Preparing artex ceiling for painting

Would be grateful for some advice please.

Our 20 year old house has artex ceilings in every room and we haven't needed to repaint them so far, but the time has now come. Most of the ceilings aren't too bad, just need a spruce up, but the kitchen ceiling has the usual grime and grease.

Could anyone tell me what I need to do to prepare the ceilings for painting. Obviously removing dust and cobwebs (moi, surely not); do I need to wash them, if so with what and any tips for preparing the kitchen ceiling in particular would be very welcome.

Many thanks
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Replies

  • Oh I hope there isn't anything special you should do as I just painted over ours with normal emulsion paint last year?
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  • I would be looking to wash the kitchen ceiling probably with sugar soap to get rid of the grease otherwise it may start to show back through the paint. How you go about that depends on the pattern on the artex - a few low level swirls means you can just use a cloth, but if its stippled then you'll probably need some kind of brush to get in and around all the peaks.

    Basically it will take as long to clean it as to paint it a couple of coats - if its just swirls then both cleaning and painting is relatively painless - if its stippled be prepared for aching shoulders, stiff neck and being thoroughly fed up by the time you've got it all properly painted. I don't doubt some people like artex but the maintenance means I'd never have it.
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  • It's stipples !!!!

    All done by the builder as was the fashion then - we don't have the time, money, energy or inclination to start having it removed or skimmed or whatever. Most of the ceilings are fine and I hope will be easy to paint over - I read somewhere about washing over with a 20% PVA solution thingy ?!?

    I've got some of the ceiling paint that goes on pink and turns white as it dries as I'm hoping that will help.

    Any tips from anyone who has been there and got the video and T shirt would be great!!
  • keystonekeystone Forumite
    10.9K Posts
    It's stipples !!!!

    All done by the builder as was the fashion then - we don't have the time, money, energy or inclination to start having it removed or skimmed or whatever. Most of the ceilings are fine and I hope will be easy to paint over - I read somewhere about washing over with a 20% PVA solution thingy ?!?

    I've got some of the ceiling paint that goes on pink and turns white as it dries as I'm hoping that will help.

    Any tips from anyone who has been there and got the video and T shirt would be great!!
    Clean it with sugarsoap as WD suggests as best you can. You won't get all the dirt off because its stippled (or if you do it 5 or six times you may). Give it a coat of stain block so that any residual dirt cannot leech through then paint as normal. Don't you dare PVA it unless you want to watch your paint to peel later on!

    What is the current paint finish (matt, silk or what?) and what are you intending it to be?

    Cheers
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  • whatever you do dont use PVA,a wash down with sugar soap if it is badly marked then painted with a couple of coats first in one direction then second in the opposite direction
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  • You have my utmost sympathy! We had it in the kitchen and bathroom in the old house - I steamed/scraped it off the bathroom after getting sick of painting it, and when part of the kitchen ceiling collapsed (due to a leak in the bathroom above) we had it skimmed.

    Depending how long the spikes are, you might want to get hold of some cheap fingerless gloves (cycling shops have them) to protect your knuckles from scraping on the spikes whilst painting. Other than that, the pain is getting paint on all sides of the stipples so plan on it taking a lot longer than it would for a comparable flat surface.

    As you say, its gone 20 years without painting so no big issue with keeping it - our problem was that the bathroom kept getting black mould in it so needed frequent painting, and so for a small room it was quicker to scrape it off once than keep spending longer painting it. (NB anyone else reading this with older artex needs to be aware some older stuff has asbestos in so check before scraping it off!)
    Adventure before Dementia!
  • I used a furry roller to emulsion my ceilings, just got cobwebs down first!
  • Keystone - I would guess the current finish is matt and that's what I've bought to redo it with - is anything else recommended ? Should I go into B&Q and look for a container called Stain Block - has it got another name (you can tell decorating is not my forte!)

    Thanks for advice re PVA - I'll steer clear; and also for advice about the fingerless gloves - good idea.

    This is the first time I'm glad we have a small kitchen :D the walls are "easy", I can just scrub to get the grease and grime off, but the ceiling ............
  • keystonekeystone Forumite
    10.9K Posts
    Keystone - I would guess the current finish is matt and that's what I've bought to redo it with - is anything else recommended ? Should I go into B&Q and look for a container called Stain Block - has it got another name (you can tell decorating is not my forte!)
    No the thought was triggered by the fact that you do NOT use matt finish over silk - because you get a lovely cracked finish. You will find Dulux Trade Stain Block in Bargain and Quick. Be prepared to fork out iro £ 34 for 2½ litres though at their prices. You should get a better deal at a trade paint outlet.

    Cheers
    The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. - Einstein
  • 27col27col Forumite
    6.6K Posts
    Just a comment, based on my own experience. Artex is water soluble, so I do not think that washing it is a very good idea. In fact, when removing, it you apply water to the surface to soften it, prior to scraping it. In one area of our bedroom, simply applying water based emulsion paint caused the Artex to start to lift from the ceiling.
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