Plastering over artex

Summary: Learn how to plaster over artex, remove the old artex and re-plaster.

Due to changes in interior design fashion trends, the popularity of artex is in decline. This means there are a lot of artexed walls and ceilings that need plastering over. Plastering over artex is not as difficult as people often think. As long as you prepare the surface correctly, use the right techniques for application of the plaster and leave to dry long enough for it to set, then problems should not occur.

Plaster over artex

  • Artex applied more than thirty years ago may contain asbestos and it is extremely unwise to sand down or scrape without seeking the advice of an asbestos specialist.
  • Firstly start by removing any flaking bits of artex from the wall/ceiling. Then proceed to scrape away the larger stipples of artex so the surface is relatively flat and is ready to be worked on.
  • As an under-layer for your plaster, you will require PVC adhesive. This is commonly available in all DIY stores. The reason for the PVC under-layer is that when you apply plaster straight onto a wall, a lot of the moisture gets soaked into the artex or brickwork below and the plaster becomes poor in quality. Losing the moisture in plaster quickly also gives you the disadvantage of having less time to work with it. The PVC will prevent the porosity, so the plaster will sit on the wall as required.
  • Before applying the PVA, it will need to be mixed with water to a ratio of 1:1. Once diluted, the PVC mix can be applied to the wall/ceiling with a brush. Be sure you have covered all the necessary surface area. For best results, apply 2 coats.
  • Now you will need to prepare for plastering. Make sure you have covered the floor and other areas that you do not want plaster to fall onto. Mix the plaster following the manufacturer’s instructions. The best method of mixing the plaster is to use a mixing drill with a paddle attachment. Mix until it reaches a creamy consistency.
  • To apply correctly you will need to follow normal plastering techniques. Using a hawk with a workable amount of plaster on, apply the plaster to the walls bit by bit with a trowel. Make sure you spread it evenly in sweeping strokes. There should not be any ridges or recesses.
  • When the plaster has dried enough so it is firm to the touch (but not so it has fully set) you can start to smooth it over for a good finish. When the plaster has become quite hard, flick water onto it and smooth over again. This will give it a glass-like finish.