How to Render a Wall - The Step by Step Guide For Perfect Results

November 26, 2020

Rendering is the process of applying sand, cement or polymer covering to the exterior of a home, drastically improving its look while also providing increased stability. The process of rendering adds support, making it the perfect solution for many exterior concerns. 

Render is a great solution for homes both old and new. Some older homes may have walls that suffer from poor quality due to wear over time. 

Other homes may show another sign of time, as different kinds of exterior materials were used over the years with renovations. Applying render gives your entire home a uniform exterior that will transform it into a new home.

For new construction, render can provide a finish that looks smooth and modern, perfect for homes embracing newer styles of architecture. 

Knowing how to properly apply render is a great skill to have for your home’s upkeep, so read on for our step-by-step guide on how to do this right.

Not sure if you'll have time for a DIY rendering project on your exterior walls? Simply submit a free request to hire a top local plastering expert!


How to Render a Wall - The Step by Step Guide

How to Render a Wall Step by Step

Step 1: Select Your Finish

Render can give your exterior walls a smooth finish or one that has more texture, so be sure to consider your options before you make a decision. Different texture patterns can make a difference in the look of your home. Some of this comes from the type of render material you are using. Lime render with applied texture is great for older homes to suit the period. More modern materials like polymer or acrylic can be added with a smooth finish. 

It’s also available in a wide range of colours, either combined with the render material itself or as an added finish. Again, this depends on the type of render material you are using so be sure to consider the product wisely for the impact on your colour options as well.


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Step 2: Prep Your Walls

It’s necessary to take a moment to make sure your walls are ready for the render before you begin. Examine your walls to be sure they are free from any damage or problems that will need to be fixed first. Applying render overtop will only make these problems disappear, they won’t go away. In fact, this can cause rendered walls to crack when damage eventually shows through. 

Prep Walls And Repair Structure Before Rendering

You may need to bring in a professional to deal with any underlying structural defects. This will ensure that your walls are strong enough to uphold the render for years to come.


Step 3: Handle External Features

Another area to pay attention to is the features around your home that impact your exterior walls. Vents, window sills and draining pipes need to be worked around carefully during application. It can be helpful to temporarily remove your rainwater pipes to make it easier to apply the render. Vents and window sills will need to be extended as render builds up your wall surface past where it is currently. 

Render around features like windows

Build up is required to have your features look proper with the new finish. You’ll also want to invest in metal stop pieces for your render. These provide render with support at edges or corners as well as around your windows and doors. It gives you a clean edge too so your render looks tidy and neat.


Step 4: Lay the Foundation

In order for the render to stick to your walls, you need to use a render mesh. This material, typically made up of flexible fibreglass material, is embedded into the first layer of render. It provides the support render needs to keep from cracking. 

Mesh for rendering a wall

However, there are different grades of mesh are used depending on what material they will be covering. Getting the right product will save you a hassle down the road, so it’s worth double-checking that you have the right mesh. You’ll also want to have the metal stop pieces in place at corners and edges.


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Step 5: Build Up Your Work

Mix up enough render to allow you to cover a section of wall with natural stopping points. This will give you the best appearance on a large flat wall as it will appear to be seamless. 

Bidvine Tip: as you apply the render with your trowel, try and keep it as flat and smooth as possible. This will keep your walls looking pristine from this first coat to the final. Coats should be around 4mm thick to allow you to build up your work.

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Step 6: Finish It Off

After you allow your render to firm, use a long straight edge to level it out. This will give you the base you need for future coats, or help you to finish it off. If you’re after an interesting texture, using a damp sponge over the surface is an easy way to do it. 

Sponge for rendering

While some renders are pre-coloured, most are not. If so, you’ll need to use a waterproof exterior paint to finish it off.

Step 7: The Final Touches

After the render is completely applied and has dried to a solid finish, you can reinstall any piping taken down while the work was completed. Other external features that were removed can also be added back if you care to, such as house numbers or decoration. 

Final Touches on Render

You may also wish to spend time updating your garden. A properly landscaped exterior will make your home look complete. This can also help hide the fact it has been freshly rendered by giving it a beautiful exterior aesthetic.


Now that you know how to render an exterior wall, your home awaits your handiwork. No matter whether you wish to improve the condition of your walls or need a visual transformation, this is a great way to get the work done. For best results and beautiful walls, you can hire a professional to come in and render your walls properly.

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