Everyone has a dream house they want to build and you too had thought about it. Building your house is no easy feat. There are a lot of things that you need to look at and one of those is selecting a render finish. This article will help you out by sharing the types of render finishes.
Many different rendering finishes can be used to render a wall or surface, each with its distinctive textures and colours. This type of rendering is usually used on exteriors for houses because it has excellent weathering properties. Rendering also needs good ventilation because the rendering process releases a lot of moisture.
33 Types Of Render Finishes That You Might Not Know
Rendering is a finishing technique that creates a surface with distinct patterns and colours. It can be applied to most textured surfaces such as brick walls or plaster-covered walls, but it is very commonly used on exterior house walls because of its weathering properties and low maintenance requirements.
1. Cement Rendering
Cement rendering is a traditional finish for exterior walls. It combines hydrated cement, sand, water, and additives to form a paste that can be applied with either a trowel or paint roller. The product used will determine the finished texture of your wall surface.
History Of Cement Rendering
Cement rendering was first used in Europe on traditional stone walls but has since become an extremely popular exterior wall finish for houses. Its popularity is due to its unique textured appearance and durable weathering properties.
Why Should I Use Cement Rendering?
Cement rendering is an excellent exterior wall finish because it provides your home with a durable, weather-resistant surface. It can also be applied to most textured surfaces such as brick walls or plaster-covered walls. Cement rendering can be classified as:
1) Lightweight Cement Rendering – It is made with a base of fine sand, additives, and hydrated polymer that produces a lightweight wall coating that can be used for interior or exterior surfaces. Lightweight Cement Rendering is very breathable, meaning it has excellent insulation properties while still allowing excess moisture to escape.
2) Regular Cement Rendering – It is made with a base of coarse sand and hydrated polymer. It gives the wall more texture, while still allowing water vapour to escape from behind the render. Regular Cement Rendering has excellent weather and wear resistance and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.
3) Heavyweight Cement Rendering – It is made with a base of fine sand, additives, and hydrated polymer. This gives the wall more texture than regular cement rendering, while still providing the same water vapour permeability. Heavyweight Cement Rendering has excellent weather and wear resistance and can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Where Can I Use Cement Rendering?
Cement rendering can be used for:
- Retaining wall – You can use cement rendering to create a durable surface for your retaining wall.
- Exterior wall – this type of rendering is used on the outside walls of a home because it creates an exterior surface with excellent weathering properties. This makes it a very low-maintenance finish, as well as provides your house with insulation and drainage capabilities.
- Interior wall – this type of rendering can be applied to interior walls or ceilings because the texture will not damage any surface finishes.
2. Clay-Based Render
Clay render is made by combining clay aggregate (often clay dust or clay shingle), an emulsifying agent, and additives to create a mortar-like paste that can be applied with either a trowel or paint roller. It is suitable for both interior and exterior applications on most texture surfaces such as brick, stone, or wood.
Clay render is an excellent exterior wall finish because it provides your home with a durable, weather-resistant surface. It can also be applied to most textured surfaces such as brick walls or plaster-covered walls. The clay render will not damage any surface finishes on interior walls or ceilings.
Clay-based render was first used in Europe about 2,000 years ago and has since become an extremely popular exterior wall finish for houses. Its popularity is due to its unique textured appearance and low maintenance requirements.
Where Can I Use Clay-Based Render?
Clay-Based Render can be used for:
- External – Clay render can be used for exterior applications on most texture surfaces such as brick, stone, or wood because it provides a durable, weather-resistant surface.
- Internal – It can also be used for interior applications because the texture will not damage any surface finishes. It is suitable for seamless walls, a fireplace, and feature walls.
3. Lime Render
Lime render is made by heating limestone in a kiln at temperatures over 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit to create quicklime. This process results in a white powder known as lime putty, which can be mixed with sand and water to create a plaster-like paste that can be applied to surfaces with a trowel.
Lime renders are suitable for exterior and interior applications, but they must be protected from the elements immediately after application before achieving full strength.
This type of render has been used since ancient times for many different purposes. It was first used by the Ancient Egyptians, who would use lime putty to make both building materials and cosmetics.
Why Should I Use Lime Render On My House?
Lime render is an excellent choice for exterior wall finishes because it provides your home with a durable, weather-resistant surface. It can also be applied to most textured surfaces such as brick walls or plaster-covered walls.
The lime render will not damage any surface finishes on interior walls or ceilings.
Where To Use Lime Render?
Lime render can be used on both internal and external surfaces where you want a durable surface. They are most appropriate when the surfaces have texture, but they must be protected from the elements immediately after application before achieving full strength. Lime renders are suitable for exterior and interior applications.
