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How To Cover Artex Without Plastering

15 June 2023

If you have an Artex ceiling at home you wish to cover it up, you are not alone. There was a long period when Artex was the epitome of class and grandeur in many areas, but now, this is an outdated style.

It is possible to plaster over Artex, but this can be an expensive and time-consuming job. If your budget doesn’t allow this, or you are keen to complete the project quickly, you might look for an alternative solution to covering Artex at home.

Thankfully, you have options, and at Top Notch Walls, we have plenty of ideas to allow you to restyle your home. Most importantly, these methods ensure you love your home more, which is an outcome everyone wants.

What Are The Options For A Smooth Finish On An Artex Ceiling?

Here is a comprehensive list of ways to cover an Artex ceiling or textured walls, apart from plastering or skimming:

Ceiling panels: Installing ceiling panels made of materials like PVC, wood, or metal can cover the Artex. These panels are available in various designs and can be easily attached to the existing ceiling.

Ceiling tiles: Similar to panels, ceiling tiles consist of materials like mineral fibre, polystyrene, or metal that can be installed to cover the Artex. They come in different styles and can be glued or nailed onto one ceiling.

Suspended ceiling: Creating a suspended ceiling involves installing a metal grid below the Artex ceiling and attaching ceiling tiles or panels to it. This method allows for easy access to the original ceiling if needed.

Ceiling cladding: Using PVC or other suitable materials, ceiling cladding can be attached directly over the Artex. It provides a clean, durable, and low-maintenance finish.

Textured wallpaper: Applying textured wallpaper over the Artex can effectively hide the texture. There are numerous patterns and designs available to suit different preferences.

Ceiling paint: Painting the Artex ceiling with thick, textured paint can help diminish the appearance of the texture. It provides a fresh, uniform look and allows for painted customisation with different colours.

Polystyrene ceiling tiles: These lightweight tiles can be glued directly onto the Artex. They come in various patterns and styles, offering an affordable option for covering the texture.

Wood panelling: Installing wooden planks or panels on the ceiling can completely cover the Artex and add a warm, natural aesthetic to the room.

Fabric ceiling coverings: Stretching fabric across the ceiling and securing it at the edges can create a unique, soft-textured look that hides the Artex. This option allows for creativity with different fabrics and patterns.

Decorative ceiling beams: Adding decorative beams across the ceiling can draw attention away from the Artex texture. These beams come in many materials, including wood, faux wood, or other materials.

Popcorn ceiling cover-up: If the Artex resembles a popcorn ceiling, there are specific cover-up options available, such as specially designed paint or a spray-on texture that helps smooth out the surface.

Some people consider a skimmed surface different from a plastered project, but given skim work uses plaster, this is a matter of opinion. The cost of this solution is a barrier for some households, but as with any work, you can find other brands or products that lower the overall cost of transforming rooms at home.

If plastering is beyond your budget, you can save money without compromising on the quality of work. Don't also miss our article "Can You Plaster Over Artex" - it offers valuable insights into this important topic.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Painting Over Artex Ceilings

Here's a detailed yet concise step-by-step guide on how to paint to cover Artex:

Prepare The Room

Remove furniture, cover the floor, and protect any surfaces you don't want to get paint on. Use painter's tape to mask off edges, light fittings, and trim.

Clean The Surface

Thoroughly clean the Artex ceiling to remove dust, dirt, and grease. Use a mild detergent solution and a sponge or cloth to wipe down the surface. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

Repair Any Damage

Inspect the ceiling for any cracks, holes, or damaged areas. Fill these imperfections with a suitable spreading tool or patching compound. Smooth out the repairs and let them dry.

Prime The Ceiling

Apply a first coat of primer specifically designed for textured surfaces. Use a brush with a long nap to ensure proper coverage over the Artex. Allow the primer to dry fully as per the manufacturer's instructions.

Choose The Paint

Select a high-quality ceiling paint that is designed to cover textured surfaces. Consider the desired colour and finish (matte or satin) for your room.

Mix The Paint

If necessary, thoroughly mix the paint using a stir stick to ensure an even consistency. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the paint can for proper mixing techniques.

Paint The Ceiling

Start by cutting in along the edges using a brush, and painting a border around the perimeter of the ceiling. Then, use a roller with a long nap to apply the paint to the larger areas of the Artex.

Work in small sections, applying the paint in a "W" or "M" pattern to ensure even coverage. Apply multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat for better results. Allow the first coat to dry before applying the second coat and all other coats.

