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How to paint an Artex ceiling

Updated February 21, 2017

Artex is a surface coating that produces a textured appearance on ceilings. To paint an Artex ceiling, you'll need to employ a particular application strategy because Artex is uncommonly porous and soaks up a large amount of paint. If you apply an initial diluted coat of paint you saturate the texture and create a surface more suited to an even coverage free of skips and streaks.

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  1. Remove all furniture and electronics from the room.

  2. Cover the flooring with plastic dust sheets. Lay fabric dust sheets on top of the plastic ones. Protect surfaces on and adjacent to the Artex ceiling by covering them with a low-tack painter's tape.

  3. Pour 9 litres of emulsion paint into the bucket. Dilute the emulsion paint by stirring in 120 ml of white spirit. Stir for five minutes.

  4. Apply the diluted emulsion paint onto the Artex ceiling using the roller. Wait three hours for the first coat of diluted paint to dry.

  5. Apply a coat of undiluted emulsion paint to the Artex ceiling.

  6. Tip

    Wear goggles to prevent paint drips from getting in your eyes.

    Use a the latex paintbrush to paint areas of the Artex ceiling inaccessible to the roller.

    Read the label on your emulsion paint to ensure that it is oil-based. If the emulsion paint is water-based, add water instead of white spirit.


    Do not apply two coats of undiluted emulsion paint to an Artex ceiling, as this may result in a streaky finish.

    Read the safety guide on the side of the stepladder before you begin working.

    Diluted emulsion paint is prone to heavy dripping. Do not use a plain fabric dust sheet alone because paint may soak through onto the underlying floor. Do not use a plastic dust sheet alone, because paint drips may pool.

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Things You'll Need

  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic dust sheets
  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheets
  • 22 litre bucket
  • White spirit
  • Measuring cup
  • Wooden stir stick
  • Emulsion paint
  • Roller frame
  • Roller extension pole
  • Nap roller cover
  • 8 cm to 10 cm latex paintbrush
  • Stepladder
  • Goggles

About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.

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