Can I render a wall myself?
Yes! However, it depends on the size and difficulty of the job as well as your ability and experience. As a general guide, for any small size or simple render job, say under 10m2 for a sand cement or render mix application, the process is not that difficult. If there are not too many corners and angles and you are not working from a height, then with a bit of basic knowledge and some elbow grease, achieving a reasonable render finish is realistic for a novice renderer. However, when it comes to achieving the high quality and precise finish involved with the full acrylic texture coating system, we suggest treading carefully because the system can provide an amazing degree of refinement, colour and texture. However any fault or flaw in both the substrate and in applying the coating will stand out.
We have a number of quality renders we would be happy to recommend for work in Sydney. Otherwise if you are trying to do the job yourself and need a bit more advice or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 9707 2822!
We’ve laid out general step-by-step instructions to guide you in rendering your surface. Make sure to always read the instructions on your render mix bag and take safety precautions.
Rendering a wall: Guide
- The first step in rendering a brick wall is to clean the wall. This step is important because if there is any dirt or dust on the wall, it can affect the adhesion process. You can use a steel brush, scraper or stiff bristled broom to clean the walls surface. You can purchase these from us if you don’t already have them! If you are applying render to a smooth surface you will need to apply a dash coat. A dash coat is a layer between the wall and the render that allows the render to properly stick. You can use dry prep patch for fibro walls or high bond strength for surfaces that do not absorb water such as painted walls. For absorbent surfaces you may want to apply water to the surface before rendering to reduce water loss from the render.
- Once your wall has been prepped, you can begin to mix the render solution. You should mix your solution in a bucket, on a, sturdy, flat surface. By referring to the instructions on the bag, you can determine how much water you should mix with the render. To mix the render and water together, you can use a drill or, if you do not have one, you can mix it by hand with a shovel of something similar. Make sure you mix the render and water thoroughly. The render should have a thick enough constant that it can sit on a trowel.
- Now that your render mix is ready, you can apply it to your wall. For a seamless finished look, you will need to make the application as smooth and flat as possible. You should only need one coat of about a 4-6mm thick. If you are rendering a course brick wall, you may need to add some water to the brick surface before you start applying any render mix. There are a few different techniques for render application however, you should do what feels right for you. You can use a hawk and trowel to work the render. Use the trowel to apply the render onto your surface, spreading it around as evenly as possible.
- Once you have evenly applied the render, you’ll need to wait for the render to dry, approximately half an hour or until the render has hardened. Then you’ll need to flatten out the wall by using a screed or straight edge. You can do this by working the screed in a side-to-side motion. At this point you will be able to see if there are any hollows or gaps which need to be filled in with extra render. Hollows appear lighter than the rest of the wall. Once you have filled in any hollows, screed the wall again for a seamless finish. Then, let the the render harden/dry for approximately 15 minutes.
- Next you will need to float the wall. This will fill in any small hollows and close the surface which will make it more durable. If the wall begins to dry, you may need to add some water. Move the float in small circular motions.
- Lastly, you will need to sponge the wall to give it a seamless, smooth finish. Your sponge should be damp but not too wet. As you work, continue to rinse out the sponge to get rid of any particles or objects in the sponge that can cause a scratchy finish.
- If your surface has vents, apply the render mix slightly over the vents edges to ensure the walls surface is properly covered. Then using a sharp tool, you can cut around the vent to remove excess render mix and the sponge the vent to clean it properly.
- You can achieve a textured finish through a final coat. Here are some options:
- Trowel Finish – For a smooth surface, use a float and skim it across the surface of the wall.
- Bagged / Patterned Finish – Rub a ball of damp hessian or similar material on the surface. Rub the surface however you like, the way you rub the surface changes the final look!
- Sponge Finish – Use a damp sponge and rub or pat the surface. If the sponge is too wet, water may drip done the wall ruining the surfaces finish.
- Roughcast Finish – Carefully throw or flick render onto the surface however you like. The way the product lands on the surface is the final look!
- Textured Finish – Add coarse aggregate to the render mix and apply it to the final coat however you like. This will give it a real textured finish!
Render mix or traditional render?
Render pre-mix has benefits over traditional render. Traditional render, made of sand, cement, water and lime or clay, depends on the cement to stick to the surface. Render mix has an acrylic polymer additive which maxes the mix stronger, more flexible and works alongside the cement to stick to the wall, making it more adhesive. Check out out bagged render options here and buy them online here!