The Rise and Fall of Artex in Home Décor

Artex, a textured coating applied to ceilings and walls, was extremely popular in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s. It was used as an alternative to plastering to create a decorative finish on surfaces.

Artex came in various patterns such as swirls, stipple, or popcorn texture that added depth and interest to otherwise plain walls and ceilings. For many years, Artex was the go-to solution for homeowners looking for an inexpensive way to improve the aesthetics of their homes.

It was easy to apply, durable, and could be painted over when redecorating. However, with changing trends in home décor over time, Artex has fallen out of favour with modern homeowners.

Why You Need Artex Removal

Artex is no longer considered fashionable or modern in today’s home décor trends. Its rough texture can appear dated or even unattractive to some people.

In addition to aesthetic reasons for removing Artex from your walls or ceiling, it may also need removal due to health concerns. Artex coatings used before 1985 often contained asbestos fibers that pose significant health risks if ingested or inhaled.

These tiny fibers can cause lung cancer or mesothelioma if they are disturbed during renovations or maintenance work around the house. Therefore, it is vital that any homeowner considering removing Artex should first ensure it does not contain asbestos by conducting a test.

Overview of Different Methods for Artex Removal

There are several methods available for removing Artex from your walls or ceiling depending on your preference and budget. Some methods require less labour but more chemical application while others may take longer but use fewer chemicals.

In this article we will explore three main methods of removing Artex: Traditional (scraping and sanding), Chemical (using solvents or strippers), and Steam Stripping. We will discuss the pros and cons of each method, the process involved, and some important considerations to help you make an informed choice when deciding which method to use.

Traditional Methods

One of the most common techniques for removing Artex is through traditional methods such as scraping or sanding. These methods are often the most well-known, but can also be the most time-consuming and labor-intensive.

Explanation of Traditional Methods

The first traditional method is scraping, which involves using a scraper tool to remove the Artex from walls and ceilings. This can be done either by hand or with a machine.

The process can be quite messy due to the dust generated in the process, so it is recommended to wear protective clothing and use a respirator mask. The second traditional method is sanding.

This method requires using a sander machine with sandpaper that removes the top layer of Artex texture from walls or ceilings. Like scraping, it can also generate dust and require protective gear to be worn during the process.

Pros and Cons of Traditional Methods

The main advantage of traditional methods such as scraping and sanding is that they are relatively inexpensive compared to other alternatives. They do not require any special equipment or chemicals, making them an accessible option for those on a budget.

However, there are some downsides to these techniques. One major drawback is that they create a lot of dust that can potentially contain asbestos if your home was built before 1999 when asbestos was still used in construction materials.

This means that you must take extra precautions when working with Artex by wearing protective clothing and respiratory masks. In addition to this health hazard concern, both scraping and sanding are very labor-intensive methods that can take several hours or even days depending on how much surface area needs to be covered.

Detailed Process for Each Method


  1. Wear protective gear, including a mask and goggles.
  1. Scrape the Artex texture off of walls or ceilings carefully using a scraper tool.
  1. Collect all debris in a dustpan and dispose of it properly into a sealed bag.


  1. Wear protective gear, including a mask and goggles.
  2. Sand the Artex texture off of walls or ceilings using sandpaper attached to a sander machine.
  1. Clean up all debris with a vacuum cleaner fitted with an appropriate filter to capture fine dust particles. Dispose of it properly into a sealed bag.

Traditional methods for Artex removal such as scraping and sanding can be effective but labor-intensive. They require extra precautions due to health hazards like asbestos exposure that can result from the generated dust during the process. However, these methods are still often preferred by many homeowners due to their accessibility and affordability compared to other alternatives on the market today.

Chemical Methods

The Power of Chemicals for Artex Removal

Chemical methods have grown in popularity, replacing traditional methods due to their efficiency and effectiveness. Solvents or strippers are used in this process to soften the textured coating.

The chemical then dissolves the Artex from the substrate, making it easy to remove with a scraper or a sander. This method requires less manual effort and takes less time than traditional methods.