Inspect And Touch Up

After the final top coat of paint has dried, carefully inspect the ceiling for any missed spots or uneven areas. Use a brush or roller to touch up those areas as needed, ensuring consistent coverage over the Artex.

Clean Up

Clean your brushes, rollers, and any other painting tools using water or the appropriate cleaning agent recommended for the type of paint. Remove the painter's tape and protective coverings, and return the furniture to its place.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Applying Panels Over Artex Ceilings

Applying panels is an effective way to cover Artex, and here is a quick step-by-step guide to using this method at home:

Measure and plan: Measure the dimensions of your ceiling to determine the amount of panelling needed. Plan the layout by deciding on the direction and pattern you want to install the panels.

Prepare the room: Clear the room of furniture and cover the floor with a drop cloth or protective covering. Ensure the area is clean and free of any debris.

Cut the panels: Use a measuring tape and a pencil to mark the dimensions of the ceiling panels on the backside of the panelling material. Use a saw or a panelling cutter to cut the panels to the appropriate size.

Install furring strips: Install wooden furring strips on the ceiling, perpendicular to the direction you plan to install the panels. Use a stud finder to locate the ceiling joists and attach the furring strips to them.

Apply adhesive: Apply a strong construction adhesive to the backside of the panelling material. Use a generous amount of adhesive to ensure a strong bond.

Position the panels: Carefully position the first panel against the furring strips, aligning it with the established layout plan. Press the panel firmly against the ceiling to ensure proper adhesion.

Nail or screw the panels: Secure the panelling to the furring strips by using finishing nails or screws. Place them along the edges at regular intervals, ensuring they are countersunk into the panelling.

Continue with additional panels: Repeat the process with the remaining panels, ensuring a tight fit between each one. Trim panels as necessary to accommodate corners, edges, or fixtures.

Fill gaps and seams: Fill gaps or seams between the panels with a suitable filler or caulk, smoothing it out with a putty knife or caulking tool. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

Sand and finish: Lightly sand the panelling surface to create a smooth and even finish, and then wipe away dust or debris with a clean cloth. Apply a primer if desired, and then finish with a paint or stain of your choice.

Clean up: Clean any tools, remove the protective coverings, and return the furniture to its place.

Considering Asbestos When Covering Artex

Artex ceilings, particularly those installed before the 1990s, can potentially contain asbestos. It is challenging to visually determine if asbestos is present, so it is advisable to assume that older Artex ceilings may contain asbestos and take appropriate precautions. To ensure safety:

Avoid disturbance: If you suspect asbestos, refrain from scraping, sanding, or drilling into the ceiling, as these actions can release asbestos fibres into the air, posing a health risk.

Professional removal or encapsulation: If asbestos is confirmed, be it blue, brown, or white asbestos, hire a professional asbestos removal contractor to safely remove the Artex ceiling or encapsulate it with a specialist coating.

Consider covering: In some cases, if the Artex ceiling is undisturbed and in good condition, covering it with panelling or skimming with plaster might be an option.

We also recommend the article "How To Tell If Plaster Has Asbestos" for valuable insights.

Do Artex Ceilings Devalue A House?

Many factors influence the value of a house, including the aesthetic charm of the property. With Artex finishes less popular today than they have been in previous generations, this is a finish that might diminish demand for a property, and the price a buyer is willing to pay for a home. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to suggest Artex ceilings devalue a house, which is why some homeowners decide to cover their Artex.

Can You Cover Artex As A DIY Project?

You don't need to hire a professional when you want Artex covered. If you are prepared for some hard work, possibly including scraping and sanding, there is no reason you cannot cover the area yourself.

Of course, there are challenges to DIY work. You need proper equipment like a ladder or plastering pan, you might need to mix paint or filler, and you need to buy, measure and cut items like plasterboard or panels.

Our tips above will help you cover an Artex layer or ceilings, but even though the method is straightforward, many find it better to hire a specialist than undertake the DIY work themselves.

While a good DIY project lowers the cost and offers a great return, it might cost more in the long term. It could even cost you your health if you don't know what you are doing!

You Don’t Need Multi-Finish Plaster To Cover Artex

We know your Artex ceiling might no longer make you as happy as it used to be, and a smooth finish is ideal for many homes, removing the imperfections many associates with Artex surfaces. At Top Notch Walls, we want you to love your whole ceiling, and we have a range of services to inform and assist you as best we can. Whether you desire a smoother surface, textured coatings, or any other look, we are here to assist you as best we can.

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