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The rough ideal; Smooth away your worries or highlight those peaks by giving an exciting new look to tired old Artexed walls, NAN ENSOR advises.

LOVE it or hate it, Artex is one decorating material that has made its textured mark on practically every home in Scotland.

One of the reasons for its popularity is that it does a cracking job covering up any cracks or flaws on walls or ceilings and, once it's been applied, it will last for years, only needing an occasional lick of paint to freshen it up.

The problem is, when you fancy a change, Artex can be as difficult to remove as it is easy to maintain.

But, as our home style guru Derek Collins explains, there's no need to get into a sweat with steam strippers and chemicals.

Just add more Artex to your Artexed walls and you can create a smooth, new look.

Or, perversely, if you want to treat your plain walls to a bit of texture, Artex have launched a new product called Mediterranean Touch, which will give a rough, rustic touch to the smoothest walls.



1: First, if you're looking to do a bit of cosmetic surgery on existing Artex, take a scraper or sander to any high spots on the textured pattern, then apply a coat of PVA bonding to seal the walls, and give the new Artex a good grip.

2: Next, mix up the Artex powder until you have a heavy, creamy consistency, and apply with a large, five-inch brush, working the mixture in between all the ridges in the previous, textured pattern.

3: Once you have given the surface a good thick covering, go over the Artex with a rubber stippler, then flatten with a trowel or scraper. Unless you're prepared to use tons of Artex and spend tons of time smoothing it down, your walls will still have a slightly textured look. But it's now very trendy to have rough plastered walls, so a little rough with the smooth is just perfect.

4: Leave the Artex to dry - overnight is best - and then paint with two coats of emulsion.

5: Finally, to give your walls that sun-bleached Mexican look, finish off with a coat of glaze to highlight the texture. You can either buy a ready-mixed glaze to complement your wall colour or mix your own, using equal parts of emulsion paint and scumble glaze, diluted with just a few drops of water.


IF you want to warm up plain plaster walls with some Artex Mediterranean Touch, you can buy it ready- mixed to use straight from the tub. All you need is a stripping knife and a trowel to apply it.

1: Before you start, make sure the walls are clean and sound, then load the trowel with Mediterranean Touch using a stripping knife.

2: Apply the material to the wall in random strokes, leaving some areas exposed. Depending on how rough- and-ready you want the finished effect to be, you can add further layers if required.

3: Again, leave to dry, then either coat with emulsion, or apply a colour wash or glaze for extra depth. If you want to add a bit of extra rough to your new rough plaster walls, you can also apply Artex stencils. First, use Spray Mount or low-tack masking tape to hold the stencil in position, then apply a small amount of Artex with a brush or sponge, using a dabbing motion to build up the texture. Wait until the Artex has dried, then apply the stencil paint as normal. Or, if your stencil is all one colour, you can add some paint tint to the Artex before application.

Contact Derek Collins' company, Decorating Techniques, on 01236-830481. You can buy Artex powder (from pounds 6.59 for a 5kg bag) and Artex Mediterranean Touch (pounds 17.99 for a tub which covers approximately five square metres) from most good DIY stores, or call Dial-A-Colour on 0800 731 6063.


1 Mix the Artex to a thick, creamy consistency and work it well in to the surface with a large brush, then go over it with a stippler

2 Flatten the surface with a trowel or scraper, don't worry if the surface looks a bit rough - that's trendy. Leave the wall to dry overnight

3 Finish the job with two coats of emulsion. For that sun-bleached look, you could add a final coat of glaze to highlight the texture


1 For the Mediterranean look, clean the walls and apply Mediterranean Touch Artex in random strokes, using a stripping knife

2 Apply extra layers of Artex, depending on the effect you want. Leave to dry then apply emulsion or a colourwash with a glaze

3 For extra depth, add your own Artex stencils. Use a brush or sponge to apply the Artex over the stencil then paint it when dry
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Ensor, Nan
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 1, 1999
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