Because lime rendering has been around for so long, it is an old method that can be done in many different ways. The most common and popular type of application is to use a trowel and putty. However, you can also purchase ready mixed renders and apply them with a brush or roller.
Some people even prefer to do their concoction from scratch using sand, water, and the quicklime themselves. No matter how you decide to render your walls, it will provide a durable finish that maintains its strength in even the harshest weather conditions.
4. Acrylic Rendering
Acrylic render is a water-based material that can be applied using a trowel or paint roller. It is most often used on smooth surfaces such as plaster walls and ceilings, but it is also suitable for textured surfaces where a thin coat of paint covers any bumps.
Acrylic rendering provides your home with a durable, weather-resistant surface that can also be applied to most textured surfaces such as brick walls or plaster-covered walls. The acrylic render will not damage any surface finishes when applied correctly over an appropriate substrate.
For example, if you wish to use this type of exterior membrane on wood cladding, the texture will need to be sanded off first.
How Long Does Acrylic Render Take To Dry?
Unlike traditional lime renders, acrylic renders require less time to set/dry after application so can be painted over almost immediately.
However, because acrylic renders are water-based, it is still necessary to wait for them to air dry before painting. This can take up to 3 days depending on the weather conditions after application.
Where To Use Acrylic Rendering?
Acrylic render is suitable for interior and exterior use, providing a durable coating that can be applied to most surfaces. It is widely used on walls and ceilings but does not work well with uneven surfaces due to its smooth texture.
Acrylic renders are also available in several different textures so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
5. Polymer Rendering
Polymer rendering is a water-based material that can be applied using a trowel or paint roller. It is most often used on smooth surfaces such as plaster walls and ceilings, but it is also suitable for textured surfaces where a thin coat of paint covers any bumps.
Like acrylic render, polymer renders provide you with an exterior membrane that is durable and weather resistant. This finish allows the render to adhere well to the substrate and prevent flaking or peeling.
The polymer additive in resin render ensures it can be applied to interiors and exteriors alike, including wood cladding due to its smooth texture.
Polymer Rendering Usage
Polymer render is suitable for projects both large and small. The smooth finish makes it easier to work with compared to clay or cement-based materials so can be applied quickly by skilled workers. This resin additive also allows the render to cure in cold conditions if necessary, making working conditions slightly less harsh during winter months.
It can be used in:
- External Wall
- House Exterior
6. Silicon Render
Silicon render is an exterior plaster-like material with good weather resistance properties. It comes in powder form and once mixed, the silicon additive creates a hard-wearing surface similar to concrete or clay renders. This can be applied on plastered walls and ceilings but is not suitable for projecting parts of buildings because it does not have good adhesion properties. As a result, some silicon renders require more than one coat for best results while others are self-levelling.
Why Should I Use A Silicone Render?
Silicon render is often used on floors instead of tiles so provides increased insulation compared to traditional cement screed finishes. Like other polymer additives, this resin has no odour during or after application so can be used in bathrooms or wet areas where other types of render are unsuitable.
Silicon renders are available as powders which are mixed with water to create the resin mixture or pre-mixed ready for use. The silicon additive ensures the render has increased hardness and durability but does not affect flexibility or adhesion properties. However, this additive should not be confused with stiffening agents that can make your resin mix less flexible once it has cured.
Where To Use Silicone Render?
Silicone resins can be used on both exterior and interior surfaces including walls, ceilings, floors, and ramps. As an alternative to cement screed flooring, many homeowners choose silicon resin floor screeds because they are more resistant to water damage and easy to maintain throughout the year.
For increased weatherproofing, exterior surfaces can be applied in one or two coats if required. However, it is not suitable for projecting parts of buildings such as window reveals because it has poor adhesion properties. This means you may need to use other materials like car body filler before applying silicone renders over these areas.
7. Stucco Render
Stucco is a traditional plaster-like material that can be applied over exterior walls to provide adequate weather resistance. It comes ready mixed in powder form, making it one of the simplest polymer additives available.
Once mixed with water, this creates a smooth resin mixture similar to polyurethane or silicone renders that are ideal for covering exterior brickwork or block walls.
Compared to other types of resin additives, stucco is easy to work with because it has no odour during application. Stucco is commonly used on homes due to its weatherproof properties and provides an aesthetically pleasing finish once dry.
This product is best used on exterior surfaces to provide increased protection from the elements. It is not suitable for interior walls because it is easily damaged and can be a health hazard if inhaled during installation or touch-ups.
