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Early 19th century plasterer at work - painting by John Cranch (17511821)

Detailed Plastering Rendering Information

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Plastering and rendering are both the process of covering walls. The main difference in the two practices is that plastering refers to coating the interior walls, whilst rendering is the coating of exterior walls. The major distinction between plastering and rendering is the strength of the materials used in each. Nonetheless plaster and render are both made from the same building materials including, cement, sand, water and lime gypsum.


Plaster differs to render as it contains less cement in its composition, as it is used to coat the interior walls and ceilings of buildings, so that they will be smooth and flat for painting or wallpapering.

Plaster must be set and completely dry before walls are painted or decorated. Freshly plastered walls should be left to fully dry for at least one week to a month before painting. You can tell that freshly plastered walls are completely dry when there are no dark patches visible, and a light uniform colour is apparent across all walls. There are also other factors at play that will affect drying time of plaster such as the number of layers of plaster used, central heating and seasonal weather. Make sure your home is properly ventilated during the drying stage, open windows and doors to allow for natural ventilation. Be aware that newly plastered walls that dry too quickly are subject to cracking.


Rendering is used to coat exterior surfaces of buildings and regards damp proofing internal walls too. It contains a higher percentage of cement within its composition. Rendering is applied to internal walls to stop damp and the outside of buildings to not only make the outside facade more visually appealing but also provide additional waterproofing and fireproofing efficiencies.

Rendering is made up of a composition of lime gypsum, sand and cement, bonding agents, drying additives and colouring. Lime gypsum is key to giving the coating its creamy appearance and smooth finish. Finer sand must be used in the rendering mixture to create the coveted finish.

Render is layered onto exterior walls in sheets, applied with a trowel and finished with a number of different tools, dependent upon the desired finished appearance. Rendering can either have a smooth, flat finish or a textured, patterned appearance, determined by the homeowners personal taste.

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26 November 2020
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