DIY Mosaic tile table tops

IMG 20140919 110921Mosaic DIY projects are one of those DIY projects that seem to be a lot of mess and fuss, when actually they are super easy to create an impressive finished surface. When I first started to show an interest in DIY, I was in high school and the first project I completed was a mosaic. It was a small mosaic bathroom mirror for my gran, you see so it’s not so difficult. Now I’m an adult and have moved out. Grabbing any “hand- me –down table” I could get my hands on I found myself again turning to the wonderful DIY craft of mosaic art to make these second hand tables look chic and new again.


What you will need to do is visit a tile outlet store of your choice and pick the pattern, size and colour your heart desires. The great thing about this mosaic tile project is no tiles have to be broken into little pieces, as I tend to go for the tile sheet where all the little tiles are connected by fibre mesh at the back so they are easy to cut and manipulate/measure into place. These are tiles that are generally used for splash backs in kitchens or shower floors.

I had two second hand half moon tables and one second hand round table to cover to give them a ‘new’ fresh look.

IMG 20140916 152636Materials you will need:

  • Sheets of your favourite tiles. I chose plain white tiles for the round table and a beautiful shiny nude mix for my two half moon tables.  
  • Ready to use ceramic tile adhesive. I worked with a brand named Flex paste. (Picture)
  • Heavy duty scissors or Stanley knife to cut the tile sheets to fit your project.
  • Grouting of your choice.
  • Paint or spray paint of your colour choice for the rest of the table.
  • Cut out pieces of firm cardboard or grout float for the grouting.

Alberton-20130505-00222Step 1: Preparing your table top and mapping out your mosaic pattern.
Wipe down your table with a lightly damp cloth or a feather duster. Now place your tile sheets over the area you would like to cover- this is to ensure you have enough tiles to fit your surface.
Also this is where you have fun figuring out your pattern and how you want it to look at the end, while singing “I like to mosaicmosaic, I like to mosaic, I like to... Mo-sa-ic”!

Step 2: Bonding your tiles to the table top
Take your tile adhesive and cover a layer (about 0.5 to 1 cm thick) over the surface of the table top using a scrapper or a thick cut out piece of cardboard. Tidy up the edges, smooth the surface and then - GO! Start sticking/placing the tiles to the actual adhesive on the table top according to your mapped out plan. Gently press down. Allow the adhesive to dry for the duration of the time stipulated on the instructions of the container. Don’t forget this is where you can cut the fibre stands at the back of the tiles to fit in the right measurement perfectly. Or you can opt to cut them off and place them individually.

Step 3: Grouting
Don’t be nervous, grouting is fun. And not as hard as it looks, so why don’t you give it a try, there are very basic colours of grouting available: generally white, dark grey, light grey, beige and urrrmm white? Try chose the colour that best goes with your tile colour. I opted for dark grey grouting with a mix of nude tiles and white grouting for the white table.

Remember when you were a kid and you would make mud pies with “soft sand” by mixing water with it. Well, yeah this is very much just like that, told you it’s fun.
Grab an unused container and mixing instrument (hint I used a plastic fork/knife). Put in the correct amount of grouting “powder” and then slowly mix in water.  As you mix you will start to see the right consistency needed, not too runny (too much water), and not too thick either. But a smooth even paste to work with, think Goldilocks, Just right.

IMG 20140919 110418Cut another piece of firm cardboard and scoop up a dollop of grouting paste and smear it over the tiles pushing the grouting into the gabs in between the tiles. Make sure that most the grouting paste is in between the tiles and not on the actual tiles themselves, as you will grab a lightly damp cloth later to wipe the excess grouting off the tiles. While leaving the rest of the semi-dried grouting where it is meant to be, which is snug in between the tiles.

If you need more of a visual on how to grout there are great videos on YouTube to look at. All together now “Thank you YouTube!”
Once your grouting is completely dry, the rest of the table is ready to be painted or spray painted in a colour that matches the look you going for.

Now you ready to place your tables in view of admirers, asking “where did you get this from? It is lovely”. Or better yet, like in my instance, the person who handed the second hand tables down to me did not recognise the new mosaic table, realising that it was indeed their old table in a split second wished they had done the DIY mosaic project themselves. ?
As I always say if you can DIY, then why not!

DIY Mosaic tile table tops- Written By Elle Franco.

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