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How to render a wall

Applying plaster to a surfaceRendering is a smart way to improve aesthetics, prevent leaks and holes in your walls, as well as enhancing insulation. Want to learn how to render a wall yourself? No problem, this guide is packed full of hints and tips to guide you through your project.

With step-by-step instructions for rendering, we will cover a range of topics including how to render with cement, how to render a brick wall and many more. So, continue reading to further explore the world of rendering.

For pricing, and to find a specialist tradesperson, see our cost to render a wall guide.

How to render a garden wall

Rendering involves using a combination of different materials like sand and lime to cover your walls. It is even available in a number of different colours, suited to all garden styles.

Start by gathering the following tools and materials:

  • Render mortar (choose from a wide range of colours, including blue, white and yellow)
  • Chisel
  • Shovel
  • Scratching comb
  • Trowel
  • Stiff broom
  • Drip cloth/old tarpaulin
  • Soap
  • Sponge
  • Spray bottle
  • Hose
  • Bucket
  • Paddle mixer
  • Straight wooden plank

before after wall renderingStep 1 – Preparing the wall

For your rendering to look its best, preparation is key. Follow the below steps to prepare your garden wall:

  • You will need to begin by removing any old render or paint. Chip and scrape any bumps or rough patches off with a chisel.
  • Use your stiff broom and some soap to thoroughly scrub the wall. Remove all traces of moss, dirt and mould.
  • Hose down the garden wall to keep the surface from getting too dry and drying out the mortar.
  • Protect your floors using a drip cloth or tarpaulin before beginning. This will stop render from dripping onto the floor and causing damage.

Step 2 – Preparing the render

Now you will need to mix your render mortar by following the below guidelines:

  • Check the instruction on your render mortar packet and add the correct amount of water to your bucket.
  • Add the mortar to the water and begin mixing. You can use a shovel to mix to begin with then use a paddle mixer to create an even, stiff consistency.
  • Please note you can rent a drill specifically for mixing which will make this step easier.

Step 3 – Rendering the garden wall

Once your wall and render are prepared, use the following steps to render your garden wall:

  • Using a trowel, spread the render over your wall. Use firm pressure and move upwards from the base of the wall right to the top in a continuous motion.
  • Ensure the first layer of render mortar you apply is approximately 0.5cm deep.
  • Use the straight wooden plank to smooth out the render, start at the bottom of the wall and work upwards.
  • Using the scratching comb start on the left and scratch your first layer of render. Ensure you create an even pattern and cover the wall.
  • Wait at least 2 hours of drying time, then begin the second coat of render.
  • This layer should be twice as thick (approximately 1cm) and should be spread similarly as the first layer.
  • Wait around half an hour then use your wooden plank to even the material out.
  • If you want to achieve a smooth, even finish, dampen a sponge and wipe the entire wall.
  • Once the wall has been drying for 1 day, spritz with water in a spray bottle. You should do this daily for five days for a perfect finish.


Rendering outside wallsHow to render a wall outside

Render is a term that applies to plastering the outside of your home. This process is the perfect way to keep your home weatherproof and insulated. It can be a difficult skill to perfect, but once you know how to render an outside wall you will be able to use this skill internally too.

Proper preparation is essential as shown in our ‘how to render a garden wall’ section so gather all your tools and materials before beginning. Otherwise, you will end up driving around local DIY stores looking for a specific item halfway through your project.

You should also block out 2 – 3 days dedicated to learning how to render a wall outside, without weather or work disruptions. If the wall you are rendering is large, you should attach wooden battens about 0.9m apart. This will help to break the space into smaller sections so you can create an even surface.

You can then follow the step-by-step guide in our previous section. If you are wondering exactly how to render a brick wall, then consider how preparation can assist you. Brick walls are porous and often covered in debris so need to be properly cleaned before beginning.

You will need to use a stiff brush to remove old paint, plants, mould and dust. It is also worth spraying down the wall with a hose to catch any bits of debris you missed and dampen the wall before beginning.

How to render a wall with sand and cement

Instead of using rendering mortar, it is possible to simply use a mixture of sand and cement. This will still keep your walls safe from storms and damage while being affordable and available in several colours and textures. Unsure how to render a wall with cement? No problem, read on for a step-by-step guide.

Begin by preparing the wall as you would with a render mortar material. You can even use a pressure washer to thoroughly clean your wall. Repair any cracks in the bricks before applying your sand and cement mix.

Next, mix your sand and cement with water. You can also use lime to create the perfect material for rendering houses. Use 1 part lime to 1 part cement and 6 parts sand. Using coarse sand for the base layer and finer sand for the top layer will ensure your render lasts for years to come.

Now apply your mixture to your walls following the method used in our ‘how to render a garden wall’ section. Congratulations, you now know how to render a wall with sand and cement!

How to render a block wall

Many block walls are unfortunately not waterproof or weatherproof so will need to be protected using rendering. This will ensure the block wall is durable, will stand up to adverse weather and will look fantastic for many years. Learning how to render a block wall is not much different to learning how to render a garden wall.

There are however, a few key differences. Firstly, there is no need to wet the wall before beginning with standard texture, concrete blocks. You should also ensure you plan ahead when dealing with external fixings like supports before beginning. Please note, it may be necessary to pre-treat walls made with paint quality blocks.

Furthermore, the best mixture to use would be a combination of sand, lime and cement. Ready to begin? Just follow the step-by-step guide in our ‘how to render a garden wall’ section.


Completely rendered house wallsHiring an expert

Rendering is a skill, similar to plastering, and can take years to master so don’t feel disheartened if you struggle to get to grips with it. There is no shame in admitting you are stuck or have made a mistake, and a professional rendering expert will be happy to assist you at any stage of your project.

Many people struggle with rendering and hiring a professional comes with a whole host of benefits. Firstly, the job will be finished to a high quality standard, meaning it will look fantastic for years and years. In addition, a tradesperson will complete the job quickly and can even give you tips to show you where you went wrong.

If you are considering hiring an expert and are wondering about prices and the benefits, please see our helpful cost to render a wall guide. If alternatively, you are looking for a trusted professional in your area, please use our free search feature.

Find an approved wall rendering specialist near you


Is my wall suitable for rendering?

In most cases yes, it is possible to render over stone, blocks, brickwork and painted rendering.

Is it ok to render over old rendering?

As long as you use a breathable render mixture you shouldn’t have any issues down the line. You will need to ensure you create a smooth surface for rendering before beginning, so if the old material is in poor quality it may be worth removing it and starting again.

How much does rendering cost?

This will depend on the size of your home and how many walls you wish to render. A small bungalow will cost an average of £2,250 while a three-bedroom semidetached home will cost an average of £4,050. For further information please see our rendering cost guide.

Find an approved wall rendering specialist near you

What are the main benefits of rendering?

Rendering is the perfect solution for older walls that have seen better days. It helps to weatherproof your home, seals and protects damaged walls, makes your home appear sleek, clean and new, plus adds value to your property.

Useful rendering checklist

  • Rendering comes in several colours and can be finished in different textures.
  • Learning how to render a wall needn’t be impossible if you follow our guide.
  • Preparation is the most important stage in achieving a perfect finish.
  • You can render over most types of wall including brickwork, stone and blocks.
  • Hiring a professional will help you achieve a flawless finish plus save you time and energy.

Find an approved wall rendering specialist near you

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