Can You Skim Over Artex? | Checkatrade
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Can you skim over artex?

Yes! Nowadays, skimming over artex has become a common part of a plasterer’s job. While homeowners loved artex back in the 1970s and 80s, many modern homeowners are keen to replace it with a smoother finish.

Before you skim over artex, it’s important to consider whether it may contain asbestos. Prior to 1999, asbestos was routinely added to plaster to create texture for patterning. However, after this, the practice became unlawful.

How you deal with skimming your artex ceiling will depend on whether or not it contains asbestos.

Skimming artex ceiling

If your artex ceiling doesn’t contain asbestos, it should be easy to skim over. For the best results:

  1. Scrape off as much of the swirls and dimples as possible
  2. Clean up thoroughly
  3. Coat the ceiling with PVA
  4. Follow up with a skim coat of plaster

If your ceiling contains artex, it’s best to avoid any scraping at all – even with a mask on – as breathing in asbestos can be hazardous. If your ceiling is patterned, you may instead be able to:

  1. Coat the ceiling with bonding
  2. Apply PVA
  3. Follow up with a skim coat of plaster

However, this often won’t be effective on stippled artex. Another good option – which is also safer where there’s artex involved – is to fix a false ceiling with drylining.

This will give you a flat, smooth surface while hiding the artex away from sight. The only downside is that it will lower your ceiling height slightly.

A professional plasterer will be able to advise you on the best way to cover up your artex – giving you the look you want in a safe manner. Check out our guide to the cost of skimming a room for more information.

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