Textured ceiling, best way to make it smooth?

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I have a textured ceiling in a bedroom. I'd like to make it smooth.

A friend of mine, who is a builder, told me it's asbestos and it's best to plaster it over.

Upon closer inspection it appears to be flaking off and I thought I could just scrape it off like wallpaper. But what if it's asbestos indeed?

Here is a photo:

DSC_1137.JPG


In the downstairs lounge I also have a textured ceiling. It's a different texture and possible a different material. I was stripping the wallpaper off the walls the other day and noticed the ceiling had bulged in a corner - possibly due to the steam (but not 100% sure, it might have happened earlier). The surface was soft and I made a hole in it with a finger.

A photo of the bulged bit:

DSC_1139.JPG


Does either of the two photos look like it could be asbestos, and what would you recommend - remove or plaster over?
 
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Both look like Artex to me. I doubt that it would have asbestos in it but you can buy cheap test kits from the local Diy to check it first.
 
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Your first pic looks like Polytex (bit like emulsion with grit in it) that's peeling off due to possible old damp (brown stain)..............can't plaster onto paint that's falling off,so strip it.
Second photo is artex...........get a plasterer to plaster over it if it's solidly adhered
 
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Cheers, re the 'damp', there used to be a fitted wardrobe there which I removed, I think it's glue or something that was used to keep the chipboard in place (along with the screws).

It's only peeling off in one place, the rest is ok. It may not be easy to strip it, but I can try.

Robbie - what makes you think there is no asbestos in it? I've heard most old artex contains asbestos.
 
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A lot of Artex does contain asbestos and, although it stopped being produced in that format in the mid 80's. That said, there was still old stock of Artex that was used until around 1999. Anything applied after 2000 is highly unlikely to contain asbestos.
Either way, I really don't see the point in going to all the trouble of removing the old Artex, especially if it is only flaky/loose in the small areas shown, as you are not likely to achieve a flat/smooth enough surface to paint directly. If you want a flat ceiling, the easiest and best method would be to have it skimmed by a reputable plasterer - that way you avoid any hazard issues and are (almost) guaranteed a surface that will be perfectly flat.
 

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