Why DIY Render is Never a Good Idea

By Jamie Orr
Date 14/02/2022
why diy render is never a good idea

If something needs doing on your property and you want to save money, it’s only natural to ask whether you can do it yourself – or DIY for short. Decorating, gardening and putting up shelves are amongst the most popular DIY activities. But should DIY render be joining them?

In short, the answer is no. In this post, we’ll discuss how DIY render works and why it won’t cut the mustard for your walls.

How does DIY render work?

DIY render products are available at most home improvement retailers like B&Q or Wickes. If you wanted to try your hand at it, you’d also need the right trowels and some rendering tape to create smooth lines around windows.

The fact that all of these are readily available leads some people to believe that rendering is something they can tackle themselves. Technically, that’s true – you can attempt rendering yourself with these steps:

  • Prepare your walls – As well as cleaning walls down and sufficiently damping them, you may have to install timber battens to divide the wall into segments. Use wood with around 15mm thickness and drill into your walls vertically every metre or so.
  • Apply your render – Use a plastering trowel to put the render mixture on the wall. Press it firmly on with a thickness of around 5mm for the first coat. Continue to work up the wall from the bottom, aiming for the same thickness.
  • Apply another coat – Once the first coat is dry, you can apply a thicker second coat of around 10mm. The overall thickness should match the battens or come slightly over them. Use a straight edge to ensure render is level, filling in any holes before levelling again.
  • Remove battens – If you’ve used battens (which is advisable for DIY render) you can then remove them from the walls. Fill in the gaps using the same render mixture.
  • Levelling render – Once your render has hardened slightly, you should use a float to press it against the wall. Using circular motions will smooth out the render and fill in any holes on your wall. After that, you’ll need to sponge down the wall when the render has dried to improve the finish.

However, as you might be able to tell from the steps above, it’s highly difficult, extremely time consuming and – ultimately – doesn’t give you good enough results. In truth, rendering takes specialist training and years of experience to get right.

DIY render vs professional application

Here’s what you can expect from a DIY render job compared to professional render application


One of the main reasons to use render on walls is to provide a smooth, uniform finish that looks great. That’s exactly what you’ll get with one of CorkSol’s approved applicators, for example. The result will enhance your property’s kerb appeal and could even add to its value.

DIY render simply won’t give you that same impressive appearance. This is simply down to the fact that rendering is a skilful job. It takes years of experience and rigorous training to master the craft. Even if you fancy yourself as a dab hand at decorating or other DIY jobs, you’ll end up with walls that are uneven, rough and patchy.

For your home, that means a shabby look that gets passers by looking for the wrong reasons. It’s only a matter of time before you regret your decision and try again or (hopefully) opt for a professional job.


Aesthetics aside, render is used to protect walls from the elements. Coating the entire wall stops water from getting to your brickwork and, in turn, prevents moisture ingress and damp. That’s what you’ll get with a reliable contractor.

They know exactly how to apply render to maximise its qualities. That includes the right preparation, thickness of the coat, drying times and conditions for both application and curing. They also have knowledge of the best products to protect your walls – or even exclusive access to those products, as with CorkSol approved applicators.

With DIY render, you’ll struggle to achieve the same level of protection, meaning water could get through. Even something as simple as uneven coverage can leave parts of your wall exposed to the elements. Over time, the render will break down, damaging both the protection and aesthetics – even if it looked fine to begin with.


On top of everything else, DIY render won’t last. From the preparation of walls to the right amount of render, there are many secret details that come naturally to professionals. Getting one or several things wrong will inevitably lead to a substandard job which cracks and comes away from your wall in a few months or years.

The alternative? Professionals don’t just do a great job that stands the test of time. In many cases, they provide a guarantee to back it up. SprayCork comes with a warranty of 25 years, which is honoured by our applicators throughout the UK. That means you can rest assured that your walls will stay protected and look great for years to come.

False economy

The one advantage of DIY render is supposedly that it saves you money compared to a professional job. But if you have to replace it time and again, are you really saving anything? Sometimes, DIY render will be repaired or reapplied time and again. The costs soon stack up for extra materials, not to mention your valuable time.

Alternatively, many people decide that it’s not for them after one or more attempts and get the professionals in. That job could be more expensive if they have to remove your DIY render before getting started. In short, it’s never worth it – “buy cheap, buy twice”.

Why DIY Render is Never a Good Idea

Photo credit Next Level Plastering

Leave it to the experts

The verdict is in on DIY render – and it’s a big no from us. At CorkSol, we understand the importance of skill, experience and training when it comes to applying render. That’s why we have a National Network of Approved Applicators, who have exclusive access to our products.

All our applicators are fully trained in the unique spray application process for both external and internal walls. That’s the only way we can ensure the best results for properties across the UK – including thermal insulation, noise reduction and water resistance – alongside a 25-year guarantee.

If you would like to find out more about our innovative SprayCork solution or be put in touch with your nearest Approved Applicator, simply contact us today.

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