Stucco can be applied on brick, concrete blocks, or cavity walls to provide adequate weather resistance. It also has good flexibility so this allows it to adapt to existing structures without cracking or breaking when dry.
This means stucco is commonly used in areas where water seepage could cause damage over time such as window reveals, basement walls, and external steps.
8. Plaster Render
Plastering is a traditional method of finishing interior surfaces with plaster mixed from sand, cement, and lime. This mixture dries harder than most other types of resin so it can be sanded down to achieve a smooth finish ready for decoration.
Plaster was traditionally made using a mixture of sand, cement, and lime that dries very hard. Over time, different additives were added to this basic recipe to create renders with improved adhesion properties and hardness upon drying. These mixes could be applied in one or two coats depending on the desired finish.
This technique first came into use during the 18th century when painted adobe houses were common. However, many of these walls’ finishes degraded over time due to exposure to moisture and weather conditions.
This led to an increase in popularity around the early 20th century using modern materials like cement-based renders or silicate paints to improve durability.
Why Should I Use Plaster On My House?
Plaster is a traditional mortar-like material that has been used for thousands of years. Although it requires more effort to apply than other polymer additives, this gives the final finish a more natural look that can be extended throughout the landscaping.
You may need to seal embedded stones before applying a plaster layer over them because these will affect your resin mixture’s flexibility once dry. However, fine gravels and sands are ideal for embedding in stucco or plaster renders.
One of the main benefits of using plaster instead of silicon or polyurethane resins is its traditional appearance which can add character to your home while protecting it from the elements. It is suitable for both interior and exterior walls because it has good weather resistance properties that protect surfaces behind.
9. Davco Render
Davco is a non-shrink polymer additive that is mixed with water to create a smooth mixture similar to plaster or concrete. This can be applied like any other resin by using either trowels or brushes, depending on the type of finish required.
What Are The Benefits Of Davco?
Davco comes in two varieties, standard and heavy-duty. The heavy-duty mixture is designed for use against rough or textured surfaces whereas the standard option is ideal for plastered smoothness. Both are mixed with water to create a paste that spreads easily over walls to give a smooth finish that dries quickly.
This additive has good flexibility so it can improve weather resistance properties as well as provide a long-lasting solution for protecting exterior surfaces.
Davco is very easy to apply and generally only takes a couple of coats to seal porous or textured walls. It can be painted or left in its natural state, depending on personal preference. It is ideal for areas where rainwater penetration could cause damage because it can form a breathable protective barrier.
Where Should I Use Davco Render?
Davco is suitable for application to both interior and exterior walls as well as roofs. It can be used on rough or textured surfaces where traditional resin mixes may not adhere properly. This additive can also be mixed with cement, sand, gravel, and other aggregates to produce a more weather-resistant stucco finish.
10. Natural Stone Cladding
Natural stone cladding is another material that can be used to finish the exterior of your home. It is often chosen because it does not require additional processing once excavated, so there are fewer costs involved in its use. However, this also means that natural stone may vary in colour and texture depending on its source.
History Of Natural Stone Cladding
Natural stone cladding has been used for thousands of years and was traditionally cut from the local region to limit costs. This is because natural stones can vary depending on their geographical location, so it is important to research this before any final decisions are made.
Many homeowners choose to fit traditional stone cladding because it adds character to their walls while protecting them from the elements.
What Are The Benefits Of Natural Stone Cladding?
Natural stone cladding is ideal for use on exterior walls of homes that are exposed to high levels of moisture since this will create a breathable protective barrier.
It can also be used without any building regulations being in place, unlike other alternatives such as a resin mix. This means it can be applied to older buildings that have been graded for renovation and refurbishment work.
Best Place To Use Natural Stone Cladding
Natural stone cladding can be used for all exterior wall surfaces but is particularly suitable for areas where there’s a high risk of weather damage. It can also be used to replace siding that has been damaged or is beyond repair, or for construction work where thermal efficiency and fire resistance are required.
11. Chalk Render
The advantages of chalk renders include their high insulation and fire resistance and they can be applied to both old and new buildings. They do not require additional processing like natural stone or aggregates, so they are inexpensive to use compared with other alternatives.
12. Interior Render Finishes
The main advantage of interior rendering is that it can be applied quickly and the result will be a smooth surface that’s easy to clean. Interior renders are typically made from gypsum plaster mixed with sand, cement, and other additives which gives them high weather resistance.
Before plastering became standard practice in homes across the UK, walls were commonly coated with a mixture of ox-blood or lime. In recent times, this has been replaced by modern alternatives such as gypsum plasters made from natural compounds known as sulphates.
