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Lime Render Mix for External Walls: A Complete Guide for UK Homeowners

Updated December 8, 2023
Lime Render Mix for External Walls A Complete Guide for UK Homeowners

Lime render has been used for centuries in the UK to protect and beautify external walls. This traditional material is making a comeback in modern home renovation, thanks to its natural properties and aesthetic appeal. In this guide, we'll explore how to mix and apply lime render for external walls.

Understanding Lime Render

Lime render is made from a mix of lime, sand, and water. Unlike cement, lime is breathable and flexible, making it ideal for older buildings and those needing to manage moisture effectively.

Benefits of Lime Render

  • Moisture Management: Lime render allows walls to 'breathe,' reducing damp issues.
  • Flexibility: Less prone to cracking compared to cement renders.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Provides a beautiful, traditional finish.
  • Eco-Friendly: Lime is more environmentally friendly than cement.

Preparing the Lime Render Mix


  • Hydrated Lime: Choose high-quality hydrated lime.
  • Sand: Use clean, well-graded sand.
  • Water: Clean, potable water is essential.

Mixing Ratio:

A common ratio for lime render is 1 part lime to 3 parts sand. This can be adjusted for specific requirements and weather conditions.

Mixing Process:

  • Combine Dry Ingredients: Mix the lime and sand thoroughly to ensure an even blend.
  • Add Water Gradually: Slowly add water while stirring until you achieve a creamy, workable consistency. The mix should not be too wet or dry.
  • Resting the Mix: Let the mix rest for a short period after initial mixing to ensure the lime is fully hydrated.

Application Tips

  • Surface Preparation: Ensure the wall is clean and free from loose material. Dampen the wall slightly before application.
  • Applying the First Coat (Scratch Coat): Apply a thinner first layer and score it to provide a key for the next coat.
  • Applying Subsequent Coats: Apply each coat thinly; usually, 2-3 coats are sufficient. Allow each coat to dry and cure properly before applying the next.
  • Curing Time: Lime render takes longer to cure than cement render, so patience is crucial.


  • Regular Checks: Inspect the render periodically for any signs of damage or wear.
  • Maintenance: Lime render may require reapplication or repairs every few years, depending on environmental conditions.


Lime render is an excellent choice for external walls, particularly for those looking for a breathable, flexible, and environmentally friendly option. By following the right mix ratios and application techniques, UK homeowners can achieve a durable and visually pleasing finish.

FAQs for "Lime Render Mix for External Walls"

A common mixing ratio for lime render is 1 part lime to 3 parts sand. This can be adjusted based on the specific requirements of your project and the prevailing weather conditions.

Lime render takes longer to dry and cure compared to cement render. It can take several days to dry and up to several months to fully cure, depending on the thickness of the application and the weather conditions.

Lime render is particularly suitable for older, historic buildings and those built with materials that need to 'breathe'. It's not recommended for non-porous or damp-proofed surfaces without proper preparation.

Yes, lime render is considered more environmentally friendly than cement-based renders. Lime is a natural, sustainable material that has less embodied carbon than cement.

Yes, natural pigments can be added to lime render to achieve various colors. It's important to use pigments compatible with lime to ensure an even color distribution and stability.

Yes, surface preparation is crucial. The wall should be clean, stable, and free of loose material. It may be necessary to dampen the wall slightly before applying the render.

Lime render should be applied in thin coats using a trowel. The first coat, known as the scratch coat, should be scored to provide a key for subsequent coats.

Each layer of lime render should be around 10mm thick. However, this can vary depending on the specific requirements of the wall and the desired finish.

Common issues with lime render include cracking if it dries too quickly or poor adhesion if the mix is incorrect or the surface is improperly prepared.

Lime render requires periodic maintenance, which may include minor repairs and repainting every few years, depending on the environmental conditions and the quality of the application.


Richard Renderman, your trusted rendering expert at MidRender, is passionate about the art of rendering. With years of experience,he crafts…

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