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Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

Posted by jenel (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 27, 11 at 9:50

I'm watching a TV show called Flash Forward on Netflix streaming, and in the show, a character is gluing pennies across an entire wall. It is the most beautiful thing! Here's a pic:

I would like to do a penny wall on the backside of my outdoor shower, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to approach it. The outdoor shower is on wedi board, so the backside is cement. However, I feel leary of leaving it exposed to the elements, so I'm thinking I should protect it from water. The pennies, being round, will have gaps all the way around them.

My two ideas are:

1. Apply a very thin layer of thinset to the backside, and press the pennies directly into/onto the thinset. I do not want the pennies to be sunken in, though, so I'm a little worried about this idea.

2. Seal the cement and then glue each penny on individually.

Which do you think would work better, and why? Or do you have a different suggestion? Any words of warning? Anything I should consider before I move forward on this idea? We've got time - I'm not even done with the front of the mosaic yet. :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

I have no clue! LOL But you're right. This is absolutely beautiful! What a fun idea and a great use for pennies. People will--for sure--want to know how much money is on there, so I'd suggest counting. Heh.


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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

What a big project you will have on your hands!!! Jenel, we gotta call you: "Go Big, Or Go Home!!!"heh heh! I would be crazy enough to get some outdoor mortar and a popcycle stick and start away, by buttering the backs individually, but I'm sure Slow will hop in here with a super idea!!!! To save me from my insanity!!!heh heh!


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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

The pennies, at least some of them depending on when they were made, will corrode/oxidize with exposure to the elements, so whatever you do I would seal over top of them.


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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

I thought I'd seen it all, but NOT!!! I'm mesmerized w/that idea. JENEL: Hmmmmmmmmmmm I'm thinking about FLAG's penny urn in her garden. It has been there for several years w/o losing a penny. She used Liquid Nails. Buttering each penny w/be a lot more time consuming. I think your method no. 1 is what I'd do. You don't need to seal cement, but you could seal the whole thing w/varnish to keep the pennies from corrosion. There's a wonderful product - Barkeeper's Friend - that cleans copper and lots of other things. I use it on my ceramic cook top and copper bottom pots. If you don't want to seal the pennies, when they corrode, you could use a vegetable brush and scrub them w/the cleanser and hose off. Anxious to see if you begin this project.


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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

I thought about the fact that the pennies might turn green, but not that they might actually corrode. Hmm.... My husband has about $50 of old pennies that he said aren't worth anything more than 1 cent each (he already looked through them), so these might be even more likely to corrode than a modern penny. Plus, we have a saltwater pool. Hmm again...

Slow, what kind of varnish would you use afterward?


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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

I threw that out there cuz I've seen other artists use it. If I were worried about the corrosion problem, which I wouldn't, I'd use polyurethene. There's oil and water based - I'd probably use oil. I've never done that, so I can't really give you an opinion based on experience. I've just seen others write about using it. I guess I'm not concerned w/the problems cuz I am so danged old, I don't care what happens to my mosaics after I move to Heaven. My things give me pleasure making them and they'll last me long enough to enjoy them - corrosion or not.


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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

Hi Jenel, I just came across your idea for pennies and thought I would share this with you.

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/10/it-took-84-000-pennies-but-michigan-moms-giant-coin-really-mak/

This Penney sculpture was absolutely amazing...made out of 84,000 pennies! It was in a contest where I live called ArtPrize and came in 6th place! It is now in the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum. I have no idea what she used to glue the pennies, but you might be able to contact her?
Good luck on your project!


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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

All I got is...WOW! Ummmmm, yea, just WOW! That is super amazing and a really big project. Kudos to you for wanting to take it on...lol. I'm not sure about the polyurethane. I used it on some mosaiced doors I made and gave it 3 coats of the oil based and it lasted two years and then started peeling all the way down to the paint. I found some stuff (an epoxy) that is used to seal surf boards and think I'll order some of it and give it a try after I make some repairs to my doors. It's kind of expensive ($75 a gallon) but figure if it last 7 - 10 years and preserves my doors then it will be worth it.

Addiesue


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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

Came back to this again, LOL I mentioned the corrosion because I dont know what that might do to the bond between thinset and or concrete and the penny. I just know it will happen. some people like that look, others dont. Also just fyi, I saw where you said the pennies you were going to use werent worth more than one cent. pennies made before 1982 were the copper type and those will corrode and turn green, just like copper exposed to the elements. Due to copper proces, they are also worth several cents apeice. modern pennies, after 1982 are the zinc pennies. I dont know about the effects on those outside. Theres an artist somewhere who did her kitchen floor in pennies and I think she epoxy resined over the surface after the pennies were laid. I will see if I can come across it.


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directions!

did a little hunting and found how they did the floors-they used mesh and installed like tile. Im posting 3 links here, the first has some good instructions.
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/how-to/nickel-tile-floor-a-seattle-bathroom-renovation-127976

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/good-questions/good-questions-ideas-for-the-penny-tiled-powder-room-073000

http://manolohome.com/2009/10/01/see-a-penny-you-cant-pick-it-up/


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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

OHMYGOODNESS. Thanks, WACKY for posting these sites. Isn't it amazing what imagination can do. I bow to those artists.


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RE: Outdoor penny mosaic idea (seeking advice)

Wow, thank you so much for the links. They reconfirm my intention to do this. If they turn green, I think that'll look pretty cool, too. :)


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