This creates a highly durable final product that is an affordable alternative to traditional building work. It can be applied both to new buildings and older structures that have been renovated for insulation purposes.
Advantages Of Interior Rendering
The main benefit of interior rendering is that it’s a quick and easy application process. It only takes two coats to create a protective layer that will last for up to 50 years.
According to the British Gypsum Association, this type of work has been shown to perform better than any other internal plastering job in many homes throughout the UK, including those that have been built with older materials or are located in high traffic areas.
Where Can I Apply Interior Render?
Interior render can be applied both outdoors and indoors but should never be used outside. It becomes damaged too quickly if left exposed, so it’s recommended for use on all internal surfaces where weather resistance is required such as:
- The inside of exterior walls.
- On bare concrete and brickwork.
- Walls that are exposed to heavy footfall, such as high traffic areas in commercial buildings or residential homes with elderly occupants, or families with young children.
Difference Between Interior And Exterior Render
Interior render finishes are applied for decorative purposes and come in a variety of styles including pebble dashing, marbling, and plastering. They can be applied directly to existing interior walls as well as over insulation panels to create a bare brick wall finish.
13. Premixed Render
There are two main types of premixed render on the market: cement-based and gypsum plaster. Both products make it easier for contractors to apply an even finish of continuous thickness, which can be finished to a high standard by amateurs without the need for special equipment.
Premixed exterior renders were first introduced into the UK market during the early 1960s. The main goal was to reduce the labor intensity associated with traditional rendering work by creating a product that could be applied more easily and quickly, without compromising on quality.
The main benefit is that it offers homeowners complete control over the design of their home, allowing them to achieve unique finishes that would otherwise be difficult to achieve manually. It also removes the problem of mixing a dry powder with water, which must always be done carefully in the correct proportions or the rendering will have performance issues later down the line.
14. Concrete Render
There are two main types of concrete render – cast-in-situ and precast. Both are heavy-duty materials with high levels of weather resistance but they have significant differences in terms of application, suitability for different structures, and appearance.
The first precast concrete render was developed in France during the early 1960s, to reduce labour intensity and improve quality by creating a product that could be applied more easily without compromising on performance.
Precast concrete renders come in two main types – wet cast and dry cast. The key difference between the two is that a wet cast requires water to be added for it to set correctly, whereas a dry cast doesn’t require any extra liquid to achieve the desired consistency.
15. Monocouche Render
Monocouche render is a type of exterior rendering used to improve the weather resistance and insulation properties of an existing structure. This method is preferred for refurbishments because it offers minimal disruption compared to other techniques, such as brick slips or full clay renders.
This type of render is best suited for applying on new builds that will remain exposed to the elements for 25 years or more, as well as older properties that are being refurbished with insulation in mind.
As long as the surface area is solid and structurally sound, monocouche renders can be used on any external wall regardless of how old it is or what condition it’s in. This makes them suitable for both new builds and refurbishments.
16. External Render Finishes
When you think of render finishes, images of dry stone walls covered in lime render tend to spring to mind. However, the term ‘render’ is used for any type of protective or decorative coating that’s applied on external or internal surfaces.
Render finishers are often contracted by architects during the construction process to prepare exterior building surfaces for decoration. They must follow specific guidelines when it comes to selecting and using materials though because some finishes can cause problems with adhesion if they’re not applied correctly. It’s also important to note that different types of finish require different rendering techniques that may need practising before they can be completed successfully.
17. Cold Render
This is a traditional method of applying render on both internal and external surfaces by hand. It’s often used for DIY jobs because it doesn’t require special materials or equipment. The render mix itself is usually made from Portland cement, sand, and water to create a smooth, solid coating that’s easy to shape and mould. It’s important to note that the addition of lime can improve its adhesion but also reduce elasticity, so it may not be suitable for all projects.
18. Lustrous Render
This method of rendering is similar to cold render in some ways because it’s also applied by hand. However, the addition of acrylic makes it glossy or lustrous when dry which gives it more of an attractive appearance. Lustrous renders are usually used on both internal and external surfaces but they must be applied very carefully due to their high water content.
19. Stone Faced Render
Although it’s often referred to as stone-faced rendering, this exterior finishing method doesn’t always use stone and can instead be made from several other materials like foam or plastic beads. It can also contain lime or cement-based renders which gives it more of a solid appearance when dry. As you’d expect, the beads or other materials used to create stone-faced rendering can give it a more varied appearance than other types. The size and shape of the artificial aggregate particles will determine how coarse or grainy their final appearance is.
