Fire Pit Cover Project

hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CAAugust 30, 2014

Okay. My wonderful hubby has cut my Hardiebacker with his jig saw, and used the carbide grit jig saw blade recommended by Bob (thank you, Bob). So, need to know if I should/need to seal the Hardiebacker, or, is it waterproof enough on its own with thinset? I'd actually like to paint it with sealer, so you can't see the printing through any clear glass I might use (or I guess, paint the back of my glass, but that seems like it might be problmenIf so, then my next step is to cut a paper template to match the hardiebacker substrate. Then, draw the design. Flip it over, trace the design, again, so I'm working in reverse mode. I plan to use the paper template to glue my glass to, working in reverse (Elmer's glue cut in 1/2 with water). Then, I'll try to cut the paper template into 3 pieces. Mark each area on the Hardiebacker, apply thinset to 1/3 of the area at the time, put each section down, dampen the paper, carefully remove the paper, clean out the thinset if it sticks out too far past the glass, then move to the second second, repeat, finish with the third section. Let dry for a couple of days. Then, cover the edges with thinset and glass. Let dry a couple of days. Grout, polish, done. Sound like a plan? This will be my first really significant piece, and the first with thinset. Feel a little nervous, not lying. :-)

Patty S.

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wackyweeder

If it were my project, I woud coat the entire piece of hardi with a thin skimcoat of thinset. It gives a nice smooth base with great tooth, fills it out and takes away any hard edges to the shape. (important to me-maybe not others) and then the rest of your plan sounds good!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 10:21AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Okay, so you're saying after I prime the board, to put a thin layer of thinset, first, smooth it out and let it dry before I apply the thinset for the glass mosaic pieces?

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 10:36AM
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silvamae

Don't be nervous -- it's going to be great!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:19AM
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loribee2

I would not prime the board. I'd just spread over a thin layer of thinset like wacky said. Like a thin layer of icing on a cake. You could use a putty knife to spread it, and even dab it smooth with a damp (almost dry) sponge. Let that dry good then work on that. That cement backing board is not intended to be primed. I'd worry that the primer might somehow interfere with your adhesion.

As for your method, have you ever done a reverse mosaic? They are not simple. Before working on something big like that, I would do a couple practice pieces. Go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy a cement brick. They cost 50 cents each. Test your method on one or two, just so you know how it is all going to work out, and what to expect. Plus, in the end, you'll have a couple fun garden bricks for your yard, heh.

Seriously, though. I find reverse mosaic much harder than applying tiles directly on my surface. I've had to throw away a few pieces because tiles shifted, or wouldn't come off the paper (don't use too much glue), or in general, just looked kinda crappy because I was working off the back side instead of the front. If you haven't done it before, I would not have something that large and important be my first attempt.

Here are the bricks I'm talking about--just little 3"X 7" bricks. Lowes sells them by the concrete. Small, cheap and easy for testing your method, and then you've got a cute garden brick when you're done.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 10:51PM
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silvamae

Real good advice! The reverse method is not the first thing I would attempt. Doing a practice piece will be so helpful!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 10:57PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Good advice, lori. I happen to have 3 really ugly concrete stepping stones in my garden that I've eyeballed to mosaic. I can use those to practice on. I'll have to get more glass (like that's a bad thing, lol!), but I think you're right. It isn't the easiest technique. But, I'm a very long time quilter & sewer, and we work in reverse quite a bit, since we sew things right sides together. So, my head gets that concept. :-) Still, I agree, maybe I'll try to do my 3 stepping stones first, and see how my reserve technique goes. I'm mostly concerned about getting the paper off the glass. So, definitely will spread a very thin layer of thinset to cover up the writing. Thanks, lori and silvamae, rather practice and get it right, than mess up this much larger project!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 10:21AM
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nicethyme

I personally wouldn't work in reverse unless I had no choice, with papers and or tile tapes, you can't see and or remove any thinset that has slipped up into the interstices to far. you're literally stuck waiting until the thinset cures before you can remove your paper. If I can't work direct, I'd choose to glue onto mesh and transfer the whole thing into place with thinset.

