How to make clay render


Dig clay subsoil. Soak overnight. Mash to the consistency of thick lumpy gravy. Gently push through a garden sieve to remove lumps. (Using a stout stick with a rounded end helps prolong the life of the sieve.) Pick out stones. Sieved clay should be the thickness of Greek yoghurt.

Sieve your sand. With our Boulder Clay we have found that one part clay to five parts sand makes a good and durable render. Your mix should be stiff enough to hold its shape. Ratio and consistency will improve with practice.

Clay render looks great on top of wattle and daub (damp down first to get good key). Once applied the render remains workable for several days (depending on the weather). If you don't like the finished panel, add water, remove and re-use. Clay render is the ultimate in natural building materials and sustainability.

The benefits of using clay render are:-

  • Free 'waste' material
  • Easy to use
  • No special tools or skills needed
  • Recyclable
  • After use will return to the earth
  • Non-polluting
  • Hygroscopic
  Clay render in timber frame