Artex is a method of interior decorating, used to create patterned surfaces commonly found on ceilings and walls. This decorating technique was popular mid-century homes, but has since become an outdated style. Many homeowners who are renovating a property, choose to cover an artexed surface by plastering over the top. The reason for doing so is to create a smooth surface instead of a patterned one.
However, in some cases, plastering over Artex Is not always as straightforward as people think. Depending on the contents of the material, a certain level of care must be taken when removing or covering an Artex surface.
In most cases a professional or experienced plasterer should be hired when covering an Artex surface. Therefore, the average cost of plastering over Artex will vary based on many factors. These cost affecting factors include the size of the area that you are intending to cover and the labour charge for the professional’s hire. On average, the cost of hiring a professional to plaster over an Artex ceiling varies between £25-£50 per M².
Additional factors may influence the rate of these charges, such as the ease of access to an area, the height of your ceilings and the age of your property. Older homes are more likely to contain Artex with asbestos in it, adding to the complexity of the job. Asbestos is a harmful fibrous substance that when released into the atmosphere can cause severe respiratory issues and health conditions. Asbestos was added to Artex until the mid 1980s to increase the strength of the material.
The table below has been included to demonstrate how the average cost of plastering over Artex can vary based on different factors. Please note, the prices below are estimates and should be used as a guide only.
|Project Description||Area Covered||Labour Charges||Total Cost|
|Plastering over an artexed ceiling||12 M²||£200||£500|
|Removal of Artex containing asbestos||8 M²||£180||£280|
|Removal & Plastering over Artex containing asbestos||10 M²||£250||£600|
The process of plastering over an Artex surface can be an effective method of interior decorating. However, plastering is a specialist trade that requires a certain level of skill, patience and experience in order to achieve a high-quality finish. When it comes to plastering over Artex, the secret to achieving a perfect finish lies in the preparation of the surface.
A professional tradesperson will attempt to smooth as many of the bumps and dimples of the existing Artex as possible. It is essential that before any Artex is removed, it has been thoroughly inspected for any signs of possible asbestos. If asbestos is present in the Artex, it must be safely removed by a licenced professional. In most cases, Artex wall coverings that does not contain asbestos can be removed using a wallpaper steamer and a scraper.
Once all of the visible high spots have been removed, the plastering process can begin. As with any other surface, the area must be clear of large debris. The surface will then be covered with a generous layer of PVA glue or another bonding agent.
The plasterer will typically apply two coats of the bonding agent, allowing the first coat to completely dry before adding a second. Once the PVA solution has completely dried, the plaster can be applied. Usually, the plasterer will apply a thick coat of plaster to the surface, ensuring that all of the visible Artex is sufficiently covered.
This can be more time consuming than plastering over a general wall, as the density of the Artex requires more attention to cover. Using a trowel, your professional will smooth the plaster, to achieve a thick, smooth coating over the Artex.
The next stage in plastering over Artex is to smooth the plaster and flatten any blemishes. The plasterer will apply gentle pressure and smooth over the first coat of plaster until it is perfectly even. /p>
Often a second coat of plaster will be applied to ensure that all of the Artex is completely covered and the surface is smooth. At this point, the plastering process is the same as if you were plastering over any other surface and is often more manageable to apply.
Providing your Artex surface is free of any asbestos, it may be possible for you to carry out the work at home yourself. However, plastering is a skill and requires an extreme amount of patience and knowledge in order to achieve the best results. Never attempt to remove or disturb any Artex if you suspect that asbestos may be present. Asbestos is an extremely harmful substance that can cause long term, significant health and respiratory issues.
You should also consider that it will likely be more time consuming if you are attempting to plaster over an Artex surface yourself. You will need to allow yourself more time to complete the project, along with investing in the correct tools and equipment for the job. For the best possible results, we always recommend that you seek the assistance of an experienced professional plasterer to carry out the work for you.
Many people believe that carrying out a plastering project themselves will save them both time and money. However, this is not always the case. As we mentioned, plastering is a professional trade that must be carried out correctly in order to achieve a high-quality finish. If you attempt to plaster a surface yourself, you could end up with a very poor-quality finish and an unsightly looking surface. This is usually the case for most DIYers, and can result in you needing the whole wall or ceiling removed and re-plastered.
This can often end up being more expensive and time consuming to correct, than if you were to simply hire a professional in the first place. Also, you will need to equip yourself with the appropriate tools and materials in order to carry out the plastering yourself. Professional tools and materials can also be expensive to purchase, especially if you do not need to use them again in the future.
If an Artex surface contains asbestos, you should absolutely seek the assistance of a professional contractor who can safely remove the substance for you. If you attempt in any removal of Artex that contains asbestos, you can face severe, long-term health consequences.
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding plastering over artex.
Absolutely. Artex can be quite time consuming and difficult to remove completely. As an alternative option, many homeowners choose to plaster over the top to achieve a modernised, smooth appearance.
If the Artex surface is rough, a PVA solution can be applied the day before. This is because the rough, uneven surface can help the plaster to bond to the wall or ceiling. If your Artex surface is somewhat smooth, you should apply the PVA an hour or so before you intend to start plastering, so that the solution can begin to dry and become tacky.
This will vary depending on which plasterer you choose to hire. Often though, the average cost of a plasterer’s labour in the UK averages between, £200-£300. Some professionals will charge extra for any materials on top of their labour fees.
Asbestos was banned from Artex in the mid 1980’s. However, depending on suppliers and stocklists, older stock may have still been distributed until the late 1980’s to the early 1990’s. This is why all Artex surfaces should be thoroughly examined for possible asbestos before you attempt to disturb the material.
Any exposure to asbestos is deemed to be dangerous. However, studies suggest that severe health and respiratory issues are linked with long-term regular exposure to airborne asbestos. It is always better to be safe and take the appropriate precautions wherever possible.
Artex is a method of decorating, therefore it is entirely up to personal preference whether you want it inside your home. Providing the surface is in good, stable condition and does not contain asbestos, it is fine to have. However, Artex is considered to be quite out-dated and many homeowners today prefer the look of a smoother surface.