12 January 2011

How to mosaic - Grouting (Part Three)

Once your pieces are glued down properly- and not able to be moved at all, you can begin grouting.
Make sure the mosaic is clean- no loose bits anywhere.
Mix the grout according to the instructions on the bag it came in. I add some bonding liquid- about 25ml to 250ml of water. This makes the grout waterproof and stronger-  and you can also experiment with water based paint  and pigments to tint the grout (if you want color). Finally, add the grout powder- usually it is about 3 parts powder to one part water. I just go by feel now- it is fairly forgiving stuff. Just make sure your mixture is firm and gelled before using. Definitely not sloppy and runny, or dry and crumbly. Add more water or more powder until consistency is correct and leave to stand for 15 mins before using.



Then get a sponge or spatula and just blob and smear it all over the mosaic. Wipe it into all the grooves.
Do NOT try and clean it too soon. BE PATIENT!!  Wait 15 to 20 minutes and then clean off the excess grout with a DAMP sponge, not dripping. Try not to re-wet the grout. Don't go crazy cleaning at this stage. Leave it for another 15 minutes. At this stage one is kind of desperate to see the finished results so ALL beginners clean the grout off too soon. Then you end up with valleys or as I call them "dongas" between your pieces where dirt will collect and make your mosaic look grubby very quickly. If this does happen- you can re grout and enjoy the process all over again.  Once the grout is level with all your mosaic pieces and dry, you can give it a final polish with a dry cloth and step back and admire your artwork.
If you have used  ready mixed adhesive (not the cementy kind) you can use acetone to clean any remnants off the surface.

12 comments:

  1. Karin Amoils8:07 AM

    Thanks for the very useful tips! Ka

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  2. The lights really set it off at night, don;t they?

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    Replies
    1. They definitely do. I am going to set table up with some LED solar powered lights, one day when I get a "round tuit"

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  3. Awesome creativity and so is colour combination!

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    Replies
    1. thanks! I have this table back at home now, as no one bought it after all these years. People seem to prefer the mosaic tables with more colour and contrast. This one is too pastel I think. I have just been admiring the garden birds feeding from it.

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  4. Anonymous4:49 AM

    I used a wrong white grout, bur looks wrong. Can I regrout it while it is still damp

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    Replies
    1. Let it dry before re grouting

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  5. Anonymous4:50 AM

    can I regrout a mosaic while damp. I used a wrong colour grout

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    Replies
    1. I replied to you in a separate comment- see below

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  6. You could scrape it out now, while damp. But- I have also tinted the dried grout afterwards by applying water based artists paint- allow it to dry on grout, but wipe off before it dries in the tile/mosaic pieces. that only works if the pieces have a glassy or glazed surface. if you decide to just wipe as much off as the white grout as you can now- you can re-grout- but later when the first bit has dried.

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  7. Hi there, I am new to mosaic-ing and I admit to being too eager to wipe off the excess grout and I now have valleys between tiles. This was about a week ago so it's well dry by now. Can I go back and add another layer of grout to bring it up to the level of the tiles? Thanks. Shona

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    Replies
    1. yes you can, it dries faster the 2nd time, so don't let it go rock hard either..I still wipe grout too soon sometimes.

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