Making a Mosaic Table

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My friend Leslie and I made our first mosaic table together! We took one of those really inexpensive wood tables (round, with three detachable legs) from Target and made it look really different.

Table to put mosaic on
Work surface and newspaper to protect work surface
Glass pepples (avail. at craft shops) - we used clear, white, and shades of blue
Mosaic glue
Mosaic grout (we used a black pre-mixed grout, which was super-easy)
Popsicle sticks (or some other straight piece to help spread the grout evenly)
Bucket with water (so you're not putting grout down the sink when you start to clean)
Paint for underside and/or legs
Sponge brush (those $.30 black sponge brushes to apply paint and varnish)
Clear varnish for use on outdoor pieces

First, we decided on doing a swirl pattern, so we started laying the pebbles on the table (without gluing yet) just to get the idea of how to lay it out:

Next, we used mosaic glue to anchor the pebbles onto the table:

Here it is, all glued in. We waited a few hours for the glue to dry:

...then we started applying the grout. We used a popsicle stick to make the grout even over the entire surface. It's really important to get it deeply into all the voids between pebbles:

We waited 15 minutes, then started wiping it all off with the sponge. We would rinse the sponge in our bucket, then go back to wiping.

One thing I learned while doing this is that you want the mosaic to be uniform all around the edge. On the pic below, you can see a little white where the grout didn't go all the way to the edge since the marble was so far away. I just took my black paint (after this pic) and touched that up, and it's totally unnoticable now. Since this was the first time I had done a mosaic table, I didn't think about that happening...but for next time, I will know to be better about laying things out so the edge is neater and uniform.

It took a while to get all the grout off the top of the marbles, but here's how it looked:

I waited 24 hours and then painted the underside of the table with black paint using my sponge brush. I can't decide whether to paint the legs or not, though! Since this table is going outside and the rocking chairs on my porch are their natural wood color, I'm wondering how I want to do those...I may just stain the legs for outside protection.

After a couple of days, when the grout had enough time to completely set, I varnished the top of the table to protect it from the weather. Here's how it looks!

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