A render is a type of mortar applied as a decorative, weather-resistant finish over an exterior brick or stone surface. Made from cement, fine sand and lime, rendering mortar is usually applied in several coats, with the final coat being the "finish." Many finish effects, such as smooth stucco, rustic English cottage, or marblelike Travertine, can be applied using render, and each one imparts a decorative look to the mortar. A Tyrolean finish, which is also known as an Alpine finish, is an ornamental finish that originated in the Alpine area of Austria.
A Tyrolean finish, which can be made in a variety of colors, is designed to give a weathered look and uneven, often pebbled, texture to the wall where it's applied. Unlike plaster or cement finishes, this type of finish resists cracking. It also helps protect the wall from rain and snow and provides some insulation. A Tyrolean finish is produced by spraying or throwing the render against the wall with the help of a Tyrolean flicker gun. A variety of textures and patterns are possible, depending on how the gun is used, and the finish can also be sanded down, resulting in a "rubbed Tyrolean finish," similar to a knock-down ceiling texture.
A Tyrolean flicker gun is the main tool you need to apply the finish. This hand tool includes a reservoir to hold the render, a spindle with comb-like wires, and a hand crank that's attached to the spindle. A tension bar lets you adjust how much finish you apply. You also need a bucket and trowel to mix the finish with water before you can use it. When the finish mixture is poured into the flicker gun, the spindle picks it up and flicks it onto the wall as you turn the handle. Electric powered versions are also available.
Before you can apply the Tyrolean finish, the wall must be thoroughly cleaned and any cracks in the wall have to be repaired. If you're building a new wall, you'll need to apply an undercoat and several intermediate coats first. These coats help even out the surface and provide adhesion for the finishing coat. If you're refurbishing an old wall, then cleaning and repairing the wall will be enough.
Add 1.05 to 1.32 gallons of clean water to a 55 pound bag of finish, and mix thoroughly for at least ten minutes. The mixture will be creamy and slightly sticky. Apply the first coat with a trowel to achieve a level surface. Use a scratch comb to lightly scratch the surface of the base coat, then wait 24 hours for it to cure.
Tape and cover any areas that you don't plan to render in order to protect them from splashing, then mix a new batch of finish. Use a trowel to apply a .15- to .20-inch coat of finish to the base layer. Then use the Tyrolean flicker gun to apply four to six thin coats of Tyrolean finish. To achieve consistent results, you need to hold the gun at the same angle during the entire application and move at a constant speed. The edge should remain wet while working or a visible line will remain in the finish when you're done. Remix the finish before you refill your gun. It can be difficult to achieve a good result without prior experience or practice.
- Cemex Motars: Educational Guide to Properties of Rendering Mortar
- Top Tradespeople: Plasterer – Create Tyrolean Finish
- WASPA: About Solid Plastering
- Never Paint Again: Painting Pebbledash and Tyrolean Masonry Walls?
- Wetherby: WBS Tyrolean Render Application Guide
- WeatherTex UK: Tyrolean Painting & Repair
Lani Thompson began writing in 1987 as a journalist for the "Pequawket Valley News." In 1993 she became managing editor of the "Independent Observer" in East Stoneham, Maine. Thompson also developed and produced the "Clan Thompson Celiac Pocketguides" for people with celiac disease. She attended the University of New Hampshire.