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Totally confused - I need some answers

Posted by secondlouise (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 20, 10 at 15:03

I have read so many books and online directions and looked at messages on this forum clear back to 2007 and gotten much needed advice from y'all that I am really confused. Please some answers!
1. There are two kinds of nippers. One with wheels and one with solid plates that come together. Which one is the one everyone is talking about when they discuss nipping? Do they both serve different needs and if so what individual needs?
2. When should one use powdered thinset (which I understand can be used as the adhesive, grout, and sealer but not for outdoor things) and when does one use a seperate adhesive (silicon,epoxy,or other glue)and grout, and a sealer? Is it just a matter of preference or does it depend on whether one is doing GOG, china on plywood, or tile on either one? Does that make sense?
3. When should one use the GE Silicon for Doors and Windows (the adhesive most suggested) as the adhesive?
4. If working with a porous base (such as flower pot)what should one use as a sealer before starting project?
5. I bought Mapei Keracolor grout, in light grey. Now how do I tell how much to mix up and if I want it another color is it regular acrlyic craft paint I use to color it?
6. What is the Mapei Glass and Tile Mortar used for?
7. I found cans of One Step Groute Sealer at Lowes. Is that the sealer that is put on after finished with grouting, cleaning, and polishing? Also read on this site to use masonary sealer. Are they the same thing?
8. Some books say to put adhesive on a small section and then stick on glass, china, or tile. Other instructions are to "butter" each individual piece with the adhesive and stick it to the base (board, glass, wood, etc). Are both methods okay to use?
9. I found individual porceline and ceramic 4X4 tiles at Lowes. Are they the same type of tile as one buys cut up and put in bags at hobby store or orders from the internet? Which of the nippers will cut the 4X4 tiles up?
10.Is the correct sequence to plan project, prepare tiles, seal base if necessary, put terresse(sp) on, grout, clean, polish, and seal?
11.I bought alot of dishes to use. In order to get the color some of them are bowls, cups, mugs, etc. I have read reference to it being difficult if something has a slope to it. Does that mean one should only use flat things or is it refering to the base having a slope? Sorry this is so long. I can't get started because I am not sure of these things and I am so eager to start! I want to do it right! Yes, I am afraid! I can't help it. I wake up at night thinking about what to do. I need sleep, please help. Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

Good grief - you're making this much harder than it is. Okeydoke - tired from gardening, but I feel your anxiety, so w/try to answer your questions.
1. Wheeled nippers - cutting glass, the solid metal plate ones are for tiles and plates (I use the wheeled ones for plates too - old nippers), and you use just about a quarter inch of the nipper blade to nip tiles and plates.
2. Cement based mortar IS for outside use, and I even use it sometimes for inside vertical substrates cuz it sticks well w/no sliding. I used it on my bathroom counter. On some projects, I even use it for grout, to ensure complete adhesion all around. I don't prefer mortar for wood. When I mosaic on wood - inside projects, I use Weldbond or Aleen's white glue. I order Weldbond by the case from Weldbond headquarters - cheaper that way. I think their minimum is $75.
3. GE II - most of us use on glass projects, but can be used on dishes, jewelry - well - other things.
4. I seldom seal anything, but if I want to seal a clay pot, I use the masonry sealer b/f mosaicing. However, the ones I didn't seal have outlasted the ones I did seal, so it's your choice. I live in East TX, and lost a really nice mosaiced flower pot during our harder than usual winter. If you live in a climate w/severe weather, bring clay pots in for winter.
5. Mapei Keracolor grout - that's what I use, and I use a $ Store plastic tub that holds about 1 1/2 cups, for mixing mortar and grout. I usually start w/that amount - one cup or, if it's a large project, I'll start w/two cups. Careful w/the water - easy to get too much. Mix as you go, adding a little at a time. I don't recommend putting paint in the grout - you have to use too much paint to get your desired color, and it changes the grout. If I want to color the grout, I use watered acrylic paint b/f the grout dries. I quit using colored grout ages ago. I use either Pearl Gray, or Pearl Gray mixed w/a little bit of black for a nice charcoal - more black if I want a dark charcoal, and then sometimes I use just black. You can buy powdered colorants on-line. Just Google for sources. Lowes also has some liquid colorants, beige, terra cotta, etc.
6. Never used Mapei glass/tile mortar, but read the directions. Better yet - look on the sack, call Mapei's 800 number. They helped me immensely when I mosaiced onto my front walk.
7. I usually only seal after grouting to change the looks of the grout - it does NOT waterproof it. I only buy Tile Lab gloss sealer from Home Depot. It says on the bottle that it's for interior, but I use it on exterior also. As stated b/f, I rarely seal, but masonary sealer is a good one for concrete/clay pots/bricks etc. for prep work. I don't bother. Mapei Mortar is a very sticky, effective adhesive, so I rarely seal, except for inside mosaics - wall hangings etc. to gloss the grout.
8. Spreading a section or buttering is a matter of choice. I am a spreader, using an artist palette knife. Both methods OK.
9. Tiles at Lowes are good subjects for the solid metal plate tile nippers. Don't use the whole blade - just go in about a quarter inch and nip. You can also get a tile nipper at Loews that has a little scoring wheel on one side and a breaking mechanism. You use the wheel to score, then center the breaker over that scored line and the tile w/usually break. I don't buy tiles off the net.
10. Yep
11. Nope on using only flat surfaces. If you are using GE II or mortar, you fill up that concave part w/your adhesive, and slap that sucker on your base. If you have curves, cut your pieces smaller so they go around the curves and slope.
My suggestion is to grab a small 6 or 8" flower pot, mix a cup of powdered Mapei Ultra Flex II, spread evenly on a small section, or butter your pieces, slap them on that pot. Next day, mix up about a cup - cup and a half of grout, spread it all over the pot. I put it on w/gloved hand, then I use a grouting sponge from Lowes flooring section, in a circular motion to make sure it's in all the nooks/crannies, then I use the other half of the sponge - dry sponge (I cut them in half) to clean off the excess. Then in about an hr. I use a cloth to polish - I DO NOT use water to wash off the grout. I make my grout pretty dry - just enough water to mix it just a tad dryer than peanut butter. If I get busy and wait too long, sometimes I use a tooth brush, sometimes a wire brush to dig it out of some areas. Then when it's all dry, I use a clean cloth w/vinegar to polish it. Break something, and get to gluing. You're gonna be sooooooooooo surprised, and kick yourself for wasting so much time worrying about it. Phew! Now I'm gonna shower and lie down for a teensy rest.