Thinset is white or grey, if you see the letters of your backer board through that, you don't have all your pieces adhered well enough

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 3:12PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Okay, if I work on mesh, which would be infinitely easier, I'm going to have to paint the back of my glass, so you can't see the mesh through any of the clear glass I might use, correct? The thinset I have is grey. So, just skim a thin layer to assure a better waterproofing, and let it dry. Then, on my work table, lay down my pattern. Maybe tape it down so it doesn't slide. Then cover it with something like maybe saran wrap? so the glue that might seep through the mesh won't stick to the pattern? Easier to peel off if it does? Then, glue the glass to mesh (with silicone adhesive?). Let set. Apply the thinset to the Hardiebacker, press the entire piece into the thinset, removing any excess thinset that squeezes up to far. Let dry. Then, apply glass to the edge with thinset,lLet dry. Lastly, grout, clean, polish, done. Have to get the entire process in my head before I start, lol! This sounds much easier. You gals are really the best. Thanks so much. No real serious classes here for me to take for outdoor mosaic projects. Perfect! Okay, so, another trip to the glass store for glass for my stepping stones. And mesh which I think I have to buy online. Anyone have any mesh brand suggestions? Is one mesh the same as another? Oh my gosh, I am just way too full of questions. Hoping I can eventually "pay it forward" on this forum, one day ;-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 5:33PM
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loribee2

That sounds like what I would do. I'd be curious to know where folks get their mesh. I buy most of my glass tiles from Mosaic Art Supply on line. They sell mesh. I wonder if that's a good price. I would like to try that method also.

And who needs classes when you've got Gardenweb? LOL I think most of us here are self-taught with the help of all the great folks here.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 9:16PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

And thank goodness for that! This forum has been so kind and so generous with their time and knowledge. I would never have been able to tackle this project without everyone's kinds words and sage advice. I guess because I am a visual learner, that I prefer to learn something new in a classroom setting. Once I've got the basics down, I am good on my own. So, just having to get over myself really, more than anything, and allow myself to make some mistakes in this learning curve. Sounds sort of ridiculous as I type it, but I think that's what's giving me some anxiety. So, gonna design 6 stepping stones, and do one or two before I tackle the fire pit cover. That should help with my technique and dexterity. You gals are the bomb.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 9:42PM
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nicethyme

if you are using grey thinset you are not going to want to use cathedral glass are you ? thats going to muddy the colors up if you see that?

do not use silicone on mesh, - dry silicone does not adhere well to anything with water in it.. You want to use a white glue or even thinset for adhere to the mesh and when you set it in, the thinset will come up into the interstices a little so that it grabs the sides of the glass just a bit, have a dental pick handle to clean out any the comes up too high and would block you from grouting

Here is a link that might be useful: here is Lin Schorr's mesh tutorial

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 5:23PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Thanks! Omg. What would I do without you gals. So, guess I'll use Weldbond instead. That would be easier than try to stick the glass on with thinset to the mesh I would think. And, I have no idea if I have cathedral glass. I'm not even sure what that is :-( I have pretty swirly glass. Some parts of the glass sheet are clearer than others. How's that? And, some iridescent glass. And glass 1/2 marbles. Will see about finding a dental pick. My tool arsenal continues to increase...

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 6:38PM
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wackyweeder

You will find as you go along, with certain glass, certain colors of grout affect the color of the glass. The piece of glass will be surrounded on all sides with the grout which affects the light transmission thru the glass-it can muddy it, brighten it depending on how much light the glass transmits. Cathedral glass is clear see thru color. and is much more affected.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 9:06PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, since I am now going to use mesh, I was assuming that I'd have to paint the back of my glass, as some of it is transparent or partly transparent, and I don't want to see the mesh showing through. I was going to paint the back of my glass with white sealer, so that should make my glass appear pretty bright? If you're working on mesh, and your class is transparent, then wouldn't you have to paint the back of the glass so you don't see the mesh?

