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Thick white old paste - or unpainted artex? (with pictures)

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by Koomorph, 5 Oct 2012.

  1. Koomorph

    Koomorph

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    Hello everyone - I'm new to the forum but have been reading the advice on here for many years now!:)

    I have a slightly confusing situation which I hope someone can help with:

    I’ve stripped some awful old anagalypta type paper off the walls in one of the rooms in my house (victorian end of terrace) – hoping to find smooth(ish) old plaster – but instead have come across a strange “kind-of-grooved” thickly painted on white stuff (somewhat chalky in consistency) – that looks like either incredibly thick wallpaper paste (flour + water??!?!) – or really badly rolled on Artex.

    The confusing thing is that (if it were Artex)..... it is not painted – and is quite chalky and goes very soft with a bit of water and can be scrapped of very easily..... would unpainted Artex behave like this? This can be scraped quite easily after 30 seconds going over with a wet brush....

    It looks like (whatever it is) has maybe been used as the adhesive to stick the anagalypta paper to the wall.... but not like any wallpaper paste I’ve ever seen....it seems to have been put on stupidly thickly leaving ridges all over the walls (hence why I think it looks like Artex) – I’d rather not go sanding or scraping it back too much unless I’m sure what it is and that if it is artex it doesn’t contain asbestos....). This white stuff has been put on top of the old lath and plaster original walls.

    The other strange thing about it is that it has loads of tiny flecks of glitter all throughout it! Some sort of alabaster/gypsum product maybe (not that I know what that is.... )?

    Anyone have any idea what it could be? (

    Cheers folks!
     
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  3. Koomorph

    Koomorph

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    Here are some pictures I've taken this evening.... any ideas or thoughts as to what it is would be really helpful....

    As mentioned, the white stuff isn't painted and dissolves/goes soft in water quite easily..... but looks like artex.... :confused:


    Overall shot of room showing the brown lath original plaster in front (with damp proof course in grey at the lower level).... and the "white covered" mystery substance wall on left and right ....
    "Happines is Egg.... (shaped)?" :LOL:


    [​IMG]




    Another white covered wall opposite the fireplace....

    [​IMG]




    Closer view in a corner where the white stuff meets the original plaster....

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    And another where it meets the damp proof course.... see how the peaks have been squashed by the anagalypta paper..... making me think this is an adhesive...

    [​IMG]




    Looking up at the ceiling.... looks like artex.....

    [​IMG]




    But a foot to the right and it doesn't and looks like it was squished when it was wet.....

    [​IMG]




    Super close-up showing the glitter!

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    Another corner shot showing the "squished when wet" effect.... all peaks have been pushed in....

    [​IMG]



    ...on the bay-window corner.....

    [​IMG]




    Another mega-close-up - the ridges/troughs are about 4-5mm across....

    [​IMG]



    More glitter.....

    [​IMG]



    Brush strokes....

    [​IMG]



    More close-up shots.....

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  4. Koomorph

    Koomorph

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    Anyone have any ideas what this stuff is at all and if it would be safe to remove?

    Have someone coming over tomorrow that is planning on wetting it and scraping it off the walls..... just want make sure it's safe....

    Thanks
     
  5. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Is it the same pattern as the anaglypta you removed?
     
  6. Koomorph

    Koomorph

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    No it's not - but the anagalypta has pressed into it in the high points....

    Any thoughts what it is? Very soluable with just cold water.... Isn't artex quite hard once it sets?
     
  7. dcdec

    dcdec

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    Interesting post and great pictures. It looks to me that the previous coating has been softened by the application of the paste for the anaglypta.

    Where all the walls papered? If so is the problem on all the walls?

    If all walls were papered and all walls arn't affected it would make me believe that the affected walls had some kind of repair or treatment/covering applied at some point. It could be a skim coat of filler which certainly can liven up and go a bit mushy when its old.
    Thats my best guess, wouldn't like to comment on the asbestos risk as there's no way of knowing for sure, some people do use artex to skim with but its more likely to be filler which as far as i know has never contained asbestos
     
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  9. dcdec

    dcdec

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    oh and the sparkly bits are just minerals in the product.
    Looking at the photo's again i reckon it is artex
     
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  10. ic1927

    ic1927

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    Definitely artex, looks like a poor attempt at the broken leather pattern. My guess is someone has later had a go at scraping/flattening the artex before papering over it.
     
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  11. Koomorph

    Koomorph

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    Thanks for the replies and the insight gents.

    The “filler” is only on 3 of the 4 walls.

    Also, it goes VERY “mushy” and soft and very easy to scrape off with just a bit of cold water on it....

    Isn’t artex quite hard and needs lost of hot water/steam to remove.

    This stuff could almost be washed rather than scraped off.... :?:
     
  12. ic1927

    ic1927

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    If artex has been emulsioned with a vinyl emulsion then yes it is quite hard to remove, but unpainted artex exposed to wallpaper paste will be soft, from your pictures I would say it's definitely artex.
     
  13. Koomorph

    Koomorph

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    Ok, thanks everyone, I've decided to skim over it all just to be safe. :)

    Just one further question - the grey material in the lower half of the walls - see first 2 pictures - it's clearly some damp-proof material, it's incredibly tough and totally impervious to water. Any idea what it is? I need to "shape" the corners of the fireplace where it was put on a little "badly" so I can get straight edges...
    (involves using a rasp as it's very very tough!)
    Could this material be hazardous?

    Thanks again everyone!
     
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