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Skimming artex walls

If you’re looking to get rid of your dated artex walls, skimming over them can be a great solution. Nowadays, plasterers are becoming accustomed to this kind of work as more and more modern homeowners look to undo one of the most prominent style choices of the 1970s and 80s!

Before you skim your artex walls, we’d recommend finding out whether or not they contain asbestos. Prior to 1999, asbestos was commonly added to plaster to create the texture for patterning. After this point, the practice was forbidden.

This means that if your home was built before the 21st Century, there’s a good chance that your artex contains asbestos. It won’t be a health hazard if your artex walls remain untouched, but if they get disturbed, it could be dangerous.

Skimming artex walls that don’t contain asbestos

If you’re sure that your artex walls don’t contain asbestos, you can:

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

Skimming artex walls that contain asbestos

If your artex walls contain asbestos – or you’re not sure whether or not they do – you should proceed with caution. It’s best to avoid scraping altogether, even wearing a mask, as breathing in asbestos can be hazardous. Instead, you can:

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

If the artex stipple is quite pronounced, skimming over it without scraping may not work. In this case, your best bet is to get someone to remove the artex for you. Just bear in mind that this can be expensive, as plaster containing asbestos has to be removed by licensed professionals.

To get advice on the best method of skimming your artex walls, we’d recommend getting in touch with a professional plasterer. Not only will they be able to give you information bespoke to your artex walls, but they’ll also be able to get the finish you want quickly, effectively and safely.

Our guide to the cost of skimming a room has more information.

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