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What is it?

Artex is a powder complex which when mixed with water turns into a kind of plaster paste. It's often applied to walls or ceilings to create an artistic texture (hence the name). Because it's more flexible than traditional plaster, it's good for covering cracks and other defects. Artex takes between 24 and 48 hours to completely dry. Once dry, it can be painted on. Artex used to be very popular but it's popularity seems to have ended.

How do I remove it?

Although it's quite easy to put up, removing it can be a serious hassle. There are 3 proper ways of dealing with it -

1. Skim it
This involves skimming over the top to level the peaks. When choosing this method of removal you must be careful as pre-1988 Artex may contain asbestos. It's advisable to always keep it wet to prevent asbestos fibres from getting into the atmosphere. Be warned - skimming causes *A LOT* of dust!

2. Coat it
There are several products on the market (i.e. Artex Skim Coat, Jewsons X-Tex and Polycell's Covertex) which are designed to be worked over the Artex. All products mentioned take longer to dry than plaster so they can be shaped easily even if you don't have any plastering skills.

3. Cover with plasterboard
Probably the simplest and cheapest option - cover the wall/ceiling with plasterboard and plaster/paint over the top. Because Artex is sometimes used to cover bad ceilings, the plasterboard may be too much weight and you should therefore look into skimming and fixing up the ceiling.

Other suggestions for removal...

These methods have been mentioned on various DIY sites and may be worth trying -

1. A good wallpaper stripper/steamer should remove it but it's very messy.

2. Sugar soap. Apparently it dissolves it? If you know anything about this please message me.

If you've had all the fun and excitement of Artex that I've had, let me know and perhaps we can start a new node...something like "Artex - produce of Satan"? :)

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