs are there for it being a BIG job. I think I'm being a little naive in hoping that the tiles and woodchip are there just because the previous owners thought they were awesome.

So... How much to replaster a room 13 x 13? Walls and ceilings. I'm going to calculate worst case scenario and then go begging to my parents if it's really necessary.
We have a very young baby with asthma and eczema so I really need it done properly I think.

It has the potential to go horrendously wrong... I have no experience what so ever and am barely able to make a cup of tea without both boys exploding into tantrums/ getting in to situations where the liss of a limb is likely.

Starting to think this is all way too much for me to do on my own, going to really struggle to offload the boys

Mrsfullhouse Fri 10-Jul-15 10:21:47

Crikey.... I gave up quickly didn't I!!

Roomba Fri 10-Jul-15 10:37:19

I got rid of polystyrene ceiling tiles in my kitchen - only took an hour tops, and amazingly the ceiling was pretty good apart from a few cracks.

Not sure about plastering costs. You could do what I did with my 10ftx8ft bathroom, and do it yourself after watching a million Youtube videos - but although mine unbelievably looks good now, I really really wouldn't recommend it! Especially with a toddler to look after at the same time, that would be tricky (I had to do it overnight when my toddler was in bed - again, not advised!).

PigletJohn Fri 10-Jul-15 12:26:27

some hundreds per room. It is very dirt and dusty and I recommend that you buy an inexpensive canister vac shortly before work starts, and box up all your possessions.

replastering a ceiling is surprisingly inexpensive, it might be £150 per room or so (but if the old one is L&P, very cracked and loose, it is best pulled down, which is filthy work, best done when the room is completely empty. It will cost extra because nobody wants to do it. Postwar plasterboard ceilings will not be so bad and can be patched or overboarded.

LadyCurd Sat 11-Jul-15 07:22:15

Be warned with ceiling tiles the underneath glue often means paint won't adhere properly (you need to use a brush and small gentle strokes not a roller), one ceiling the adherence was so bad we had to have it plaster boarded and skimmed for £300, another was fine first time but when I repainted a few years later massive sections of paint just peeled off, ceiling is in right state at min and need to get plaster boarded and skimmed but as temp fix painted it white with a brush and it's not too noticeable. Woodchip we got rid off left okayish walls which we hid with super thick lining paper, but with hindsight I wish we had splashed out on re-plastering as I love a smooth wall to look at! The stripping out is faster than the making it look good again. We stripped a three bed house in a weekend with a couple of pals and lots of beer!

paxtecum Sat 11-Jul-15 12:14:50

Some artex has asbestos in it, so beware of sanding it.

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