Monday, October 22, 2012
Mirrored Mosaic Coffee Table
Materials: Don't know Ikea model name, mirror, glass, putty knife, grout, mastic
Description: I bought an Ikea coffee table at a garage sale for $25. At the same time, I purchased some glass 'seconds' for $1/ pound. These were free-form, poured glass with small copper wire hangers embedded. I snipped off any external wire. There was also some broken mirror in the $1/pound bin so I bought that too. I ended up spending about $20 more on thick mirror from craigslist.
I gave the tabletop a light sand. Before starting a project with clear glass, you may want to paint the surface the same color as the mastic you will use. As it dries, it will shrink and the surface color below will be seen. I donât mind this cracked effect, but others might. Next, I laid out the poured glass pieces. I didn't quite have enough to go all the way to the edge so I recessed them about an inch. I also included flattened glass balls from craft shops (for vases and such) where each blob met.
Once I liked the layout, I used premixed mastic (aka thinset mortar) to put them in place. You simply 'butter' the back of each piece and squish it flat to the table. Remove any that squeezes out before it hardens. Next I started with the mirror. I used a simple glass scorer from a craft store and a pair of glass cutters to break and cut the mirror. I held the pieces in a cardboard box as I cut so any little chips would be caught by the box. Safety glasses are recommended. One piece at a time, like building your own puzzle, and soon it is done.
This project took several days the way I did it, but if you have a regular sized surface and uniform tiles, it can go pretty fast. Also, I was able to pry up and re-position some pieces even after the mastic had dried. Just scrape it off and start again. Before grouting, clean as much visible mastic off the project as possible. A little warm water and a dishtowel work well.
Once everything is down and set it is time for grout. For this project, I used premixed, sanded grout but I wouldn't recommend it. The premix has some kind of additive that makes it kind of tacky and clean up is much harder than with regular grout. Since the poured glass pieces didn't go all the way to the edge, I used my finger to finish the outer edge of grout.
I decided to paint the outer edge of the table top a blue to match the glass, but left the legs the original color.
TOTAL for "New Table": $67 and a few weeks worth of evenings.
~ Anne Howley, Redmond, Wa