removing vinyl paint on artex

6 Mar 2011
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United Kingdom
Hi, can somebody advise on the following? i have a 1930's house. i am stripping the walls and noticed that under the first 2 layers of wallparer is a coat of vinyl paint, under the paint is a thin 1mm coat of artex sand skim, then under the artex is another 2 layers of wallpaper, and to top it all off there is another layer of vinyl paint directly to the original plaster which is still in good condidtion. the section above the original picture rail has all come off as this seems to be a different type of plaster and the steamer seemed to do the job and somehow get under it (the plaster is grey, and below is beige colour), however nothing will shift the rest below the picture rail, i have managed to get under some of it by scoring with blades and remove about a fist size, yet no amount of steaming will get under the vinyl paint or skim of artex to shift it.... the layers are so thick that i dont have any other option than to remove it due to a large step from picture rail to below.

is there any advice, chemical that will get under this vinyl paint and skim of artex so that the steam can do its job and remove the old paper down to the orginal layer? i have tried holding the steamer there for an age, yet the wall still fends off the steam, heat and water. i cant afford to let a plasterer skim the whole lot, even if that were possible?

any advice most welcome?


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The vinyl paint seals the surface which stops the steam penetrating. You need to score the surface to allow the steam to get into the paper.

With the number of layers you have, I would recommend you get a wallpaper scoring tool which will make thousands of tiny pinholes is the surface, but it is still likely to be a laborious job .
Hi Rick, I developed a wall paper remover that is non toxic, non flammable, water based, and requires no pre scoring or prep. All you need to do is apply, wait a few minutes and remove usually full sheets. Because of the many layers your job may require a few extra minutes wait time. In our testing the base wall is not damaged. Contact me by e-mail at [email protected] and I will send you a sample to try. The only cost to you is to let me know your results.
Thanks for the advice. i have scored as much as i possibly can now, yet nothing will get under the coat of artex. It looks like someone had attempted to do this in the past, gave up, and has simply decided to bodge an attempt and cover up at the artex to make life easy rather than remove the lot, which is now left up to me.

if i use the wallpaper remover as suggested, will this soak into the artex and remove this also? as this seems to be the biggest obstacle?

as it is so well sealed and water tight, could i just surrender, PVA the wall and get a plasterer to skim the lot? if a steamer cant under under it, the pva and plaster will probably stick forever?
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I doubt that any plasterer would recommend skimming while there is paper underneath the artex but if it is as solid as you say then there seems to be little alternative.Best to ask their advice.

Have you tried a scraper something like this?

Still hard work though and remember older Artex can contain asbestos so dont dry sand just in case! Not an excessive risk to the average DIYer mind.

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