3 Jul 2012

Rendering the Outside of Your Home

Posted by bcsands

It’s a big job to render the outside of your home, but the results can be amazing!

The technique is called skim coating and is only for covering brickwork to increase the value or improve the look of a house, not to strengthen or repair walls.

Bricks are commonly made from concrete or clay. Take a sample of your brick type when you are buying your rendering products to help select the correct one. There is a wide range of render products for different applications, so make sure you have right materials to get the result you want.


Tools Required To Render the Outside of Your Home

  • Scaffolding and/or a ladder
  • A cement mixer
  • A shovel
  • A rectangular trowel
  • A corner trowel
  • A plastic or wood float
  • A drill
  • A sponge
  • A flick brush or high quality spray bottle
  • 2 Buckets
  • Brushes for cleaning
  • A paint roller with tray and extension pole


Preparing to Render

Before you begin rendering, cover any windows, eaves, doors, driveways, paths and anything else that you don’t want to damage, including plants which can be tied with garden string to keep them away from the walls.

Dig a small ditch around the perimeter of the walls to be rendered so that you can cover slightly below soil level. Give the area a good clean-up with a high pressure spray machine to get rid of any dirt and mould which could cause the render to come away later if not removed properly. Lay builders plastic at the base of the area you are working on to re-use dropped render and minimise waste and mess.

Another important thing to consider is the weather at the time of rendering. It is extremely difficult to join rendering, so if you live in a hot climate, start very early in the morning or work at night to prevent the render from drying too quickly, and if you are in a cool climate, work in the middle of the day. The DIY approach to rendering is to apply two or three coats to give an even finish.

Start in an area that is less visible, for example the side or back of your home, because it takes a while to get the hang of rendering.


Rendering Process

Dampen the wall for half an hour before applying the first coat. Starting about 500mm from the top of the wall, fill the rectangular trowel with render mix, and spread it using long, upward movements, rather like applying smooth peanut butter on a vertical piece of toast.

Don’t get too concerned about the little bulges that occur where the brick joints, that always happens on the first layer, and can be smoothed over with the second or third coat. Work across the wall in one meter sections and push the float in a back-handed circular movement from your body to the comfortable extension of your arm.

It is not essential, but if you can get some help, it is more effective to have one person rendering while the other uses the wooden or plastic float to smooth the surface 20 minutes after the render is applied. If the surface seems a bit dry, spray water onto the float (not the wall) to moisten the render. It is important not to press too hard or to use the float too long in one spot or you will pull the render off the wall.

While working the float in a circular motion, fill in any dents with fresh render and touch up any areas scraped by small stones. When rendering around a corner, use a gauging tool to round off the edges smoothly.


Finishing Rendering

Keep the render moist for at least two days by misting it regularly, and about a week later you may want to apply a new layer. Wait at least a week after your last layer before you apply a sealant, and then 2 coats of paint suitable for render.

There are plenty of professional renderers willing to take on the job for you if you decide it’s too hard!

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