Pros and Cons of Chemical Methods

One of the main advantages of chemical methods is that they’re quick and efficient. Since chemicals dissolve the Artex, it takes less time to remove than scraping or sanding. In addition, since there isn’t much physical labor involved, it’s a safer option for those who are unable to do manual work.

However, one of the primary disadvantages of chemical methods is that they emit fumes that can be harmful if not used in a well-ventilated area. Using them indoors without proper ventilation can cause health problems like headaches, nausea, or dizziness.

Another disadvantage is that some chemicals may harm certain surfaces if left on for too long or not cleaned up properly. It’s important to use only those chemicals recommended by professionals with experience in Artex removal.

Detailed Process for Each Method

There are two main types of Chemical Methods – Solvent-based and Strippers. Solvent-based – Begin by sweeping any dust away from the surface

– Apply solvent with a soft-bristled brush or roller – Allow solvent to soften and penetrate through Artex

– Use scraper tool at 45-degree angle against wall surface – Wipe clean using damp cloth

Strippers – Begin by sweeping any dust away from surface

– Apply stripper solution using soft-bristled brush or roller – Allow stripper solution to sit for 10-15 minutes

– Use scraper tool to remove the softened Artex – Wipe clean using damp cloth

Choosing the Right Chemical Method for You

Ultimately, the choice between solvents or strippers depends on the type of Artex and your personal preference. Solvent-based chemicals are generally used for thicker coatings, while strippers work better on thinner textures. Be sure to consult with a professional Artex remover before choosing a method.

Cleaning Up After Chemical Removal

After using chemical methods, be sure to clean up any leftover residue with soap and water. If there’s any damage to the surface underneath, you may need to repair it before repainting or adding new texture.

It’s also important to dispose of chemicals in an appropriate manner as they can be hazardous if not disposed of properly. Chemical methods are an effective way of removing Artex due to their efficiency and effectiveness.

However, they require proper handling and ventilation during use. Solvents and strippers are both viable options, but it’s important to consult with a professional before choosing a method that suits your needs best.

Steam Stripping: A Modern Approach to Artex Removal

When it comes to Artex removal, steam stripping is a newer method that has been gaining popularity in recent years. This innovative approach involves using high-temperature steam to soften the Artex, making it easier to remove without causing damage. Steam stripping is a popular choice for those who want an eco-friendly and non-toxic way of removing Artex.

Advantages over Traditional and Chemical Methods

One of the biggest advantages of steam stripping over traditional methods such as scraping or sanding is that it does not create any dust or debris. This means there is less risk of breathing in harmful particles, making steam stripping a safer option for both the person doing the removal and those living in the property. In comparison to chemical methods like solvents or strippers, steam stripping also has several advantages.

Chemical methods can be harsh and often require more than one application, which can be time-consuming and costly. Steam stripping eliminates the need for chemicals altogether, making it a safer option for both people and pets alike.

Another advantage of steam stripping is that it can be used on a variety of surfaces without causing damage. Unlike traditional methods such as sanding which can scratch or gouge surfaces like wood or plaster walls, steam stripping only softens the top layer of paint or Artex so that it can be easily removed with minimal effort.

Detailed Process for Steam Stripping

The process for using steam to remove Artex is relatively straightforward. First, you will need a professional-grade steamer that produces high-temperature steam (usually around 180 degrees Celsius).

The steamer should come with various nozzles that allow you to adjust the pressure and heat settings according to your needs. Begin by setting up your workspace with plastic sheeting on floors, walls, and furniture to protect them from any moisture or damage.

Next, fill the steamer with water and let it heat up until it produces a steady stream of steam. Once the steamer is ready, hold the nozzle about 10cm away from the Artex and gently apply steam to a small section at a time.

You should see the Artex start to soften and bubble as you work your way across each section. Once you have softened all of the Artex, use a scraper to remove it from the surface.

If you encounter any stubborn areas, apply more steam to loosen them before attempting to scrape again. Clean up any remaining debris or residue with warm soapy water and allow the surface to dry completely before painting or adding a new finish.

Steam stripping is an effective and eco-friendly way of removing Artex without causing damage or creating harmful dust particles. If you are considering having Artex removed in your home, this method may be worth exploring further.

