How to render a wall

Written by april kohl
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How to render a wall
Pebble-dashing by adding pebbles to the top coat of your rendering mortar helps to disguise uneven surfaces. (rendering image by PeteG from

Rendering a wall gives a smooth surface that is easier to paint and wallpaper. Rendering also helps to cover up cracks and other imperfections in a surface, such as different types of brickwork where repairs have been made. When it comes to home repairs, knowing how to render a wall can be an important skill.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Water
  • Scouring brush
  • Anti-fungal solution
  • Paintbrush
  • Trowel
  • Lime and aggregate mix
  • Rendering mortar
  • Mortar board
  • Sponge

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  1. 1

    Clean the wall to be rendered using a scouring brush and water. Treat the wall by painting it with the anti-fungal solution and allow this to dry before continuing. Apply the lime and aggregate mix to the wall with the trowel and allow this to set over four days. This mixture seals the wall and also helps to bond the render.

  2. 2

    Mix your rendering mortar and apply it to the wall to a thickness of between 8 and 10mm (0.31 to 0.40in) using the mortar board. Allow the render to begin to set and then scour the surface in circular motions to give a rough surface. Allow the mortar to cure; which can take as long as four days.

  3. 3

    Wet the surface of the rendering using a sponge and water. This combined with the rough surface will give the top coat of rendering something to adhere to. Mix another batch of rendering mortar and apply to with the mortar board to a thickness of around 6mm (0.23in). Smooth the surface over with the mortar board to give an even finish. Allow to dry fully.

Tips and warnings

  • To ensure the first coat of rendering cures properly, Top suggests keeping the surface damp. This will prevent the mortar drying out too quickly during the curing process, reducing the chances of cracks forming.
  • You may wish to consider adding pebbles to the top coat of rendering, to give a textured finish to the wall that will cover up any imperfections. Alternatively, patterns can be made in the mortar itself using the mortar board.
  • When rendering a wall where you can't reach the top easily, consider using scaffolding or a free-standing stepladder rather than one you need to rest against the wall itself while you work. This will prevent the stepladder having to rest on the rendered surface when applying the top coat and will also prevent dirt and contaminants transferring to the wall after it has been cleaned.

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