Q. Should polystyrene tiles be removed for safety, according to customers and friends the building surveyors and fire brigade are now asking for the removal or covering with a fire resistant lining.???. A. In fires they give off poisonous gases and drip. Tiles in the 60s and 70s were not treated with a flame retardant and adhesives used may also be harmful, some adhesives are solid blobs and need sanding to remove them or chipping off. The other problem is distemper (whitewash) under the emulsion that the tiles are stuck to. The best option is to overboard the tiles keeping the insulation and sound proofing values and then Artexing the ceiling or skimming thus creating a new laminated ceiling. When buying a property be guided by your surveyor but it seems a shame to create unnecessary work and lose insulation value. Some tiles come off very easily if they have been stuck with wall paper adhesives. The ceiling should then be washed well before any applications of Artex or Plasters. On old lath and plaster ceilings over-boarding must be the best option because too much movement on the ceiling during removal will create other expensive problems. I'm awaiting further details regarding polystyrene tiles. Of course some plaster boards have polystyrene stuck too them for insulation.

Q. We had our Artex and Plastering done cheaply but AFTER FINALLY TURNING UP they only applied one coat of thin skimming, never fixed beads on angles, never applied scrim to cracks, never unibonded ceilings or walls and the Artex that they have applied (WHICH IS ALL OVER THE CAT) from the Little Joe's Pondarosa DIY  corner shop is very thin like emulsion and cracks that were covered with nylon plasterer,s scrim NOT the correct Artex tape  have re-cracked already??? HELP!  Plus they mixed in the room, never laid any sheets in the room or to walk on to the rooms and toilet areas AND yes the angles are like a crippled dogs hind leg, and they never went past the skirting level so we have to fill after fixing? Or and they never wiped the plaster off the coving or door frames...OR THE CAT! Help! Or and you can hang your coat on the bumps and ridges in the walls?  Yours truly Mr and Mrs Foolish

A. See below.

Q. Should kitchens be skimmed/plastered before fitting new kitchens??

A. YES! YES! YES! They are taking the Micky to tell you to do it afterwards. £1000s for a kitchen and plaster afterwards!??? Different if you are just modernizing and have taken tiles off, then needs must.     Artex is easier to do afterwards if it CAN'T be done before due to lights etc. Try to plan wisely.

Q. Do i bring sheets.

A. Yes I have  a van full of sheets. But if you wish please feel free to lay sheets and iIll lay mine on those for added protection. Artex is water based.

Q. Am I punctual.

A. I do my very best and never don't arrive on the day I've booked and mainly I arrive on time or within the hour.

Q. How far do I travel.

A. I try to be helpful.  It depends on the size of the job and economics of it. I will travel to York and across the water to Scunthorpe or further if the amount of work to be done is worthwhile.

Q. Is Artex still in fashion?

A. Artex has never been out of fashion even at the peak of minimalism's  boring white box. A market research survey found that 50% of people still wanted textures. And now that the white box is truly the new boring and interior design is thankfully on the change again textured ceilings and walls like paper, carpets, curtains, pictures and colours are becoming ever popular once more, but of course it is an individual choice yet broken leather remained popular throughout the changes and gave warmth and character to minimalism and new patterns like stone wall are popular. Retro style includes textures.

Q. Why is Artex so spiky all it does is scratch and collect dust?

A. Artex patterns should be laced to flatten the spikes and give greater dimension to the brushed textures but some put it on so thin the spikes are nondescript like the pattern they apply whilst others put it on and leave it like stalagmites. Well done Artex looks well year after year and I see ceilings and walls after 20yrs/30yrs looking like new. How much does that save on paper.

Q. Why is it more expensive for patterns like shell or circle?

A. Usually because the (Artexer) can’t do them and wants you to pick one he/she can do. Or they think others can’t do them so they charge more. The cost in my opinion should be the same yet there is a skill to doing some of the better comb patterns like shell, fan and basket weave. Note Some comb patterns are a mishmash to make it easier. Stick to the best patterns if you want comb work.

