Painting stained artex ceiling.

27 Apr 2006
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I have done a few searches on here and just want to confirm what I plan is correct before going ahead.

I need to paint some nicotine stained artex ceilings. I don't believe they have been painted before but need to confirm this.

For a previously unpainted ceiling I plan on using a thinned white emulsion to prime the artex followed by white stain block. The advice on here seems to be that you can't wash down unpainted artex, is this right?

For an already painted ceiling I would wash first with sugar soap and then just use a white stain block - correct?

Reading the blurb on the side of the stainblock tin they seem to suggest there is no need to overpaint with emulsion - is this correct?

I have also read on here that you can either PVA the artex and then paint as usual or even add PVA to the emusion paint, although another poster said this would damage the paint properties. So could I use thinned PVA on unpainted artex followed by white emulsion to cover the stains???

All advice much appreciated :)
Sponsored Links
PVA wont hold back the nicotene stain, and the nicotene will still show through.

You could use stainblock, but I think it would work out expensive, I always use oilbased Undercoat thinned down with whith spirit of all nicotene stained ceilings.
Its much cheaper, lasts longer, and goes further, and I can guarentee you it will cover the nicotene,any cheapo will do, but make sure its definatly oilbased.

As your painting an Artex ceiling, you would need to make sure that every inch of that ceiling is covered with the oilbase UC.

When its dry, give a couple coats of white emulsion, and you will be very impressed how white it looks.
Aggree with Spice. the stain block is ok to have on the van for small patches of stain but a whole ceiling better use the undercoat.
There is no need to put emulsion paint on first.
Dont use PVA, wont do much good.
If you put PVA into emulsion you get silk finish cos that whats in it to make it shiney anyway.
Thanks guys, oil based undercoat it is then - presumably it will say oil based undercoat on the tin? How much would you thin it down by with the white spirit?

Cheers :)
Sponsored Links
Your welcome. :D

The oilbase UC will say, used for 'wood and metal', you will find it among the gloss, satinwood shelves of the stores, its not near the emulsion paint.

You want it thin enough where its not running all over the place, if you do it too thick you will be labouring, as its not like emulsion.

Depends on how many ceilings your doing, but say for example your doing an average ceiling, I would pour approx 2 to 2.5 ltrs of the UC into a bigger container, add about half a teacup of white spirit at first, keep stirring till all the white spirit has blended into the paint, you will be able to tell if you think its too thick or too thin, if your going to roll this will make life easier for you, as you will be labouring if you use straight from the can.

Get an old roller sleeve, as you will have to chuck it way when your finished, no point in cleaning it in WS, cheaper to buy a new one lol.
Ive done this a while back..

1) Spray over the ceiling with a eakened solution of bleach/water..using one of those garden sprayer things.

2) Mix 50/50 pva in with white emulsion..matt or might need to thin it out a bit at this stage.

3) Allow to really dry for a good 24 hours then re coat.

Did on on an unpainted artexed ceiling that lloked like the inside of one of winston churchils lungs!...worked out really well and I see the ceiling once in a while and its never come back., if PVA holds bitumen back it wil certainly hold tar.
Conficting advice on the PVA then :?:

I think compared to the ceiling you have described above Zampa mine is not half as bad so for simplicity I will give the oil based UC a go and see how I get on.

Thanks again guys.
Not that I would ever go against Zampyhun's opinions, :LOL: as he knows his stuff, but I have never sprayed a ceiling with the mixture of bleach Zamps has mentioned.
All I can tell you that I have tried in the past tried a few times applying PVA first, and its never worked for me, but never added it in with the paint as a solution, so I wouldnt know if that worked for me.

I do know, that for me, the tried and tested method is to do the UC way, I guess its a case of what works for you, and this definately works for me.


Ive only ever used the bleach / water ..PVA paint treatment on ceilings I cant wash down i.e. bare unpainted artex..i dont really know how or why it works..but PVA is also good for sealing old creosote.. to prevent bleeding before painting...thats probably where I got the idea from.

My only reservation about using unders is cigarette tar is 'oilish' based..and undercoat being oily may bleed..however, its certainly good for water based stains...maybe it works by softening the tar then the tar stain dries into the undercoat..and binds it.

I know it doesnt work on soot stains that can bleed through a chimney breast...similar situation

Who knows.. :confused:

But if it works, thats the main thing...and after 20 years of marriage, one thing I have learnt...its not wise to disagree with a woman! :)

Give it a certainly wont do any harm..if it doesnt work try the PVA...but make sure you give it a few days to harden up a bit.
Possibly a silly question but..... I could only see solvent based undercoat at the local B&Q is that the same as oil based? :oops:
Thats the one...go for it...and you want white spirit to thin it with.
Because the artex was unpainted I beleive.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links