Question on mosaic on metal

charmoApril 28, 2009

Hello everyone! I haven't posted in a little while. I have about 6-7 items which are done but still need grouting. I will post pics when they are all done. I have a question however on what to use as an adhesive for a project I want to start soon.

I have a well in my front yard which of course is covered with a metal lid. I have purchased a bunch of tiles as well as mesh because I intended to do some type of ocean scene mosaic to cover it. Because of the size of the lid and also because I didn't want to sit outside on the ground by my well the whole time, I was going to do it on the mesh and then adhere it to the lid with thinset but I now realized that thinset doesn't adhere well to metal. Does anyone know what else I could use for it? I know of course that I could use Mac glue or GE II but if I did that I cannot do it on the mesh first right? Because wouldn't the mesh somehow show? I don't know what to do, my little pee brain hurts...please help...ouch...

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I made a butterfly mosaic on top of concrete, installed on the ground outside. I used Weldbond to adhere the mosaic to mesh. I then spread thinset on top of the concrete and pressed the mesh/mosaic onto the thinset. I then grouted and sealed. It has held up beautifully for over a year now. Ordinarily I would not use Weldbond on an outdoor piece but I figured the thinset would moosh up and enclose the Weldbond and since the piece is flat (as opposed to on a wall) then the pieces aren't going anywhere anyway. I sealed it really well with a sealer that is for outdoors.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 11:28AM
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Silvamae, your butterfly looks really beautiful, it must look really good outside on the cement. I knew about using weldbond to stick the tiles to the mesh but to put the completed piece onto the metal lid, that's where my question is, because I know I cannot use thinset. I'm wondering if GEII or MacGlue as well as the grout would be good enough to adhere it to the metal.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 1:58PM
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Oh I re-read your message and see now where you say that thinset doesn't adhere well to metal. I didn't know that. So I can't help you with that. Wait until Slowmedown comes in on this; she will know. And doesn't she use thinset on top of a metal armature to make outdoor sculptures? You said wouldn't the mesh show? It won't, because when you grout, you cover up the mesh that shows in between the tiles.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 2:09PM
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Lordy, ladies. I am NOT the authority on thinset. I just experiment and do stuff that twirls around in my brain w/o thinking. CHARMO - I'd sure give the thinset a try. I've used it on metal - case in point is the metal finials on the four corners of "Shea's Tower" in my album. I've also used it when I put metal work in my projects. I'm just not afraid to try anything. Yes, the wire mesh/lathe that I use for armatures holds the thinset, so I don't know why it wouldn't work for your metal lid. I'm not advising anyone on anything, just telling you I wouldn't be afraid to try it. I've read others saying it doesn't stick to glass, wood etc. I keep on using it, and for me it works. Guess I don't follow other people's rules.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 9:10AM
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you suppose the metal needs some roughing up, to give it some 'tooth'....or is that 'teeth'?

you know what I

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 9:50AM
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Thanks everyone! Slowmedown, I may do like you and try a little piece of mesh with tiles and put it on with the thinset and leave it for a while. Then if it works, I'll go ahead! Good idea! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 1:23PM
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