Push and Squish, Oui

mfbpaJune 17, 2013

So I've been getting myself ready to start my wall.. I posted a new subject because I felt it was a good idea to start a thread on this.

So, I thought in true Betty spirit I would just "do it". LOL So I got out my plates, I decided to cut up a bunch of different things, might have been my first mistake. (Please comment). So I had thick and thin pieces of tess, plates, glass etc...
as I said, maybe my first, maybe my second mistake.... I proceed to mix my thin set, surprisingly, that went well. Then I started tacking down the pieces to a piece of mesh that had a plastic sheet under it, using a tiny bit of thin set. That went well until I realized I should not have mixed up so much mortar, so I decided to not let that dry and I jumped into slapping on the mortar to my base (I used a cinderblock as a sample) Then I picked up my mesh with all the pieces on it and pressed it down into the mortar.... That is when it started to go bad.The mortar came through the screen like it was supposed to but came through too much in some spots and not enough in others. I really thought I had put the mortar on evenly. And now I see I don't have enough mortar so I mix more, then the tess was all different heights, what was I thinking? magically it would even out? LOL
NOw, I'm getting mad... so I slap on mortar and kinda try to grout the whole thing. What a mess! LOL

Now I'm trying to wipe off excess mortar and mush stuff around with my finger which BTW, was inside a glove and I couldn't work (do you guys wear gloves for this?)

My husband calls me in the middle of it all and I took a picture.... see below #1, after a bit of mushing with finger... Then I decide to try to save it and start wiping with a wet paper towel..... #2 pic, So ultimately it's not horrific but not at all like I thought it would go. So, please jump in and give me some help, please. I want to try it one more time. Not sure if I should just do push and squish directly or what....

thanks! I hope you enjoy my mess!



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Had to get to Photobucket through your other thread. Jeri: I don't see anything wrong w/this, except, maybe you could put the tess closer together so there wouldn't be so much grout. If I were doing this, I'd mix up about 1 1/2 cup - two cups at a time, put down a little puddle of tess about as big as your piece of tess, push it in, then on the next little puddle right close to the first one, push and move the tess as close to the other piece as possible. Don't spread out a whole bunch of mortar at a time. Just do a little area at a time, push/move close and so on. YES, use gloves. Then when you're ready to put the screen down, put just enough mortar to lay it down and mash it in so the mortar oozes up into the screen. You w/have already self-grouted, so there shouldn't be any spaces for it to ooze up into. Hope this makes sense. This shouldn't be that hard. Just a piece at a time - a spoonfull of mortar, push in the tess, next spoonful, push in and move close to the last piece.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 8:43AM
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I am willing to give it another go, and I'll do as you suggested..... then if that fails, I'm going to wait for my hub because two heads are better than one.

I'll post the pics again right here in the thread for anyone to see.
thanks for your help,

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 9:13AM
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Here's the second picture after I tried to wipe it off and push it around with my finger, more like I was grouting it.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 9:14AM
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Like I said - I don't see one thing wrong w/this. It's a wonderful mosaic. I'd just push your pieces closer together. You can even layer in this method. If you see an empty spot, stick a piece of something flatter in there w/a little mortar. You're being too critical of yourself. W/practice, you're gonna love the push/sqush method.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 12:44PM
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I agree with what Slow said, pieces closer together. This is going to be fabulous when it is done!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 6:32PM
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I think it looks pretty darn good. I use gloves when I grout because it stains my hands, but I love thinset because I dont need them and I think thinset feels awesome compared to grout.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 7:33PM
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Well, I've been thinking about all this and I think the push squish is great, and I think the work on netting is great too, but together is what is giving me issues. Ive googled mesh mosaics and push squish but so far have not found one that does both, meaning, attach the Tess to screen then lay the screen on top of mortar and push the whole thing in....

Most that use the netting method, grout afterwards. Or if they use the push squish they just apply mortar to actual surface then push....

I couldn't get enough mortar to come up evenly between the tess. That could have been my spacing as you guys suggested so i am going to try it again. If it makes me unhappy again, (g) I will lay pieces out on a tray and then apply mortar to the wall and push in one piece at a time.

Sidebar.... Am I supposed to apply any coating/sealer over the finished mortar?


    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Everyone has to find his/her comfort zones in the work they do. I think your first efforts are great. IMO, it is not necessary to seall. I never did, unless it was some inside things on which I preferred a glossy finish to the grout rather than dull.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 3:54PM
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