From glass mirrors to mosaics, glass adds elegance and sparkle to any home. You can modernise a dated space with a glass mosaic of square tiles or give a cold space warmth with frosted sea glass in random shapes and welcoming colours. Mirrors reflect light and make a space seem larger. Whether you want to personalise a new home or update an old one, adhering decorative glass to the walls will do the trick. Proper adhesion makes the decorations permanent and prevents accidents.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Mild cleanser
- Rubber gloves
- Tile mastic
- Mortar trowel
- Painters tape
Choose a smooth, sturdy wall for your glass piece. Textured walls, like stucco, brick or uneven stone, may not provide the surface adhesion necessary for your piece to stay in place. Choose a smooth painted, glass or wooden wall for this project.
Spray your wall with a mild cleanser and scrub it with a sponge to clean it. The grout may not stick to dust and oils on the wall. Wipe the area dry with a soft cloth. Allow it to dry fully for about 3 hours.
Clean the back of your glass item as you did the wall. If you have many small items, swipe the back of each piece with a damp cloth, placing them in rows to keep track of which ones you cleaned.
Put on rubber gloves and stir your thin-set mortar with a trowel. Scoop up some mortar on the trowel and smooth it over the wall where you want your piece. This works especially well for placing many small glass pieces.
Press your glass piece or pieces into the mortar. Quickly wipe away excess mortar with a soft cloth. Press tape along the edges and across the body of the piece to keep it in place while the mortar dries. Smaller pieces shouldn't need tape; the mortar should be able to support their light weight.
Allow the mortar to cure for at least 48 hours before removing the tape. Remove the tape very slowly. If your piece shows signs of pulling away from the wall, take it down, clean the piece and the wall and reapply the piece. Let it cure for twice the amount of time.
Tips and warnings
- Mortar many glass pieces with tile grout. Swipe the grout over the pieces, pushing it into the cracks. Let the grout dry for half the recommended time and wipe excess grout off of the glass pieces.
- Try liquid nails or tile mastic if your thin set mortar simply won't harden. You could also try to use silicone caulk.
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