In this first step it is very important to have a design in mind, it is also recommended to keep designs simple and bold. Draw your design onto your mosaic-surface using a texta or pencil (refer to figure 1).
Once you have generated your design and drawn it out onto your Mosaic surface, you can then begin selecting your colours of MANDALA ART glass mosaic tiles.
It is suggested that you select your colour grout at this point so that your mosaic tiles don?t get lost into the colour of grout in the final stages of the project (Be sure to take your time and be very selective in colour combinations).
WARNING: When breaking and handling glass in the next steps, it is advised that you should wear safety glasses as well as strong protective hand ware. Glass will tend to shard and can easily get lodged into skin. It is also recommended that you should soak and wash your hands thoroughly after handling glass.
Now that you have your design and colours worked out, you can now begin breaking and cutting your glass tiles. For the best breaking results wrap 3-5 (2.5cm x 2.5 cm Mandala Art mosaic glass) tiles in a piece of primed canvas and gently tap once with a pointed edge hammer. Open the canvas and select the best-broken pieces to use (refer to figure 2).
Repeat this process until you have enough pieces to complete your mosaic. If you are wanting to cut your mosaic glass tiles for straight edged piece, it is recommended that you use the Mandala Art Mosaic Glass Cutters (refer to products page mosaic glass cutters).
WARNING: In the next steps it is advised that you wear latex gloves and protective eye wear when handling grouts and adhesives as they may irritate skin and eyes.
Select most suited pieces to fit into your designed areas. Place an even 1mm layer of adhesive or glue grout paste onto the reverse side of your tile and stick down (refer to figure 3).
Try to keep the tiles as level as possible when sticking down, this will give you the best result when grouting over the entire surface in the later stages.
Note: leave no more or less than 1-3mm gap between Mosaic glass tiles so grout can be worked into spaces. Tiles will start to set hard after 20-30 minutes.
Once all tiles are in place and firmly secure you are ready to start the grouting process. (refer to figure 4).
It is advised to use an acrylic based additive to mix into your grout, this will help increase the flexibility and bond strength of cement-based grout.
Make up your mixtures in accordance with the product label you have selected. As a general rule try to mix a toothpaste consistence for best workable use (refer to figure 5).
Once your mixtures are ready to go, apply the grout over your mosaic and work into all spaces with a squeegee (refer to figure 6).
CLEANING AND POLISHING
Once the grout has been applied, make sure that all the gaps are filled and there are no air pockets, if there are air pockets you can add more grout into the areas needed. While the grout is still wet wipe over the surface of your mosaic with a barely damp smooth sponge.
Wipe in long directional strokes turning the sponge after every wipe; repeat this process until all excess grout is off the surface of your mosaic tile (refer to Figure 7).
Note: for best results remember to keep your sponge clean and barely damp throughout this process.
When the grout is about 90 % dry you can gently start Polish the cloudy film on the top surface of your mosaic pieces with cotton tips or soft cloth. After your Glass mosaic pieces are clean and wait until the grout is fully dry and you can then polish further with a soft cloth if needed (refer to figure 8).
If you are having trouble cleaning off excess grout from the Mosaic pieces, you can use a small amount of white vinegar on a soft cloth.
Note: do not use brown vinegar as this will stain the grout.