Mosaic tiles can embellish almost anything from furniture and walls to floors and fountains. The versatility of the mosaic to be shaped into almost any image and the durability of tile have combined to make mosiacs a common surface treatment. One way to bring mosaic art into your home is by applying mosaics to something like a mirror. The mosaic can cover an outdated or ugly mirror to create a completely new look.
Find a mirror with a large surface frame. This frame can be old and unattractive or even damaged. What you want to look for is sturdy construction and a wide surface for you to tile over.
Place the mirror face up on your work surface. Tape along the edge of the mirror with painter's tape. Cover the face of the mirror with brown paper bags or thick paper. If the mirror frame is slick or shiny, cut or scratch with a utility knife around the frame to give something for the adhesive to attach to.
Select or draw out a pattern to use around the perimeter of your mirror. You may want to sketch this directly on the paper bags so you will have an easy reference when you start applying the tile. Mark your design directly on the mirror frame with a permanent marker once you have finalised your design.
Attach your mosaic pieces using an acrylic tile adhesive. Because mirrors are considered non-wet applications, you can use a tile adhesive for non-wet applications rather than a mortar. Make sure your pieces are level with each other and that your grout lines are similar in size between your pieces.
Cut tiles using tile nippers. It is a good idea to wear safety glasses each time you use the nippers. Make sure you don't get adhesive on the surface of your tiles as it may not come off later. After all your tiles are in place, allow your mirror to sit for 24 hours for the adhesive to dry.
Mix grout in a small tub. After you mix the grout to the consistency of frosting, allow the mixture to sit for five minutes. This allows your grout to mature a little, and it will be easier to apply and work with. Press grout between your tiles using a grout float. A grout float is a rectangular rubber trowel with a handle on the back. Drag your float across the tiles at a 45 degree angle in all directions to make sure you fill all holes and gaps.
Squirt grout between the tiles using a grout bag if you feel the float is too messy for your project. The grout bag is like a frosting bag and you squeeze the bag for the grout to come out in a small stream. You will usually have to keep the grout a little more wet or runny when you use a grout bag.
Clean your grout within fifteen minutes. Use clean water and a clean sponge. Change the water frequently. Wipe off the tiles until no haze remains. Allow your mirror 24 hours for the grout to dry completely.
An artists palette knife works well for small grout areas. Weigh your new mirror before hanging, and be sure to use hangers designed for the weight of the mirror.
Tips and warnings
- An artists palette knife works well for small grout areas. Weigh your new mirror before hanging, and be sure to use hangers designed for the weight of the mirror.