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What is the cost of Artex removal?

Last Updated on January 01, 2020 By Dave

Most homeowners are removing Artex from their houses because they are old fashioned and expensive to maintain. Additionally, if you live in a house that was built between the 70s and 80s, then chances are that this coating could contain traces of asbestos, which has been linked to causing life-threatening diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer.

So, have you have just purchased a new house that has Artex, or are you planning to renovate your home and remove this coating? If yes, then one question that must be running through your mind is: how much does it cost to remove Artex? If that is the case, then count yourself lucky because today you have clicked on the right page. Below, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about Artex removal.

What exactly is Artex?

Artex is a surface coating that is often used for interior decoration, mostly on ceiling and walls. Most interior designers and decorators like this coating because it delivers a textured finish that supersedes other similar decorating products. The use of Artex was widespread in the 70s and 80s, but its use later decreased after it was established that it contains a significant amount of asbestos. Manufacturer’s added asbestos to this water-based coating to strengthen it.

However, in the late 80s, most big organisations such as the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned its use. Most manufacturers also stopped using asbestos to strengthen Artex after it was established that it could cause life-threatening diseases such as lung cancer when inhaled.

traditional artex ceiling needing removal

Today, the use of Artex has reduced significantly as many homeowners prefer to use wallpapers and smooth plastered walls that don’t pose any risk to human health. However, it has been established that some few people still use this coating to decorate their walls and ceilings.

Is Artex safe for your health?

The million-dollar question is: is Artex safe your health? The answer is YES, Artex is safe for your health, but only if it does not contain traces of asbestos. Manufacturers in the 70s and 80s added asbestos to Artex to harden it. Asbestos is harmful to human health when in powdered or in gaseous form, and that is why it needs to be removed with care.

Statistics show that asbestos exposure caused between 12,000 and 15,000 deaths in the US between the years 1999-2013. When inhaled, asbestos can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos removal is very complicated and needs to be removed with the utmost care. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set regulations that demand buildings to be inspected to check asbestos presence to limit exposure, especially to people living in those particular houses.

How to know if your house has Artex asbestos

The question that you could probably be asking yourself right now is: how do I tell if my home has Artex? There are two ways of knowing whether your house has Artex asbestos. The first way includes using an asbestos testing kit to collect samples that are taken then to the lab for analysis. The second and recommended way is by hiring a reputable asbestos removal contractor to conducts some tests to determine whether Artex decoration in your home has some traces of asbestos. You cannot determine whether your house has Artex asbestos by looking at the walls or ceiling. You need to conduct tests on the coating to determine whether it has traces of asbestos or not. Asbestos is dangerous, and we recommend that you let it be handled by professionals who have the capacity to remove this harmful substance.

Can I remove it by myself?

Before you even think whether it is possible to remove Artex by yourself, the first crucial thing you need to do is conduct a test by hiring a professional or by using an asbestos testing kit to verify if indeed it has asbestos. Homes that are likely to have traces of asbestos are those that Artex was applied before 1987. Before buying or renting a house, it is important to inquire with the agent or the owner to know when Artex was applied.

Now to answer the question, yes, it is possible to remove Artex by yourself, but it is risky. The fact that you lack proper knowledge on how to remove Artex asbestos, suitable protective gears and appropriate tools for removing this dangerous substance puts your health at high risk. We recommend that you hire an expert instead of removing it by yourself.

Ways to removing Artex asbestos

There are multiple ways of removing Artex, but popular removal techniques include steaming and the use of non-toxic remover.

Non-toxic remover

This Artex removal technique involves using products such as X-TEX, which is non-toxic, water-based, and nonflammable. This technique is simple and takes less than an hour to complete. All that you need to do is paint X-TEX on the wall and then remove it gently once it dries. This technique is widely preferred because it is simple and does not release asbestos fiber into the air, thus endangering your life.


This technique involves using a wallpaper steamer to weaken the Artex to make it easier to remove it using a handheld scraper. This method is slow and cumbersome. Additionally, it is also dangerous, especially if a test has not been conducted to verify if the Artex has traces of asbestos.

An alternative method of removing Artex


Plastering is a very effective technique for removing Artex. This technique covers the ceiling and walls without removing Artex. Plastering is highly recommended for individuals who want to transform their walls and ceiling but don’t want the hectic task or removing Artex. However, plastering surfaces with Artex is quite challenging compared to plastering standard surfaces.

Before you begin the process of plastering, you first need to check the Artex surface to see if it is in excellent condition. If it requires chipping or grinding, then the process should be done by an expert to avoid the resale of asbestos fibre into the air.

Below are simple steps to follow when applying a plaster over the Artex:

  • Conduct tests to know if the Artex contain asbestos
  • Remove a large chunk of Artex from the surface
  • Gently apply two coats or PVA adhesive solution over the Artex
  • Once the new coat has toughened, smoothen it
  • Use a trowel to firm up the coat until you achieve a smooth finish

If you choose to remove Artex by plastering, then we recommend that you first start with a small area before scaling it up. Starting small is highly recommended because it allows you to conduct trial and error to determine which method gives the best results.

Don’t be in a hurry to apply paint after plastering. Instated, allow the plaster to dry thoroughly before applying your preferred colour paint.