Which Render Material Should I Use?

Render refers to a thick material used to coat walls. There are several types of rendering materials available today. Different render materials can be applied in several finishes including textured or smooth and painted or colored. Application is typically done with a hand tool known as a trowel.

Applying render on exterior walls is a great way of modernising their look. It’s also a great technique for repairing and rejuvenating old walls. Besides improving the appearance of walls, render also assists in protecting them from damage resulting from exposure to elements and water.

If you’re looking for a solution that can improve or change the look of your property, consider rendering the walls. Rendering in Sydney is an affordable solution that will make them look great and enhance their durability and water-resistance.

Cement mortar


Which Render Material Should I Choose?

Before choosing a render material, it’s important to understand them and their differences. Render materials are available in six main types including:


Cement Render

One of the most popular render materials is cement render. It’s known as concrete render or traditional render. Cement rendering comprises lime, cement, and sand. The ingredients are either bought premade or mixed onsite. It’s the cheapest render material. However, its use is limited and requires a lot of time to cure and dry. It can crack quickly if applied incorrectly.


Polymer Render

Polymer render comprises cement render but with a polymer additive that prevents cracking. Thus, it sticks better than standard cement render and can be applied to more types of surfaces. Polymer render is only bought as a premade product. It’s costlier than standard cement render.


Acrylic Render

Acrylic render, just like polymer render, is a type of cement render with an acrylic additive. Acrylic is a form of plastic that increases the flexibility of the render mixture. Thus, acrylic rendering is applicable on several substrates and surfaces. It’s easy to work with, dries quicker, and is less prone to cracking. However, it’s only available as a premade mixture and is costlier than cement render.



Most render materials are recommended for outdoor application. Plaster is most suitable for application on indoor surfaces. However, it’s not strong like other render materials. Thus, it’s susceptible to damage when exposed to harsh elements.


Lime Render

If you’re dealing with older buildings, especially those constructed with stone, then applying lime render would be the best option. It comprises a mixture of sand and lime in the ratio of 3:1 respectively. However, the ratio can be changed based on the climatic conditions. The main benefit of this render is that it’s not prone to damage by moisture and rain. Thus, it keeps the walls protected from weather elements.


Clay Render

While several render materials contain cement, clay render doesn’t. It’s also referred to as earthen/earth render. As the oldest render material, it’s mostly applied to older-style buildings such as straw houses. It comprises a mixture of water and clay. Older clay render often contains clay, water, animal dung, and straw. Commercial clay render often has sand as an additive to increase its strength.

Clay render is only advisable for application on old-style homes. If you’re building a modern home, it’s recommended to choose modern render materials.

Is Rendering a DIY Job?

Some render materials are suitable for DIY applications. You can purchase premixed render from your local hardware store, prepare the surface, and apply the render by yourself. Manufacturers indicate full instructions on how to apply the render. Reputable render suppliers can answer your questions regarding their render products, how to prepare a wall surface, and how to apply a render material properly.

Render materials are applied in a thickness ranging from 1mm to 12mm. The exact thickness depends on the specifications of a project. At least two coats of render are applied in most rendering jobs. Application is often done using a trowel.

Essentially, the first coating fills any crevices, cracks, and holes. The topcoat is applied using a preferred finish such as a smooth or textured finish. It’s applied using a roller or trowel. You can find a special roller that’ll create a stipple-like finish. Some renders are applied by spraying them on the surface. However, such renders require special tools and aren’t recommended for DIY projects.

However, if you’re not a DIY handy person, you may not like the results. Rendering requires mastering the application techniques with practice. It’s not something you can do perfectly with the first trial. Even if you use special rollers for application, it’ll still be challenging to apply the render uniformly.

Although you can render your walls by yourself, it’s advisable to leave the job to the experts. Request quotes from professional renderers in your local area to know more about the rendering costs before you think about buying the required materials and tools. Allowing professionals to do the work will guarantee you the best results. Besides, reputable rendering services offer affordable rates.


Also Read:

All You Need To Know About Acrylic Rendering

Tools and Materials for Rendering

Steps for Properly Mixing a Render Material