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 9:26PM
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loribee2

Ooh, that's a great pictoral. Thanks for the link!

As for mesh showing through the glass, your thinset is going to be nearly the same color as the mesh so they will blend, I'd think. Also, you would need to be talking about seriously clear glass.

I think this is another thing you can test on a stepping stone. See if it shows through. I would definitely do that before going through the trouble of painting the back of all your glass.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 9:50PM
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nicethyme

if she uses grey thinset then I would paint, because there will be a slight color difference

you can see it under these orange globs

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 7:46AM
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loribee2

Beautiful piece! But ouch, I guess you can see the mesh through the glass. I'm curious, did you glue the tiny little dots to the mesh too? Or did you place those after in the thinset stage? I've been wondering how small a piece I can go using mesh.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 10:11AM
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nicethyme

those were glass beads, as long as your tess doesn't fit in the mesh holes, you are good to go. I volunteered on this project and you can see the sizes of tess ppl worked in there

Here is a link that might be useful: Unfurled cooperative mural

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 9:03PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Oh my goodness. What a gorgeous project, nicethyme! I am going to buy some white thinset and try that. And, gotta find mesh. Not available anywhere in a store near me, so I have to order it. I would like to order a roll of it, to save a few $$'s. If anyone has any good online source suggestions, I'm all ears. I would like to mosaic the support posts of our outdoor kitchen. I saw an outdoor kitchen model with mosaic posts at our local stone and rock store. SO pretty, so using mesh for that project would be perfect. Here's what it looks like (snapped a few pics where we were there picking up our fire glass for the fire pit. I seem to be stacking up the mosaic projects, lol!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 9:43PM
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loribee2

Oh those are gorgeous!

I would also like to hear any suggestions on where to get the mesh. I'm very inspired to try it!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 10:51PM
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nicethyme

here ya go

Here is a link that might be useful: EIFS mesh

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 8:43AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Thanks, nicethyme. Do you use the standard or the super soft mesh? Nice that they have so many width options.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 8:56AM
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loribee2

Oh wow, that is SO much cheaper than Mosaic Art Supply. He wants $65 for a roll of a similar size! Only $7? Am I reading that right?

That's one of the main reasons I hadn't tried this method yet. The mesh seemed very expensive.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 10:07AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

No, I think the equivalent roll is priced at $52.00 (look at the sizes, it is about 1/2 way down the list, 4.5 oz Standard Mesh 38â³ W X 150â² L). Still, less money by about $13.00 per roll. And, it is probably the same exact stuff.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 10:22AM
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silvamae

I just ordered "Fiberglass Stucco Mesh" from Home Depot. You order on-line and then pick up at the store.

I haven't used it yet but others have said that they are pleased with it. It is stiffer than the mosaic mesh I have purchased from Wits End Mosaics.

It is $39 for a roll 38 inches x 150 feet, or $20 for a roll 9 inches x 150 feet.

There's no shipping charge when you pick it up at the store.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 4:37PM
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oldcrafty

hoosier, you are definitely on the right forum, these ladies are a wealth of information and some of the nicest folks you'll ever get to know. Their good advise is always spot on and they don't seem to mind telling of their experience. I sometimes am embarrassed to ask a silly question, but they always jump in and answer me! They have gotten me thru multiple projects and I'm sure there will be more questions from me in the future! They advised me to put a layer of thinset on a manaquin, that I am still working on by the way, and my tess is adhering just fine. I don't have a lot left to finish on it but my time to work on it just doesn't seem to be there lately! Good luck on your fire pit cover, I know it will be amazing!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 5:05PM
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nicethyme

I just use the standard 4.5 oz..

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 5:22PM
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