Confusing Product Words



Follow this confusing conversation representative of some typical terms that need further explanation:

Person 1: “I asked for acrylic render but I can see sand and cement on site!”  “I want them to use acrylic render – because it won’t crack

Person 2: “My renderer used sand and cement mixed on site as the first coat but is using acrylic render as the second coat because it is flexible

Person 3:  “Yeah, the acrylic render used on my house was much more rubbery and not as fine as the display home we looked at.  I think renderers all trowel things on differently.  The colour was good though”

Person 2: “Nah I think you are talking about ‘Coloured Render‘ – not acrylic render.

Person 1:  “No, if it is coloured than it is a texture coat. That’s how we are finishing ours.”

Passerby: “It sounds like you are confusing acrylic render with polymer modified renders in a bag”

Person 2: “Pfft – nah mate, my renderer got me to pick up ‘polymer render‘ for our blueboard and it came in a bucket.

Let us explain!…

The definition of the words used to communicate about products can vary from state to state, country to country and tradesmen to tradesmen.  Even manufacturers can chip in with a description or product name that can influence the perception of the product and what it does.

Here is a brief explanation on each of the above:

Acrylic Render 

Bagged render technology has allowed us to come along way in quality control and project efficiency.  This has also been essential to meet the requirements for the new and ever-evolving substrates (wall surfaces) in the market that sand and cement cannot accommodate.

Bagged render is enhanced with acrylic or polymer ‘ingredients’.  This is a simplified description of sophisticated and reliable formulas that can be treated like traditional site mix because they are essentially sand and cement in a bag and are NOT flexible.

The advantages of modern bagged (acrylic) renders:

  • 48 hours curing time (21-28 days for sand & cement) Can be over-coated & finished more efficiently
  • Cost savings
  • Quality and consistency
  • Less risk of contamination
  • No wastage
  • Less bulk on site
  • Range of products for the range of substrates
  • Can accommodate ‘build’ requirements
  • Water resistant
  • Superior work-ability.

The pre-bagged render range also consists of products with a variety of sand grades and ‘densities’ to provide specific technical qualities as well as preferred grain size to the finish.

The process to achieve the flexibility required to bridge normal, hairline cracking in render works is through the texture or membrane ‘paint’ as the finishing coats.  See post on “My render is cracking”…

Polymer Render

Polymer (modified) render can also be a reference for acrylic renders (as above).  AND…It is also a term used, and actual product name (Rockcote brand) for a flexible, full acrylic based (in a bucket) product designed specifically for rigid surfaces such as blue board as an equivalent to render.  It can be used as a base coat and can also be sponge finished to blend with adjacent walls where bagged or cement render has been applied.

Coloured Renders

Render is readily considered a sand and cement product – site mixed or manufactured in a bag.  So when a manufacturer also calls their texture products coloured render we often get customers believing the bagged renders can have colour put through them as a finishing product.  The Rockcote Coloured Render range are products that are actually full acrylic (in a bucket) decorative finishes that can be tinted to your choice of colour.  The products are enhanced with sand (& sometimes quartz and other minerals) carefully graded to achieve specific products and aesthetics.  They are tough, flexible and water resistant and can be left as a finish or over-coated with a quality protective coating (‘membrane paint’) to achieve further technical properties.  These products generally go over a base coat of render.

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