Q. Why are pattern ranges so poor?

A. They never used to be but a poor pattern range means more cowboys can achieve something like the patterns shown and sell more texturing compound. This false economy helped get the bad name and spikes and scrim for cracks.  Always use a recommended tradesman and Google their name for reviews to make sure some recommend cowboy's.       Buy cheap buy twice.

Q. What is the best way to dry the ceiling?

A. Never force it. Ventilation is the best way but the temperature should not be too low to allow a dew point to prevail for too long always ventilate especially for re-textures which use more compound to cover the original ceiling.

Q. What is best for a cracked ceiling?

A. Artex when done correctly incorporates a special dry lining paper tape which is by far the best practice for a cracked ceiling other then over-boarding and then Artexing. Be sure your Artexer uses paper tape and not scrim! Scrim may be appropriate on some occasions but not for general use with Artex. Some ceilings will screw back tight but movement of a building can cause cracks so choose wisely. The earthquake a few years back did cause some cracks. The other alternative is to over-board the ceiling creating a laminated ceiling. And extra timber supports for the extreme circumstances.

Q. What do you require?

A. A clear as possible room. Hot water for mixing (hot mix is best) I use the best compound available not DIY brands I also trowel mine on which creates a greater depth for crafting the designs. I will have lots of sheets and sheets to walk to and fro from the room. Please feel free to cover prior to or on my arrival.

Q. Can you re-Artex Artexed ceilings?

A. Yes. Quality Artexers spend a lot of time covering the work of cowboys who have always given Artex a bad name. Many Artexers also skim ceilings flat if required (depending on cracks and quality of ceiling) If you want it plastered then choose a plasterer like myself. Like all trades those that have done apprenticeships and learned from tradesmen are the best and recommended people.

Q. Is there a difference between Artexers and Plasterers or will anyone do a good job?

A. Yes like all trades there is a difference between tradesmen be careful and ask around and don’t take the first advice or recommendation or cheapest price and ask questions about the taping (no scrim) patterns, how long have you been in business and doing it, are you qualified etc. GOOGLE FOR REVIEWS! and see opening Question.

Q. Why is the plastering of a textured ceiling more expensive?

A. It's not always but  because of the layers applied and work involved it can be. Many a plastered textured ceiling is done wrong by the incompetent or un-trained (plasterers) and textures can still be seen.

Q. What is distemper? ARHHHHH!

A. It is a nuisance. It is an old form of white wash that dries like dust. It is usually found under applications of modern emulsions causing bubbling and the falling off of artex. If in doubt scrape a section of emulsions off and rub the ceiling surface if it’s dusty then it’s probably distemper. It can be treated by washing off and stabilising of the surface.

Q. When did asbestos stop being put into texturing compounds?

A. Late seventies early eighties. 1% of the white asbestos was used. It is safe when in situ solid and over painted. The removal of it could be more of a problem. I have never ever heard of any health problems in the industry relating to asbestos in texturing compounds yet some make lots of money using alarmism for the removal of safe ceilings in domestic dwellings. Other types of asbestos are regarded to be far more of a concern. Common sense says if in doubt leave well alone or cover with paint, new artex, skimming etc.


Q. What do I do if my ceiling is flaky, friable, dusty, greasy covered in nicotine or loose?

A. Scrape off loose flaky, friable emulsion etc. (why is it flaky) wash off dust and friable surfaces (no soapy water) and wash off grease and nicotine. Loose boards can be screwed back up and on some occasions supports can be fixed from above to strengthen ceiling. Lath ceilings can also be strengthened from above.
Q. Why do very small irregular cracks appear in the Artex pattern  when drying. And why can I see the original ceiling through some of the pattern.
A. Although the ceiling will be sealed or stabilised it is sometimes existing wall paper paste which is unseen underneath which can move during drying causing a separation in the pattern. It will  disappear when painted. Over drying can also cause it as can too much suction which is a bigger problem with plastering. Sometimes you can see a dark ceiling through the Artex it's called grinning and normally depending on quality of the texturing and not  a problem if the original ceiling is white it's not noticed.


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