But before you start slapping mud on a wall there are a few basic points of information you need to be aware of. Cement rendering is a wet trade and therefore quite messy. Making sure you protect floors, door and window frames, roof, fences, drains, light fittings etc, before you start rendering is just as important as producing a beautiful, freshly rendered wall.
The next thing to consider is the basic mixing tools to mix your cement render mix. Generally a cement mixer would be ideal, however a sturdy wheelbarrow and a larry will also do the job. In this case, you will also need a bit of the good ol’ elbow grease.
You will need a quantity of washed sand, cement and lime or clay to make up your render mix, and these can all be purchased from your local landscape supplies. You may also wish to use corner beads on the angles as a guide. Ensure these are installed straight and plumb, otherwise your wall may resemble something else, and that's not cool!
Once your mud is mixed and ready to go, give the wall a good scrape down and wash down with a hose. This is to remove any loose particles or dust films that may inhibit adhesion of render to the wall. Be sure to evenly wet down the wall otherwise the render will dry out in patches and this will not produce a good finish.
So now it's time to apply the render onto the wall - Showtime! Pick up the wet render mix from out your wheelbarrow with a hawk and trowel. Standing directly in front of the wall, spread the mud onto the wall as evenly as possible. Repeat this step until the entire wall has cement render on it.
If you have got to this point and haven't given up, then pat yourself on the back! I know a few so-called renderers who would struggle to get to this step!
Ok, so the renders on the wall, what do you do next?
You need to screed the wall. To do this you will need a screed or straightedge, and a spirit level. If you have set up angles or guides, and assuming you set these up plumb, then use them as a guide to ensure the wall is both flat, straight and plumb. Excellent!
The wall is now starting to look good. Pick up your float and start rubbing the wall down in a circular motion to produce a flat, smooth and consistent finish. If the wall is starting to dry out a little at this point, don't be afraid to add a little water to help keep the wall moist and workable.
To finish the wall off all you need to do is pass over the entire wall with a hard sponge followed by a soft sponge. Brilliant! A job well done!
If it is your first time, I would start in an inconspicuous area of the home rather than the front façade just in case it takes you a few goes to get it right. The fact of the matter is that cement rendering is not easy, even for the professionals. It requires adequate and thorough planning, and a clear vision of all of the process steps.