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How to float render?

How to float render?

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What is render?

Brown render on wall Render, also known as stucco, is a type of plaster used on external walls and is normally made up of three parts plastering sand and one part cement, together with a waterproofing agent. You can buy render in various different colours, or paint over it afterwards.
Three layers of render - scratch, brown and finish coats Two or three layers of render can be used. The first layer is most often known as the scratch coat, the second as the brown coat, and the top layer as the finish coat. Floating may be carried out on the second coat and, if there is one, the third, depending on what finish is required.

Floating the wall

Brown coat being laid over scratch coat The first (scratch) coat acts as a base for the next layer and doesn’t have to be floated, so we’ll start with the second, or brown, coat.
Fingermarks show render is too soft to use float on yet

Step 1 – Check render is ready

Having applied the second layer of render (brown coat), wait until it starts to firm up. This can take anything from an hour to half a day, depending on the weather, the type of render and its thickness. When the render is ready to work on it should have a slightly spongy feel, but not be soft enough to leave fingermarks.

Straightening layer of render with wooden rod

Step 2 – Straighten render

Pull a long piece of wood, called a feather edge or straight edge, over the wall to roughly straighten it. Fill in any large holes and cracks using a plastering trowel.

Using darby on rendered wall Many plasterers like to also run a darby over the wall at this stage. You need to hold the darby nearly flat against the wall, with its sharp edge pointing downwards, at an angle of about 45 degrees. Pull the darby slowly upwards, pressing firmly against the render as you go to flatten the surface as much as possible.
Scrubbing wall with wooden float

Step 3 – Level off render

Use a wooden or plastic float in a circular scrubbing motion to even out the surface, pressing the float firmly against the wall to flatten the render. This will fill in any troughs and level off the high spots.

Floating render with rubber float

Step 4 – Float top coat

After floating the brown coat, wait about a week to ten days for the surface to cure and fill in any cracks that appear before applying the top coat. When it has begun to firm up, take a hard rubber float and press it against the wall in a circular motion to compact the render and make it as flat as possible.

Floating exterior wall with sponge

Step 5 – Improve the finish

Use a slightly dampened sponge float to perfect the finish. The sponge gently moves the material around, so any little cracks and holes left will be filled in and the surface will look much smoother.

Adding texture to rendered wall with nail float

Step 6 – Add texture

If texture is required, you can use a nail float to scratch the wall. This is easiest to do on the same day as applying the render, before it has completely set. Pressing hard on the float, work your way up and down the wall using a circular scrubbing motion.

Donkee says add texture to render all in one go

Wonkee Donkee Tools