If you fancy updating your garden and are wondering what do with an old garden wall, then why not think about rendering it? It’s an easy process to do yourself if you have the time, the weather, and the right materials.
Rendering is simply using a combination of cement and sand which you use to coat the wall with, giving it a whole new look. It is the perfect way to hide old or ugly brickwork and to create a solid looking wall all in one color.
There are a few things you need to do to prepare your wall before you can start adding any kind of rendering to cover it:
Prepare Your Wall
You need to use a sharp chisel to scrape off any old render, mortar or paint, or anything else that is stuck to your wall. You need to make sure that the wall surface is clean and clear of any unwanted bumps and lumps.
Once you have removed all of this, you need to clear the wall of any moss or mold that is growing on it. The easiest way to do this is to use a stiff garden broom or scrubbing brush and some soapy water and just brush the wall to clear all dirt and plant material from it.
The final stage in preparing your wall is to spray it with water. Ideally, you would use your hosepipe to spray the whole wall. The aim is to stop your rendering from drying out too quickly, which is important on porous walls.
Prepare the Area
You need to protect the ground around the wall from any render which might drip down or fall onto the floor while you are working, otherwise, you will be forever trying to chisel off bits of render from the floor.
The best way to do this is to place some old sheets or clothes which are taped to the floor, covering all the ground in front of the wall. Taping them down will stop them from moving as you walk on them, reducing the risk of tripping on them.
Prepare The Render Mix
Render comes in several colors, so you need to buy the render mortar in your preferred color and follow the instructions from the manufacturer on how much water requires mixing with the mortar to get a perfect consistency.
Use either a bucket or a wheelbarrow to mix the render mortar with the right amount of water, as per the instructions. You will need to make sure the bucket or wheelbarrow is on a flat surface and then mix the two together so there are no lumps left in the render.
It might be worth renting a mechanical mixer to make this process less hard work for you and be completed more quickly. The final mixture should be thick and resemble paste. Don’t forget to wash the tools used to mix the render otherwise it will go hard, and they will be useless.
Start Applying The Mixture
You will need a trowel to apply your render mixture to your wall. Press it firmly into the wall and work upwards until you have applied one solid coat which should be around half a centimeter thick all over the wall.
Next, you will need to make the render level so use something straight, like the edge of a piece of wood, which you can then run over the surface of the render. Start at the bottom of the wall and work upwards so the render is completely level.
You will need a scratching comb that you now need to run across the whole surface of the render, to create even markings across the whole of your wall. These scratches will help make sure the second coat sticks.
Watch this YouTube video on how to render a garden wall:
Leave the First Coat to Dry
You now need to leave the wall to dry and it should start to become harder and sticking to the wall within around half an hour, but it will take at least two hours before it is completely dry. It’s important that the first layer is completely dry before you apply the second layer.
Apply a Second Layer of Render
It’s now time to apply the next layer of render in exactly the same way, but this time it should be around one centimeter thick. This time leave it to dry for half an hour before using the wood to even it out again.
Give the Wall the Finish You Require
You can now decide what kind of finish you want your render to have. If you want it to be smooth, then take a damp sponge and wipe it over the whole of the wall to give a completely smooth appearance.
If you want it to look more brushed, then use a soft brush to mark the wall instead. The finish is entirely your choice but should be done while the render is still wet.
You need to let your newly rendered wall dry for 24 hours and then spray it with warm water once a day. This will stop the render from drying out and cracking. After around five days of doing this, your rendered wall will be completely finished.