Lots of people ask us about how to mosaic a table. Especially, how to mosaic a design onto a table top. This is one of our favorite types of mosaic projects and we have lots of tips and tricks to share.
In this step by step tutorial we’ll tell you how to transfer your design onto the table using the grid method. We’ll show you how to cut the tiles to fit into your design. Then we’ll share how we mix the grout and apply it to the mosaic. It’s a super fun project, and when you’re done you’ll have your own cool mosaic table made by you! We have a whole course in Mosaic on Curious.com including how to make this table. Curious is a super fun way to learn anything and you can find our lessons here.
How To Mosaic A Table
17 3/4″ Wood round
4 Table legs
Krylon Primer and Spray Paint in Mushroom Gray
1# Bag 3/4″ Mosaic Mercantile Classic Glass Tiles in each color: Mushroom (Gray), Urchin (Green), Surf (Dark Blue), Tide (Frosty Blue)
1 pound Sanded Grout – Snow White
Beacon Quick Grip Glue
Wheel cutters or tile nippers
Disposable mixing container (like an oatmeal canister)
Cup for water
Pail for rinsing sponge
Spray bottle of water
Latex type gloves
Face mask (optional)
Protective leather gloves
1. Prime and paint tabletop and legs.
2. Draw your design on the tabletop with chalk. To do this, print out your design. Here’s our design if you want to use it. (Right-click to download.)
Draw a 16-square grid on the template (3 horizontal lines and 3 vertical lines) using the yardstick and pencil. Start by drawing a line through the center horizontally, then one vertically. Draw a line halfway between the horizontal center line and the top edge. Then the bottom edge. Then draw a line halfway between the vertical center line and the left edge. Then the right edge.
Draw a scaled-up 16-square grid on the wood round tabletop using chalk. The grid on the tabletop will be larger, but will have 3 horizontal lines and 3 vertical lines just like the template.
Copy the design from the print-out square by square onto the tabletop using chalk.
3. Break tiles into smaller pieces. To do this, start by putting on your safety glasses and protective gloves.
Grasp the edge of a tile with the blades of the nippers or cutters. Hold the blades in the direction you want to cut. Gently squeeze the nippers or cutters to break the tile. Repeat to make several smaller pieces of all the tile colors, but do not cut all the tiles. Leave some whole.
Here’s a video we made showing how to cut tiles for mosaics:
4. Fill in your design on the tabletop with each tile color.
Glue each piece down as you go by dabbing a small amount of glue on the rough side of each tile piece. If you can’t find a tile piece to fit in your design, repeat the tile cutting process from step 3 to cut the right size and shape piece. This is the fun part. Kind of like doing a puzzle! Continue to glue down tiles until tabletop is entirely covered. Let the glue dry thoroughly.
5. Mix the grout. Lay down a drop cloth. Tape off the edges of the tabletop with masking tape. Wear a dust mask if desired and don your latex-type gloves. Mix the grout according to the directions on the package. (Our grout required one part water to seven parts grout.) Blend the grout and water in the oatmeal canister using the stirring stick until it is the consistency of natural peanut butter. The grout stays workable for about 15 minutes, so be ready to grout the mosaic!
6. Grout the mosaic. Spread the grout onto the surface of the mosaic right over the tiles. It seems like you’re ruining the mosaic, but you’re not!
Use a sponge or putty knife to spread the grout around all the tiles. Make sure you apply the grout around the outside edges of the tabletop tiles and in between each and every tile. Remove excess grout from tile surfaces with the sponge without digging the grout out from between the tiles. Let the grout dry for 30 minutes. Check on the grout as it is drying and spray it with a mist of water if there are any areas that look like they are drying faster than the rest. This will prevent cracks.
7. Buff the mosaic. After 30 minutes, use a paper towel or damp sponge to wipe the grout haze off the mosaic tiles.
Be careful not to remove the grout from between the tiles. Let dry for another 30 minutes.
8. Buff the tiles again with a paper towel or damp sponge. Repeat the drying and buffing process if necessary.
Now sit back and enjoy your handiwork! Good job!
Jennifer & Kitty