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    How to render a wall

    Give your walls a modern makeover

    Alex | Oneflare

    What is rendering?

    House rendering means applying a coat of thin concrete or other plaster material to a wall to give it a new look. Rendering can be done on both outside and interior walls. It is applied commonly to brick walls or concrete block. Rendering provides the home with a modern look and can help refresh exteriors that have seen better days. It is a project that you can do yourself, or you can hire a professional if you are not so confident in your skills.

    Benefits of rendering a wall

    The main benefit of rendering is that it gives it a fresh, new look. Rendered brick can make a wall that has patches and cracks look smooth again. Many people choose to use concrete, but you can also choose other surfaces, such as adobe, thin-coat, acrylic, or other specialty plaster render finishes.

    Rendering can increase the value of your home by giving it more curb appeal and a modern update. There are many types of rendering. You can create a custom look by adding dye to the concrete render. Some people choose to include decorative stones or materials that give it a little sparkle. 

    What a rendered wall looks like close up / Source: Basho the Renderer

    Materials and tools

    When it comes to how to apply render to a brick wall or cement sheet fence, the type of cement that you choose does not affect the tools that you will need. The process is the same, regardless of the product that you prefer. Here are some of the materials and tools that you will need before you get started.


    • Metal trowel
    • Polystyrene float
    • Plasterer’s hawk
    • Steel brush
    • A large, soft paintbrush
    • Tape measure
    • Measuring jug
    • Hose
    • Bucket
    • Wheelbarrow
    • Large sponge
    • Masking or painter’s tape
    • Access to water nearby
    • Render scratching comb


    • Bags of chosen render material
    • Colourant and decorative additives
    • Plastic sheeting, CSR fibre cement sheeting, or CSR villabaord

    How to render a brick wall

    Most steps of how to render a wall are the same, regardless of the material that you choose. If this is something that you have never done before, be sure to allow for plenty of time. Also, make sure that you have several sunny, clear days for the render to dry before it rains. The best way to have a finished product that you were happy with is to take your time. This is not a job that can be rushed. 

    1. Prepare the surface. This is a messy job, so the first thing you should do is to put down plastic sheeting to protect the area. The first step to rendering a wall is to prepare the surface. It would be best if you scraped away any old plaster, loose cement, or loose paint before you begin. Sanding the surface will help the render adhere to the surface better. Next, you should wash the surface with a damp sponge or stiff bristle broom to remove any dust and debris that were missed.
    2. Prepare the render mix. Next, it is time to mix up the render in a bucket or wheelbarrow. Follow the directions on the package for this type of application. If you are using concrete, it will not be as stiff as if you were making a concrete structure. It should be thick enough to apply to the wall and stick, but not as thick as building concrete. It is suggested that you work in only small batches at a time. If you do not, there is a possibility that it will begin to dry before you are finished applying it to the surface.
    3. Apply the render. Apply the render with a trowel. Use the float to smooth the surface and give it the desired finish. Do not apply the render too thick or too thin. You might have to experiment a little bit to get the right thickness for your surface.
    4. Flatten the mix. Use something with a straight edge to level out and flatten the mix over the entire surface. Be careful not to create any holes while doing this. 
    5. Close the surface. Scratch the surface of the first coat with a render scratching comb. Allow the render to dry for 30 minutes to an hour. Repeat this step with a second coat. Make sure that any uneven places or blemishes are filled in and smooth.
    6. Sponge the wall. To give the wall a smooth render finish, use a large, damp sponge to gently go over the wall as a final step to getting it smooth.
    7. Clean. Now, it is time to clean up the mess. It is suggested that you clean up immediately so that any render in unwanted places does not begin to dry. The cleaning process can be achieved easily using the same wet sponge that you used to sponge off and smooth the wall. If any of the render has dried, a piece of sandpaper can usually remove it easily. It is important not to allow any drips or spills to cure before cleaning them. 

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    How to paint a rendered wall

    There are two choices when it comes to a rendered wall. You can choose a render and top-coat that does not need to be painted. If you want to paint it, the first question you have is probably, how long should you wait before painting a rendered wall? The answer to this is that it depends on the thickness of the render, the weather, airflow, and how wet the mix was when you applied it. It can take anywhere from several days to a week. 

    The most important factor is that if you choose to paint the wall, you must make sure that it is thoroughly dry. If you do not, there is a chance that the underneath render will never dry and will flake off. Any moisture can cause the paint to fail to adhere properly. Make sure that you use a paint that is made for application over concrete or render and that is made for your situation, whether it is interior or exterior. You will want to prepare the wall by sanding or repairing any blemishes from the rendering process before painting. You will also want to apply an appropriate base coat before applying the final colour. 

    Rendering creates a modern look / Source: Svsprendering Service

    How to hire a renderer

    As you can see, rendering is technically easy as far as the steps are concerned, but unless you have the proper skills and experience, it can be difficult. It is a messy job, and if you are not experienced, you can end up with a wall that you are not satisfied with, in the end. Hiring a professional can save you time, money, and frustration. 

    Licencing and qualifications

    A license is not required for jobs under $5,000 in Australia. Rendering might require the skills of a painter, plaster, or concreter. Many professionals who do rendering have the associated licenses necessary to complete the job. Some states have different requirements.

    Whether you have chosen the DIY route or hired a professional, rendering is a messy job. It is important to clean up render right away, or you could end up with concrete stuck to surfaces where it is unwanted. 

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