Understanding the Difference between Plastering and Rendering

For those who don’t normally work within the trade of plastering, a question often arises about the differences between plastering and rendering. Though most have a general understanding of what it means to plaster a wall, the real confusion arises when trying to figure out how rendering fits into the whole process and more importantly, how it differs.

At its core definitions, there are two main distinctions between what it means to plaster and render. When looking at their practical uses, the differences that emerge are that rendering includes the coating of external walls, while plastering deals with coating interior walls.

Both processes include using a mixture of cement, sand, water, and gypsum, rendering includes using a much heavier hand when adding on the composition.

What Is the Purpose of Rendering?

Rendering includes the process of covering/coating the exterior walls of a building or home. The process is done as a way of keeping the building safe from water or fire damage, as well as, improving the overall aesthetic of the space.

The material for rendering is similar to those used for plastering, though rendering needs a much heavier coating to make the cover good and protective for external settings.

Lime gypsum and fine sand are used to provide the surfaces with a smooth finish. Rendering is done as the final layer on exterior surfaces and can be done in several ways, including smooth, flat, patterned, or textured depending on the desire of the client. You can find both plastering and rendering tools at a hardware store or a plastering superstore.

What Is the Purpose of Plastering?

Plastering is different from rendering in that it is used exclusively for coating the interior walls and ceilings of a building. This is the final stage of a wall and is done so that the wall is for painting or adding on wallpaper. The difference between both mixtures is that the one made for plastering uses relatively less cement, and smoother sand to make the coating lighter and smoother.

Another difference with rendering is that plaster coats are not weather resistant because they do not need to be. Instead, with plastering, the wall is still water-repellent and easy to clean, while also a great way to decorate the surface with a unique texture if need be. It can also serve as a protection from fire, especially for old homes.

Plastering should be left for a good amount of time to settle and dry before being covered in paint or wallpaper; anywhere from a week to a month should be ideal.

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