Hiring a Professional

Removing Artex can be a challenging and time-consuming task. It requires expertise, experience, and specialized tools to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.

Therefore, hiring a professional for Artex removal is essential. A professional will have the knowledge and equipment to complete the job efficiently while minimizing the risk of damage to your property.

Importance of Hiring a Professional for Artex Removal

Removing Artex can expose you to harmful substances such as asbestos. Asbestos was commonly used in Artex until the 1980s when it was banned due to its carcinogenic properties. If your Artex contains asbestos, removing it without proper precautions can release toxic fibers into the air, putting you and others in your home at risk.

Hiring a professional for Artex removal ensures that they will follow all safety regulations and use proper protective gear when necessary. Additionally, professionals have experience with identifying different types of Artex and knowing which methods are suitable for each type.

What to Look for in a Professional Artex Remover

When hiring an artex remover in Glasgow, there are several factors you should consider: 1. Experience: Look for professionals who have been removing artex for several years or more. Experienced professionals will be better equipped to handle any challenges that may arise during the removal process.

2. Licensing & Certification: Ensure that the company you are hiring is licensed by relevant regulatory agencies such as Health & Safety Executive (HSE) or National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). Such certifications indicate that they meet safety standards.

3. Insurance: Make sure that any company you hire has comprehensive insurance coverage, including liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage. 4. References: Always ask for references from previous clients or customers before finalizing your decision on which professional artex remover should undertake your project.

5. Cost: While cost is important, it should not be the only factor to consider. Make sure that you obtain quotes from several different providers and compare them properly.

Cost Considerations

The cost of Artex removal will depend on various factors, including the size of your property, the type of Artex, and the method used for removal. Typically, removing Artex can be quite expensive as it is a labor-intensive process that requires specialized equipment.

However, hiring a professional artex remover in Glasgow can save you money in the long run as they will be able to identify any potential safety hazards such as asbestos and deal with them accordingly. Additionally, professionals will have access to specialized equipment and materials that can speed up the process while minimizing damage to your property.

When comparing costs among different service providers, make sure to request a detailed breakdown of all expenses involved in removing Artex from your property. This will help avoid any unpleasant surprises when it comes time to settle the bill.

Hiring a professional for Artex removal is crucial for ensuring safety and quality workmanship. When selecting a professional artex remover in Glasgow, consider their experience level, licensing/certifications held by their company or employees if any have been issued by relevant regulatory agencies like Health & Safety Executive (HSE), insurance coverage available (such as liability insurance or workers’ compensation), references from previous customers/clients before finalizing your decision on which provider(s) best suits your needs within budget constraints alike.


Removing Artex can be a challenging task, but it is essential for homeowners who want to update their homes or buildings. The traditional methods of scraping and sanding are effective but time-consuming, messy, and potentially hazardous. Chemical methods such as solvents or strippers may not be suitable for those concerned about the environment or potential health hazards.

Steam stripping is an innovative method that provides several benefits over traditional and chemical methods. It is clean, safe, and environmentally friendly.

Although it may be more expensive upfront than other options, it saves time and avoids the need for re-plastering in most cases. When considering Artex removal in Glasgow, homeowners should take into account the size of the area to remove Artex from, their budget available mitigation measures needed when dealing with asbestos products (if present), personal safety risks involved with various approaches available at hand before choosing a removal method.

Summary of the Different Methods Discussed


Final Thoughts on Choosing an Artex Removal Method in Glasgow

Selecting a reliable professional remover can ensure your job gets done safely while ensuring that all necessary mitigation measures have been taken when dealing with asbestos-containing materials (if present). Before selecting a remover near you for this task consider reading reviews from previous customers carefully on various platforms like Google reviews & Trustpilot etc., so that you can choose the right person to work in your home. Ultimately, it is up to the homeowner to decide which removal method is best for them based on their budget, environmental considerations, and personal safety.

With these options in mind, removing Artex should be a more manageable task. The end result will be a beautiful and modern interior that enhances the value of one’s property.

Looking for expert Artex removal in Glasgow? Trust Asbestos Removal Glasgow Ltd.

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