How To Remove Artex from Your Ceiling

  • Learn safe and effective methods for removing Artex ceilings, including steaming, skimming, and using chemical removers.
  • Understand the importance of testing for asbestos before starting any Artex removal project to ensure safety.
  • Discover basic guides for each removal method to achieve a smooth, modern finish for your ceilings.
  • Find out why hiring professionals, like Prestige Property Solutions, can ensure high-quality results and a safer process.

Artex ceilings, once a popular choice for adding texture and interest to ceilings, have fallen out of favour due to their dated appearance and potential health risks. Removing Artex can be a challenging task, especially if it contains asbestos, which requires careful handling due to the health risks it poses. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of safely and effectively removing Artex ceilings, using various methods and ensuring a smooth finish.

The Problem With Artex Ceilings

Artex ceilings, with their distinctive patterns and textured finishes, were widely used in homes built or renovated between the 1960s and 1980s. However, over time, these textures can become unattractive and difficult to maintain. Additionally, many Artex ceilings contain asbestos, a hazardous material that can have significant health risks if disturbed. Homeowners looking to modernise their interiors or ensure a safer living environment often seek to remove these dated ceilings. Understanding the complexities and risks involved is crucial before you start the removal process. Next, we will discuss the importance of testing for asbestos before beginning any removal work.

Before You Begin: Test for Asbestos

Testing for asbestos is an essential first step before removing any Artex ceiling. Asbestos fibres, if inhaled, can cause severe health issues, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Before you proceed with any removal methods, it’s imperative to confirm whether your Artex contains asbestos. You should always hire a professional asbestos testing service to take the samples and get them sent to be analysed in a lab. Ensuring the safety of you and your family should always be the top priority. In the next section, we will guide you through how to confirm if it’s indeed asbestos.

Once you’ve conducted an initial test, you might still be uncertain about the presence of asbestos. If your test results are inconclusive or if you want to be extra cautious, consider getting a second opinion. If asbestos is detected, you will have to hire a licensed asbestos removal specialist to handle the material safely and in compliance with local regulations. Now that we’ve covered the preliminary steps, we’ll move on to discussing the five main methods for removing Artex ceilings.

How To Remove Artex Ceilings – Five Simple Methods

Removing Artex ceilings can be approached in several ways, each with its own set of tools and techniques. In the following sections, we’ll explore five simple methods: steaming, plastering or skimming over, boarding over, using a chemical Artex remover, and in some cases, removing the ceiling entirely. Each method has its advantages and considerations, depending on the condition of your ceiling and your specific needs. Let’s start with the first method: steaming.

Method 1: Steaming

Steaming is a popular method for removing Artex ceilings, particularly when dealing with non-asbestos Artex. This process involves using a wallpaper steamer to soften the textured coating, making it easier to scrape off. Begin by protecting your workspace with plastic sheeting and removing any furniture from the room. Once your steamer is ready, hold it against the Artex ceiling for a few seconds to allow the steam to penetrate the material. Then, use a wide-bladed scraper to gently peel away the softened Artex. This method requires patience and care to avoid damaging the ceiling underneath.

Method 2: Plastering / Skimming Over

Plastering or skimming over the Artex is an effective way to achieve a smooth ceiling without the mess of removal. This method involves applying a new layer of plaster directly over the textured surface. Before starting, ensure the ceiling is clean and free of loose material. A bonding agent may be applied to help the plaster adhere better. Once prepared, a thin coat of plaster is applied using a trowel, smoothing out the surface to cover the Artex texture completely. This approach not only hides the unsightly texture but also strengthens the ceiling.

Method 3: Board Over

Boarding over an Artex ceiling is a straightforward method that involves covering the existing texture with plasterboard. This technique is particularly useful if the Artex is in poor condition, but only if the Artex does not contain asbestos. To begin, attach new plasterboard sheets directly over the Artex using screws fixed into the ceiling joists, this will disturb the Artex hence why this method is not viable if the Artex features asbestos. Once the boards are in place, tape and joint the seams to create a seamless finish. This method adds an extra layer of insulation and provides a fresh surface ready for plastering or decorating.

Method 4: Chemical Artex Remover

Chemical Artex removers are specially formulated solutions designed to break down the textured coating, making it easier to scrape off. To use this method, apply the remover evenly over the Artex using a brush or roller. Allow the chemical to penetrate and soften the texture as per the manufacturer’s instructions. After the appropriate waiting time, use a scraper to remove the loosened Artex. This method can be effective for large areas, but it requires proper ventilation and safety precautions, such as wearing gloves and masks.

Method 5: Removal of the Ceiling

In some cases, the best option might be to remove the ceiling entirely, especially if the Artex is damaged or contains asbestos. This is a more invasive and costly approach, but it guarantees a fresh start. Begin by consulting with a professional to safely remove the ceiling, as this process can involve significant debris and potential hazards. Once the old ceiling is removed, you can install new plasterboard and finish it to your desired standard. Now that we’ve covered the various methods of removal, let’s look at why sometimes it’s not always best to do it yourself and why you should use a professional.

Why You Should Use A Professional

While these methods provide various ways to remove Artex ceilings, hiring a professional ensures the job is done safely and effectively. At Prestige Property Solutions, we specialise in handling Artex removal with utmost care, particularly when asbestos is involved. Our team is equipped with the necessary tools and expertise to deliver high-quality results while maintaining the safety of your home.

Contact Prestige Property Solutions for a Free Quote

If you’re considering removing your Artex ceiling and want professional assistance, Prestige Property Solutions is here to help. We offer free quotes to assess your project and provide the best solution tailored to your needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how we can transform your space.


Removing Artex ceilings can be a daunting task, but with the right approach and expertise, it’s possible to achieve a smooth, modern finish. Whether you’re brave enough to tackle the project yourself or hire professionals like Prestige Property Solutions, understanding the methods and steps involved is key to a successful outcome. Trust us to deliver exceptional results, leaving your home looking modern and brand new.

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