A Guide to Rendering 

Are you considering rendering your home? 


Improving the aesthetics and value of your property are just one of the many reasons home owners are investing in the exterior of their homes.  In the last decade, new techniques and technologies have offered a range of options and finishes. Here we have put together a guide on finding the best method for you and your property. 

What is Render?


Render is a coating similar to plaster, except where plaster is applied to the inside of homes - render is applied to the outside. It acts as a protective layer against weathering and rainwater penetration - as well as providing a smooth finish to conceal its original surface.

Points to Consider

It is important to consider why you are rendering your home, as this may help you to decide what rendering method is best for you. Perhaps you want to improve the visuals of your home, require less maintenance on the exterior of the house, have existing damp or insulation problems or need to conceal the brickwork of a new build addition such as a porch or extension.

If you are concerned about any existing cracks in the wall, you should consider getting these surveyed. Whilst there are methods to strengthen cracks, if there are structural issues - the cracks will resurface through the render.

Bear in mind that all external details such as pipes and guttering, alarm boxes or similar will need to be removed before applying the render. Angle beads will be applied around windows and doors for a smooth edge - If you were considering replacing windows or doors its wise to do this before investing in a rendering system. If using a colour render system, its important to note that you cannot 'patch in' any areas as the colour will not match the  existing. 

If you are having draught, warmth or damp issues, considering an added a layer of insulation to your home may be most beneficial - read more about this under External Wall Insulation 

Types of Render

Traditional methods such as sand and cement and pebbledash are seeing a decline as new modern techniques are providing more benefits. Scroll to read more, or select the type from below:


Sand and Cement Render 

Arguably the most traditional method, this thick coat render is applied to the substrate at a depth of between 10 and 15mm using a sand and cement mixture. This offers the most cost effective method to carry out, and can be applied quickly and easily.


Thick coat renders do have the disadvantage of having 'no give' and as your home contracts and expands throughout the seasons, the render is prone to cracking. This render is not waterproof, and will require a sealant or paint for protection, It can also take up to three months to dry before a sealant or paint can be applied

Ideal for:

  • New builds, where movement is less likely

  • Projects on a budget

  • Where maintenance or upkeep is not an issue (repainting, or crack repairs) although easy to repair and rectify.

  • Appliance in harsher months, easier to dry than other coatings. 


Silicone Render 

Our render of choice, this modern method of render is an example of a thin coat finish. It is applied to the substrate at 6-8mm and so it is extremely flexible. This offers a low maintenance investment, as this finish offers no cracking for up to 10 years if installed correctly. Silicone Renders come in a range of colours and finishes, taking away the need to paint or upkeep the face of your home. It's breathable surface allows water vapour to pass through it, preventing damp. Silicone renders are also hydrophobic which enables it to be self cleaning. Last of all it looks impressive. 

Rains Plastering are approved installers of the UK's largest independent silicone coloured renders manufacturer -KREND. 

Ideal for:

  • Appliance in Spring - Autumn

  • Property close by to plant life and trees (self cleaning properties)

  • Achieving a modern, sleek look 

  • Low Maintenance 

  • Peace of mind, can be offered with a 10 year no crack guarantee 

  • Seeking a premium product

  • No painting, as the colour is in the render


Lime Render 

Despite the imagery, this lime is associated with limestone and not the fruit. Another example of a traditional render system used popularly on period buildings. Although a thick coat render, the limestone gives this coating the advantage of being both breathable and flexible. This finish is not water repellent but instead absorbs water, allowing it to evaporate when the rain has dried up. Promoted as Eco friendly, as the Lime draws CO2 from the air during its curation process.  However there are set backs with maintenance, needing a  regular coating with a lime wash

Ideal for:

  • Applying to varied substrates, compatible with most 

  • Achieving a traditional look

  • Period properties


Pebble Dash

Is not an example of a render system, but rather a decorative finish (typically accompanied with sand and cement render) A popular method in the 60s and 70s, today it is commonly used on new additions to the house (such as an extension) to match in with the existing property. Requiring very low maintenance, pebble dash is hard wearing and contains water shedding properties. The surface area can either be painted or left in its natural state.  

Ideal for:

  • Projects on a budget

  • Low maintenance - even when painted

  • Impact resistance


Monocouche Render

Meaning 'one coat' in french - this modern technique is becoming increasingly popular. This type of thick coat render is available in a range of colours, factory mixed and so this appliance only needs water to be added.  Said to last around 25 years without fading, monocouche can be applied directly to brick or block work, and is both durable and weatherproof. Downfalls are that it is prone to cracking.

Ideal for:

  • Block or brickwork surfaces

  • Low maintenance

  • Long lasting 

  • No painting, as the colour is in the render 


Acrylic Render

Another modern technique, Acrylic render contains a type of plastic and an be applied as a thin coat or thick coat render. Extremely durable, offering impact resistance and greater resistance to cracking.  Downfalls are that it does not allow the property to breathe and can attract algae - best suited to properties away from plant life and trees. 

Ideal for:​

  • No painting, as the colour is in the render

  • Long lasting

  • Low maintenance, except occasional jet washing of walls to keep clean

  • Impact resistance 

  • Fast application

Tyrolean/Rough Cast

Another decorative thin coat finish often used on a wide range of substrates from flush sand and cement and old pebbledash (very versatile) Comes in a range of colours. Known as a cheap, quick, exterior textured wall coating that is normally applied to poor quality surfaces to hide brick or render underneath

Ideal for:

  • Updating existing pebble dash without having to hack it off

  • A cost effective, quick method



An environmentally friendly option, this clay render is best suited over straw or timber. Unfortunately this method is proven to be high maintenance, as it has the tendency to hold water and has a poor resistance to erosion.

Ideal for:

  • Eco friendly option

  • Timber builds

  • Where maintenance or upkeep is not an issue