How to Cover an Artex Ceiling?

How to Cover an Artex Ceiling

There are only 4 main ways to cover an Artex ceiling. I will start with the cheapest working towards the most expensive and time-consuming. I have included links to some other helpful articles at the bottom that might be able to help you with your specific Artex Ceiling project.

  • Painting
  • Plastering/Skimming
  • Filling and Painting
  • Over boarding (with Plasterboard)

Painting Artex

You can paint directly onto a wall with a fill coat. This is a special type of paint that acts like a very thick emulsion. It helps to smooth out any imperfections and improves the appearance of the Artex. All you then need to do is apply your coloured top coat of paint and you are done!

Everbuild FILLCOAT5 Filler Coat 5 litres
£40.23 (£8.05 / l)
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04/10/2024 09:12 am GMT

Plastering and Skimming over Artex

Paying a Plaster to skim over your ceiling is the easiest way to cover an Artex ceiling. A professional plasterer will easily be able to skim your ceiling within a day.

If you want to save money the best thing to do is to prepare the Artex ceiling ready for the plaster. All plasters want to do is skim!

Artex ceilings can be notoriously difficult to cover with skim because plaster does not like to stick to it. Blue Grit provides a great surface for the plaster to stick to and you only need to apply one coat.

You can roll it onto the ceiling the night before, and it will be ready to skim straight away the very next day. Then can give your plaster a call!

Here is a link to a video explaining a bit more about “How and Why to use Blue Grit”.

Helps Adhesion
Febond Blue Grit, Extra Grip Plaster Bonding Agent, 10 Litre
£25.94 (£2.59 / l)


Helps Adhesion on non-porous surfaces like floor tiles, porcelain tiles, terrazzo, quarry tiles and ceramic tiles


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04/10/2024 07:51 am GMT

Plasters love to see a blue gritted ceiling or wall, they get all excited knowing they can start skimming straight onto it.

Think about it this way, if you are using your time, you are saving them time and they won’t be charging you for it. 4h of your time in prep saves you paying a plaster for 1/2 a day’s work.

Filling and Painting an Artex Ceiling

This method sits firmly in the middle, it is better than just painting the wall with a cover coat or a thick water-based emulsion. But It will not give you the flawlessly smooth finish of a skimmed or plastered ceiling.

However, it is a job you can tackle yourself, and will a bit of elbow grease you can give yourself a smooth-looking ceiling. All you will need is a Jointing/smoothing knife set, and a tub of SmoothOver. Which is specifically designed for textured ceilings.

All you need to get started
Smoothing knife Set
£21.99
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04/10/2024 05:22 am GMT
Best filler for Artex Ceilings and Walls
Polycell 2.5L Smooth Over Damaged Walls and Ceilings
£28.99 (£11.60 / l)
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04/10/2024 12:09 am GMT
Artex SmoothOver
Artex SmoothOver

Armed with your taping/smoothing knife set, all you need to do is build up the SmoothOver in layers. The best thing about this method is there is no need to get a plasterer involved, So you are not paying any skilled labour rates.

So just put the radio on, get some filler and a tool set and get the job done, in the comfort of your own home.

Covering an Artex with Plasterboard

If your Artex ceiling is particularly uneven with lots of raised peaks, you will need to build up quite a lot of skim or filler to eventually smooth over the surface. Also if your ceiling is starting to show signs of wear, it may be best to over-board it with plasterboard this will help reinforce the ceiling.

Over-boarding with plasterboard completely eliminates the problem by encapsulating the Artex ceiling. The plasterboard can then be skimmed and you will end up with a new build ceiling.

The only problem with this is that you add an extra step by boarding the ceiling but the plaster will thank you for it. They love plastering straight onto plasterboard.

Check out our other articles for more Artex-related info

Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

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