What is rendering? Rendering is the application of a surface layer on a solid surface usually in relation to Building Architecture.
Surface layers can be applied to for example, brick or cement walls, mud, stone board or foam walls, either externally or internally to a building.
The surface layer ‘look’ can be coloured in the rendering process or after the application.
There are a variety of “feels” to rendering such as smooth or textured and these can either fine to coarse.
Depending on the type of texture, can impact the look of the surface to the onlooker.
The History of Rendering
Rendering has been used for thousands of years. It is one the building techniques that has survived from generation to generation. Tools used by Artisan’s thousands of years ago are hardly different to those used back in those times.
The following pictures below from Pompei in Naples Italy, show rendering from 2000 years ago. You can notice the surface treatment over the wall with cement based renders.
You will also notice the Fresco’s (Artwork) and the decorative application of figurines placed on the ceilings and walls. Fresco’s are a painting created rapidly in watercolour on wet plaster on a wall or ceiling, so that the colours penetrate the plaster and become fixed as it dries.
Pictures copyright – Chris Mundy 2014
Rendering in Australia
Recorded rendering history in Australia goes back to introduction of Europeans in Australia. Early colonial houses utilised rendering to internal walls to protect against the elements.
As settlement cities developed, european influences of the industrial revolution terrace based housing utilised rendering on internal walls.
In more recent times, the old Parliament House in Canberra, Australia is a significant icon and example of a rendered building on it’s external features.
Types of Rendering
- Cement Rendering – Cement rendering is the application of a premixed layer of sand and cement to brick, cement, stone or mud brick. It is often textured, coloured or painted after application. It is generally used on exterior walls but can be used to feature an interior wall.
- Harl – Harling describes an exterior building-surfacing technique which results in a long-lasting weatherproof shield for a stone building. Harling as a technique provides the surface of many Scottish castles, but it is also used for a variety of common everyday building types.
- Lath and plaster – Lath and plaster is a building process used to finish mainly interior walls and ceilings in Canada and the United States until the late 1950s. After the 1950s, drywall began to replace the lath and plaster process in the United States.
- Pargeting – Pargeting (or sometimes pargetting) is a decorative plastering applied to building walls. The term, if not the practice, is particularly associated with the English counties of Suffolk and Essex. In the neighbouring county of Norfolk the term pinking is used. – Tim Buxbaum, ‘Pargeting’, The Building Conservation Directory, 2001
- Plaster – The term plaster can refer to gypsum plaster (also known as plaster of Paris), lime plaster, or cement plaster. – Franz Wirsching “Calcium Sulfate” in Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2012 Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a04_555
- Polished plaster – Polished plaster is a term for the finish of some plasters and for the description of new and updated forms of traditional Italian plaster finishes.
- Stucco – Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as decorative coating for walls and ceilings and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture. Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials such as concrete, cinder block, or clay brick and adobe.
- Tadelakt – The craft of “tadelakt” is a Moroccan tradition, using lime from The Marrakech Plateau, where the original tadelakt lime can be found. That’s where the word “tadelakt” comes from, it means “to rub in”, where olive soap is rubbed in resulting in a hydrophobic lime plaster used on both the interior and exteriors of buildings. It is the traditional coating of the palaces, hammams and bathrooms of the riads in Morocco.
Sources for the above are referenced from Wikipedia
Traditional Rendering compared to Acrylic Rendering
Traditional rendering is mostly based around the use of cement, sand and lime.
Lime assists by allowing the render to be more workable and also assists the drying process lessening cracks.
Full drying time can be up to 28 days depending on temperature and climate.
Acrylic Rendering utilises modern polymers incorporated into the base product providing greater adhesion, flexibility, strength and water proofing.
Acrylic Rendering can be used on a variety of surfaces such as concrete, cement blocks and concrete panelling, mud type bricks.
They also provide more effective ways to apply the render to the surfaces.
Find out more about getting your home rendered.