Project Overview

Freshen up an old brick wall with some render. This video will show you how to prepare your surface, a couple of rendering techniques and how to get a smooth surface that will look great.

Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to render

Step by Step Instructions

1 Prepare the surface with a broom
2 Mix the render
3 Apply the render to your surface
4 Flatten out the wall by screeding and then touch up
5 Float the wall to close the surface
6 Sponge the wall for a smooth finish
7 Clean up around any vents
  • Step 1. Prepare the surface with a broom

    Before you render, you need to prepare the wall by cleaning it with a stiff bristled broom. This will ensure your surface is dust-free and grease-free.
  • Step 2. Mix the render

    Add the render product to some water in a bucket according to the instructions on the bag. Then use a mixing drill to combine. You’re aiming for a toothpaste consistency for the render.
  • Step 3. Apply the render to your surface

    You’ll generally only need one coat of render, and it should be 4-6ml thick. Your aim is to apply the render as flat and smooth as possible. For rendering course bricks, you may need to add a little water to the surface before you start. There are a couple of different techniques to applying render; tilt the hawk onto the trowel and then apply the render at a 45° angle, or you can place the hawk’s edge on the wall and brush up from there. If you’ve got vents on your wall, render up to the vent with a slight overlay around the edges, then cut away when dry to finish.

  • Step 4. Flatten out the wall by screeding and then touch up

    Let the render dry for about 30 minutes until it’s firm to touch. Then use a straight edge to screed, or flatten out, the render. Next fill in any hollows left over with more render. You’ll see the hollows because of their lighter colour. Screed the wall again for a flat surface.
  • Step 5. Float the wall to close the surface

    Next, you’ll need to float the wall to fill in any small hollows. This will also close the surface to make it durable. You may need to add a little water as you work, depending on how dry it is. 
  • Step 6. Sponge the wall for a smooth finish

    The last step is sponging the wall, which will give it that nice, smooth finish. Use a damp sponge – not too wet – for the perfect job. Rinse out your sponge as you go to avoid a scratchy finishing.
  • Step 7. Clean up around any vents

    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 tool to gently cut around it. Then sponge any marks off for the perfect finish.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Broom
  • Float
  • Hawk
  • Mixing bucket
  • Mixing Drill
  • Sponge
  • Straight edge
  • Trowel
  • Water brush

Materials

  • Render product
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