20. Synthetic Stucco
This exterior rendering technique is similar to mechanical rendering but it’s made using fine-textured foam instead of gravel. The addition of synthetic resins makes it more durable than traditional stucco render which has the advantage that it won’t fade or discolour over time. It’s also durable enough for use in exterior applications but it may not provide a very smooth finish.
Tadelakt is a plastering material that goes back several centuries, and it continues to be popular today. It is made using clay render, which is applied over a waterproof lime plaster that creates a smooth surface with excellent water resistance. Tadelakt is especially popular in Morocco and less common in other parts of the world.
Mudwall is a type of clay render that is applied to wood-framed walls, where the glue from the framework will hold it in place. This makes Mudwall a great choice for wall cladding, as opposed to traditional plaster or drywall.
23. Shuttered clay render
Shuttered clay render is a type of clay render that utilises wooden studs and metal laths, which it holds in place. It can be applied to many different surfaces including brick, stone, or wood.
24. Clay and bool
This material is made by mixing clay with water and bole (a red clay-like material). It is applied to the wall using a trowel, creating an even surface.
Masonry renders are made from sand, lime hydrate (sometimes known as slaked), and clay binders to create a sand and cement-like render with the texture of sand. They are normally applied to sandstone, brick, or stone using a trowel.
26. Lime Plaster
Lime plaster is made from sand, lime putty (hydrate), and water, which are mixed for between 12-18 hours depending on the product instructions. It can be applied throughout the house, but it must be protected from the rain before curing completely.
27. High Strength
High strength renders are created by adding other ingredients including glass fibre mesh to make your bag mix even stronger. These types of render are suitable for exterior applications because they will not damage any surface finishes when applied correctly over an appropriate substrate.
28. Ready Mixed
Ready-mixed acrylic render is available in several different types of appearance, including stone/concrete, pebble, and wood fibre. The more texture the render has, the more coats you will need to apply for a more even finish.
29. Colour Coats
Colour coats are similar to acrylic paint/pigment but are more weather resistant when dry so can be used on exterior surfaces. You can apply up to three layers of colour coat, depending on the product instructions. It also allows you to achieve different textures on exterior render finishes without using clay or cement-based materials.
30. Acrylic Render For Uneven Surfaces
If you have an uneven surface that needs to be rendered smooth, you can use a Polymer-based render to achieve this. It provides a hard-wearing finish when applied correctly but cannot be used on exterior surfaces because it has no weather resistance properties.
This polymer additive also allows the render to cure in cold conditions if necessary.
31. Stucco Fillers
Stucco fillers are designed for repairing cracks and holes in walls before rendering them with acrylic render or paint. They are something like spackles which provide a smooth surface ready for plastering after drying completely.
32. Acrylic Filler
Acrylic filler is a polymer additive that comes in powder form. This allows you to create acrylic render mixes by adding water and the desired colour pigment. The more powder you use, the more solid your coating will feel and become dry.
33. Colour Coat
Colour coat consists of fine pigments which add texture and colour to the resin rendering mixture. Depending on how much colour coat powder is used, this can make your finished surface less smooth. It also means the resin has good weather resistance properties without affecting its flexibility or adhesion properties.
Different Rendering Techniques
Rendering can be done via a variety of techniques. The most common techniques are:
- Pebble-dash has traditional pebble shapes that are attached to a rough coat of render.
- Pargetting involves creating patterns by sticking cut pieces of material onto the surface of an outside wall with mortar.
- Rowlock is achieved by embedding small stones into the first few layers of wet cement or plaster.
- Buccleuch lime renders and scumbles, are not finished but techniques of surface preparation. They involve using layers of lime and/or cement to create a textured effect.
- Weather-boarding is achieved by brushing dissimilar materials such as tarred felt or straw over the top of render to imitate wood panels on exterior walling.
There are many more different techniques that can be used for rendering.
Types Of Render Finishes – Conclusion
The most common finishes for rendering are; cement, acrylic, and polymer rendering. Different rendering techniques can be used to get a variety of different appearances. A rendering technique that is suitable for one type of application may not be suitable for another.
Rendering is usually done by hand and it’s important to make sure that all materials used are compatible with each other and the substrate to avoid problems like shrinking, cracking, and water penetration.
These rendering techniques can be used for both internal and external finishing but different types of render suit specific applications. An exterior render finish may not be suitable for interior walls due to the humidity inside buildings.
There is no ‘best’ render finish because different render finishes are used for different purposes. For example, stone-faced rendering is an attractive but durable finish that can be used on exterior applications where more solid renders like mechanical rendering would not be suitable.