Rendering a wall is a great way to give your home a makeover by covering up ugly or damaged walls with a protective and decorative finish. Whether you’re renovating an exterior concrete wall or adding a render finish to a new extension. Follow these steps to render a wall and achieve professional-quality results:
Gather the Necessary Materials
To render a wall, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Render material: Choose between cement render, lime render, or acrylic render based on your needs. Cement render is durable and weather-resistant but can be difficult to apply. Lime render is breathable and flexible but less durable. Acrylic render is lightweight, flexible, and easy to apply but less breathable.
- Reinforcing mesh: Apply fibreglass mesh or metal lath to the wall to provide strength and adhesion for the render. The mesh is secured to the wall using a render adhesive.
- Insulation: For exterior walls or in colder areas, instal expanded polystyrene boards or other insulation before applying render to improve energy efficiency.
- Base coat: Apply a layer of base coat render before the finish render. The base coat helps the render adhere to the wall and provides an even surface for the finish coat.
- Render tools: Gather a hawk, trowels, floats, and brushes/rollers to apply the render and smooth/texture the surface.
- Safety gear: Wear dust mask, gloves, and goggles when rendering to protect against debris and materials.
- Sealant and paint: Apply a silicone or acrylic sealant to the dried render to protect it from water damage. Add colour with render primer and paint or another finish coat of your choice.
[Disclaimer: The information in this article is for general guidance only. Rendering a wall can be difficult and dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. The author and publisher cannot guarantee that following the advice in this article will produce safe or effective results. Always follow the instructions and safety warnings on render products and equipment. Rendering may require specialised skills and tools to achieve professional-quality results. For important or intricate render work, consider consulting a professional]
Prepare the Wall Surface
To ensure the render adheres properly, you’ll need to prepare the wall surface:
- Set up scaffolding or staging for safe access to the full wall height.
- Remove any existing wall coverings like drywall or siding. Remove any loose debris and coatings from the wall surface.
- Wash the wall with water and let it dry until damp. The render will adhere better to a damp wall surface.
- Apply insulation and securing mesh over the wall using render adhesive. Apply in the pattern recommended on the product, allowing the adhesive to get tacky before applying render.
- Apply a layer of base coat render with a trowel and score the surface. Let the base coat dry completely, at least 24 hours, before applying the finish render.
Apply the Render Coats
To apply the render, follow these steps:
- Apply the first finish render coat with a trowel, pressing and spreading it over the wall surface.
- Use a float to smooth and flatten the surface, blending in edges and filling in gaps.
- Let the render partially dry until it’s tacky to the touch, then use a steel trowel to create a flat, smooth surface.
- Apply additional coats as needed, allowing each to dry in between applications. Two to three coats are typical for an even, solid finish.
- For a textured finish, use a roller or brush to stipple the final wet render coat.
Seal and Paint the Render (Optional)
Once the render is fully dry, you can seal and paint it for protection and colour:
- Apply a silicone or acrylic sealant to the dried render. The sealant protects the porous render from water damage and staining.
- For colour, apply a coat of render primer, followed by your choice of paint. Natural and matte paints adhere best to render.
- Allow all sealing and painting materials to dry completely. This typically takes at least 24 hours.
With the right supplies and technique, you can render a wall yourself and achieve professional-looking results. Taking the time to thoroughly prepare the wall surface, keeping the render coat damp during application, using a consistent application method for each coat. And properly sealing and painting the dried render will help you render a wall like a pro.