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Everything you need to know about finding a Renderer

Rendering is an easy way to update a home and hide surface imperfections.  Render can be applied on both new and existing homes and is great for creating a modern look that is low maintenance.

Surfaces that can be Rendered


Render is usually applied to brick, concrete, cement or stone surfaces but it can also be applied to earth (in the case of mud brick walls and so on).  It is suitable for exterior walls, interior walls, mailboxes, and fences, indeed anything that is made from the above materials.  Render can be neutral, coloured or painted.


©Rockwall Rendering

Preparing the Surface


Surfaces need to be prepared correctly before render can be applied.  Dirt and grime should be hosed off, but if there is any evidence of mould use a fungicidal wash on the walls.  Any existing paint on the wall also needs to be removed, as render will not stick to paint.  Old or decaying render needs to be removed as well as does loose pointing.  The professional will do all of this preparatory work for you.

Cement Render


Cement render is made up of three components – lime, sand and cement.  The purpose of the lime is to make the render more workable and it helps to minimize cracking when the render hardens.  The sand should be clean and contain no clay or plant matter.  Coarser sands are used for undercoats while finer sands are generally used for topcoats.  Finally, general purpose or general purpose blended cements complying with Australian standards are usually used.  Lighter cement is used when the wall is to be a light colour.

If you are opting for coloured render, the professional should make a sample and allow it to fully dry before commencing the rendering job.  This will ensure that the render is the correct colour.  If grey cement is being used, more colour will be required than if using white cement.  Render can provide a variety of decorative effects depending on the finishing techniques used but this is a tricky process and should be done by a qualified professional.

©MC Cement Rendering

Acrylic Render


Acrylic render, as the name suggests, uses acrylic (which is a type of plastic) in the render itself.  Because of this, it is much more resistant to cracking than other types of render.  It is also fast drying, taking only two days to cure and dry while traditional renders can take up to 28 days.  Acrylic render can be used to cover up small hairline cracks in masonry surfaces, and because it is permeable to water vapours, it allows the materials underneath (brick etc) to breathe.  It is also resistant to efflorescence, which is the white salts that sometimes leaks from brickwork.

Acrylic render can be trowelled on or rolled on depending on the specific product being used.  It is a paint like texture but even so, should be applied by professionals to ensure that the result is neat.

Solid Plastering


Solid plastering is also known as wet plastering.  The plaster is a mix of lime or gypsum mixed with sand and water and it provides a smooth, rendered finish.  Plaster is quite a soft material, and is suitable for finishing work rather than anything structural or load bearing.

Solid, or wet, plastering simply means that the professional applies the plaster to the surface while it is still wet and it hardens as it dries.  In this way, plaster is very similar to other renders.  Plaster can be finished in a range of textures and colours and should be applied by a professional, as application can get quite complicated. 

Applying Render


Rendering should be done in good weather.  It should not be done in direct sunlight or in areas that are subjected to winds.  The surface to be rendered needs to be wetted so that the wall is damp but not glistening with moisture.  Cement render in particular should be kept damp between coats or for three days.  This is so the render does not crack while it is setting.

The main problem with rendering is getting the render to adhere to the surface.  To make this easier, the surface can be roughened (especially if it is smooth – like concrete) or a preparation such as Bond Crete may be applied to the wall and added to the render.  The render should suit the surface which it is being applied to and be applied in the correct thickness.  Most renders take two or three coats but this is dependent on the surface being rendered, and which render you are opting to use.

Hiring a Renderer


When hiring a rendering professional, ensure that they are licensed and qualified.  Ask for some quotes before selecting one to get a general idea of how much the job will cost.  If possible, see some previous work or alternatively ask for references.

How Much Does Rendering Cost?

Rendering is typically quoted on a per square metre basis, though you will likely get a total cost figure for your job. Prices can range from $15 to $50 per square metre, depending on the type of render used and the specifics of the job. Bear in mind that to get the best finish you generally require two coats of render as well as a waterproofing sealer for exterior surfaces.

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