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Artex is a surface coating used for interior decorating, most often found on ceilings, which allows the decorator to add a texture to it. The name Artex is a trademark of Artex Ltd., a company based in the UK. The name is a genericised trademark often used to refer to similar products from other manufacturers. Since 2005, the company has belonged to France's Saint-Gobain group.

About Artex

Artex differs from plaster in that it was marketed as a material intended to receive a textured finish, thus enabling a ceiling to be finished without plastering skills. Artex was very widely used in Britain in the 1970s, mainly with the familiar stippled & swirled patterns. Sometimes it was even seen on walls, but a fall onto such a wall is not a pleasant experience.

Artex is still sold today, but the textured ceiling finishes are a good deal less popular.

One issue with artex ceilings is that matching the pattern seamlessly when repairing is impossible. The poor appearance of repaired ceilings did artex's popularity no favours.

Artex and health risks

Until the mid-1980s, the Artex coating was made with white asbestos to strengthen it. This means that only old artex manufactured by Artex Ltd will contain asbestos and most probably any Artex applied within the last 25 years will not contain any harmful material whatsoever. It is also worth noting that the texture is only harmful when in a powder form (i.e. being sanded) and poses no risk whatsoever while it is...
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