Renders and plaster products from Rockcote Enterprises are available in both pre-mixed and dry options. Pre-mixed renders are ready to scoop out and apply while post-mixed or dry-mix powders need mixing on site.
Each type of render has its unique benefits. However, your choice will depend on the type of job, location and design objective. Rockcote examines the pros and cons of pre-mixed and post-mixed renders below.
Pre-mixes offer convenience – there’s no need for extra mixing equipment or effort as the renders are ready to go straight out of the bucket onto the work surface. They are also excellent specialist renders, better for smaller jobs and specific applications. Acrylic renders need to be pre-mixed due to their formula and ingredients, but provide an incredibly durable, flexible finish. This flexibility makes them less prone to cracking, resulting in more durable outcomes with reduced maintenance.
Since the renders are precisely pre-mixed, the product will always be consistent. You will get the same texture, colour and finish every single time. If you are planning to leave your render bare without painting over the top, you can accomplish two jobs at the same time, giving you an even veneer that is also your plaster foundation.
The pre-mixed option saves a great deal of time, especially in small jobs. It is a handy solution that saves you money if you are hiring a plasterer or tradesperson for the job.
Rockcote recommends pre-mixed renders to home renovators and DIY projects because of their convenience, flexibility and ease of use.
Now, for the cons. Pre-mixed render packs don’t go far. While a pre-mix can save on labour, it also costs more per square metre and requires more units to be bought, picked up or delivered. On a smaller project, these positive and negative costs can even out, but for a large job, pre-mixed render can really add up the expense.
Consistency can occasionally also work against you. While you can achieve an even texture with pre-mixed render, some plastering techniques work far better with a dry-mix plaster, though these usually require the skills of an expert.
Dry-mix cement rendering is a hardy solution for external plasterwork. Particularly ideal for larger areas, it not only saves money but also allows you more time to work. Dry mixes need to be mixed in batches as they dry out quickly but you can lightly spray it down to moisten it and make it more workable. Avoid over-watering as it will spoil the entire job.
Dry-mix works particularly well on masonry surfaces, such as brickwork or cinderblock work. However, the work will require plastering mesh if the mix is being applied to a smooth surface.
Cement or concrete plaster is excellent for painting. More absorbent than pre-mixed renders, the paint binds much better with the render surface, making application easier and longer lasting.
Dry-mix is generally better used by professionals as it requires both knowledge and labour to mix to the correct consistency. Dry mixes also demand patience and experience to create the ideal finish. However, those same professionals can use a variety of techniques to create unique, creative and expressive finishes that are hard, even impossible, to replicate in pre-mixed acrylic renders.
Colouring a dry-mix can be complicated. Since you will be mixing on site manually and in batches, there is a lot more risk of varied colour and texture. However, the outcome could be a bonus, with these irregularities adding to a more rustic, bespoke, artisanal look. This works particularly well with Mediterranean-style projects or areas surrounded in natural materials or surroundings.
The size of your job, the area and location you are rendering and the desired finish are the key factors that will determine your choice of render between pre-mixed and post-mixed options. Once you have this information, give your Rockcote expert a call to match the best product to your needs.