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How to remove Artex coatings

How to remove Artex coatings?

Artex can be removed by applying water based technologies such as X-Tex to dampen the decorative coating on ceilings or walls, allowing it to be safely scraped off.  However it is important to do this properly and carefully and ensuring limited disturbance to the coatings as they can contain asbestos.   

What is ‘Artex’?

Artex is a decorative coating most commonly used on ceilings of houses and occasionally walls to add texture during the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.  It became popular as a simpler way to cover these surfaces without the need for plastering.  Artex is originally a brand name and is trademarked in the UK by Artex Ltd, but is now used widely used as a description of this type of finish even when referring to alternative products by other manufacturers.

Is it dangerous to scrape off Artex?

Yes scraping off Artex when it is dry can be dangerous.  A lot of Artex, especially in older houses has the potential to contain asbestos, so scraping it off dry can disrupt the hazardous fibres.  In actual fact asbestos wasn’t totally banned in the UK until 1999, so houses using Artex before then stand a high chance of containing asbestos, but not guaranteed.

Why was asbestos used Artex?

Asbestos was used in in Artex to help harden and strengthen the coating.

How do you know if there is asbestos in Artex?

This is hard to tell without actually sending off a sample for testing, however trying to get a sample can also run risks of disturbing the asbestos fibres and harmful exposure.  If you are unsure it is recommended to get an accredited business or person to come and review it first or use products like X-Tex to safely remove a section yourself.

What is X-Tex?

X-Tex is a water based technology which is non-toxic, non-hazardous, non-caustic and PH Neutral designed and manufactured in the UK for the safe removal of textured coatings like Artex.  This innovative solution is absorbed by a surface, wetting it for long periods of time and enabling large sections to be removed without disrupting any harmful asbestos.

How to remove Artex with X-Tex?

Start by painting on a small area to establish how long it may take to absorb into the surface before scraping.  This is important especially on surfaces that might have multiple coats of paint as it may require longer time or covering with a plastic or foil to increase absorption.

Find out more in our step by step instructions: ‘X-Tex: A How to DIY Guide’.

What else should I use when removing Artex?

It is always advisable when carrying out work involving any type of dust particles but especially asbestos to where a face mask for additional protection and peace of mind.  General PPE such as gloves and coveralls can also just help protect you and your clothing.

X-Tex is a safe and cost-effective way to remove Artex coatings in a home or building, available to buy now or you can contact one of the team if you would like to discuss your project in more detail.