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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

Oh Slow I love it. just a teensy rest! You answered all the questions I hadn't even asked. Thanks secondlouise for asking then so consicely I suppose I should be 3rdLouise but I'm a lurker from Hypertufa.


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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

Thank you slowmedown. I see how experienced and skilled you are and I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. But I do have a couple of additional things to ask you if you don't mind: you suggested using Mapei Ultra Flex II as adhesive when doing a clay pot. Is this the same as thin set? When you mention Mapei Mortar as an adhesive are you refering to Mapei Ultra Flex II? I think I am having trouble because I don't know the difference between all these products with similar names. I feel as dumb as dirt, but I prefer to say I am just tired (lol). You are absolutly right that I am making this too hard and thanks again for helping me understand. I hope to start tomorrow and I hope Wednesday is a good day for you.


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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

Bless your heart. LEAF - how sweet! SECOND - I was in the same place when I first started out - didn't know the terms, and it seemed nobody was willing to draw it all out - used general terms - blah, blah, blah. I wrote several on-line artists, and still got no answers. I even went to my local tile store for info when I was about to mosaic my front walk, and the old man owner told me "you can't do that unles blah, blah, blah." "Yeah, right, I thought - you just watch me." My next move was to call Mapei's 800 number. Yes - thinset is mortar. I use Mapei because it already has the polymer admixture in it - just add water. Mapei man on the phone assured me that what I wanted to do was possible, and so I began. Not one tile has budged on my front walk, except where I mosaiced over a crack on a very hot August day. I need to repair the crack, and mo over it (someday). You just have to step out and EXPERIMENT. I'm glad you're going to start tomorrow. I'll be thinking of you, and YES - Mapei Ultra Flex II is thinset - or mortar or cement-based adhesive. Go for it. You're gonna have tons of fun, once you get over this fear factor. I put my front walk project off for months and months and months. It's still there, after - oh I don't know for how long - probably four/five years.


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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

Thanks Secondlouise for asking all the questions that have been on my mind! And thanks Slowmedown for your answers. You cleared up some things for me.


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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

Whew, I need a nap from just reading all this!lol! My brain is full!heh heh!


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Some suggestions...

One thing I learned the hard way...(I mostly do outdoor garden art) is that not to use ceramic for outdoors, it flakes and chips when frozen...I try to use only porceline/glass slate/marble etc for outdoor stuff. I am a HUGE fan of mirror for outdoor bling, I just seal the back of the mirror first. Yup, you'll start mosaicing..and then you'll see everything in your house that "needs" mosaicing!!!ha!


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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

I have to make one correction. I don't know what I was thinking when I said I don't have success using thinset on wood. It was Duct Tape that wouldn't work. It was on the half post in which I covered the cardboard tube w/duct tape to make it stronger and to avoid flaring, the mortar wouldn't stick. I then covered the whole thing w/burlap, using tons of regular white glue. About an hr. ago, I got to thinking and remembering two wooden things I on which I used thinset - the outside pedestal is cedar, and my front door - must be oak, and the large cross is treated lumber - thinset worked fine. Have a fun day, SEC.
My Photobucket Albums for reference


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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

This is a great thread, tons of info. for someone like me that is just getting their feet wet . Thanks to everyone who posted such great info. Hopefully in a few weeks I,ll be on here asking guestions and showing my projects. Right now I,m just getting started on trying to learn the things I need to get started ect.


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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

Slowmedown - I'm new over here at the mosaic forum and I have to say...
Holy cow!!! My goodness woman - you're one industrious lady!!!

I just looked through all 190 pictures in your Queendom album! Wow!! How much fun!! Your projects are AMAZING! I'm so jealous! I've flirted with the idea of doing mosaic for years but have only done pebble mosaics. I never can decide what I'm suppose to use (tile, old dishes, glass, etc...) so I just decided rocks were rocks and I couldn't really screw that up too bad. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how wonderful I think you are!! I am going to FORCE myself to do a mosaic on a birdbath this fall and just hope I do it right! :)


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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

here's my two bits worth of advice...

copy and paste this and keep it in a handy folder, to be able to look all this up at a moment's notice.

I just did.

;(*_*);


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RE: Totally confused - I need some answers

Well - interesting to see this back up front. Thanks y'all. SOONER: Believe me - once you get into shards, you'll be hooked, and your next project after your birdbath won't be forced. If you are like me, you'll be trying to force yourself to do necessary things - like what I've been doing for two weeks - weeding and mulching all my flowerbeds. Your rock mosaics are absolutely mind-boggling. Doubt if I could do anything on that scale. SECONDLOUISE: Where have you been, and what have you done.


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