How to render an outdoor wall

How to render an outdoor wall

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Difficulty rating: Medium

These tasks may be tricky so will suit you if you're experienced in DIY, or simply love a challenge.

Before you get started on any of our 'how to' guides, please take a moment to read through our DIY safety tips.

What You'll Need:

Rendering your exterior walls so that they’re perfectly smooth gives you the perfect base for decorating the outside of your home. You’ll generally only need one coat of render, around 4 to 6mm thick. Here’s our guide to making sure the render goes on as smoothly as possible.

Step 1

Before you render, prepare the wall by cleaning it with a stiff bristled broom. This will make sure your surface is dust-free and grease-free.

Step 2

When rendering coarse bricks, brush them with water before you start. This will minimise dust, so the render will have a better surface to adhere to.

Step 3

Add the render product to some water in a bucket and mix according to the instructions on the bag. You’re aiming for a toothpaste consistency for the render.

Step 4

There are a couple of different techniques to applying render: Either tilt the hawk onto the trowel and then apply the render at a 45 degree angle or place the hawk’s edge on the wall and brush up from there.

Step 5

If you’ve got vents on your wall, render up to the vent with a slight overlay around the edges.

Step 6

Let the render dry for about 30 minutes until it’s firm to touch, then use a straight edge to flatten out - or screed - the render.

Step 7

Next fill in any hollows with more render. Hollows are areas where the render is coming away from the wall, and you can spot their lighter colour.

Step 8

You’ll now need to float the wall to fill in any remaining small hollows. A float is a tool that smooths the surface of the wall. As well as improving the look of the wall, floating closes the surface to make it durable. You may need to add a little water as you work, depending on how dry the wall is.

Step 9

Now sponge the wall to give it a nice, smooth finish. Use a damp sponge – not too wet – for the perfect job.

Step 10

If you need to cut around a vent, use the edge of your float to give you a straight line. Find the edge of the vent and use a small trowel to gently cut around it. Sponge off any marks for a great finish.

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