DIY – mosaic makeovers

I got the best comment from a reader the other day. A lovely lady from North Carolina wrote in to let me know that she loved my blog and that my makeovers had inspired her to do some stuff for her own house. Welcome to the blog Victoria. I hope my blog continues to amuse and inspire you.

Today I have two mosaic projects to share. They’re easy to do and I know that when Merrill gave me a hand with one of them she became all excited and went off and did her own kitchen table top! It now looks a million times better and she’s rightfully proud of it.

the school desk

My first mosaic project was a small school desk. This was an old school desk I bought at a country school fair for $2. I bought 3 of them… You can never have enough small timber tables. Or cabinets. Or frames…

Anyway, this is what the table looked like when I got it.

I cleaned it up and used it on the porch for a while, I have pretty much just moved in to my house in Fentonbury then.

When I started making the porch look pretty and inviting, I realised I needed a table to sit coffee cups and books on. I looked around and thought one of the school desks would do perfectly with a makeover.

I had never tried mosaic till then, but how hard can it be, right? I looked it up online and got my supplies. I undercoated the table and got right to it.

I decided to make a pattern using small square tiles (I did have to break some in the end) but I tried to keep it as simple as possible. Once the tiles were set in place with the glue, I grouted with vanilla coloured grout cause I didn’t want it too whte.

Finally I gave the table a coat of Antique White USA (do you ever get tired of hearing that colour mentioned?) and it was done.

The table is now acting as a small desk in the purple room in Fentonbury with the small fold up chair I found at a farm auction a few years ago. I got it free cause no one else saw the potential of it and it was on the rubbish pile. Unlike the galvanised watering can I paid $50 for…

It was my first auction… I got into a war with a lady over it… Thats now on my list of things never to do again.

All I did to the chair was sand off most the peeling old red paint and estapol it.

the pine cupboard

Once upon a time there was a footlocker type cupboard… It was meant to sit underneath this wardrobe of Wayne’s to hold shoes I imagine… But when we moved to Wind Dancer it wouldn’t fit in the tiny room which has become Wayne’s walk-in wardrobe. The ceilings are too low in this house for such high wardrobes.

For a while it sat on the small deck and did, in fact, hold boots and shoes. It was plain pine, and thus ugly in my opionion. I thought it’d look much better painted white, distressed and with a pretty top. The top wasn’t meant to be seen so was just chipboard.

Sorry I don’t have any before photos. It was just too ugly.

I’d found these old crazed green tiles at a tip shop, very old fashioned. They were the inspiration for the top.

First thing I did with that was move it from the porch to the garage where I would work on it. I figured that since it was heavy and since it needed distressing anyway, I would push and roll it up the driveway thus killing two birds with one stone: transportation and distressing.

The gravel gave it some nice dents and scratches.

I undercoated, then painted the cupboard a pale green which I tried to match to the tiles, then … YEP! Antique White USA. (I have loads of the stuff, I gotta use it up!)

When the paint was dry I rubbed some watered down burnt sienna artists acrylic into the cracks and scratches to give it an aged look.

Next I broke the green tiles and after sacrificing one which, like Humpty Dumpty, could never be put back together again, I found a technique which allowed me to break tiles then put them onto the top in the right shape!  (Thanks Merrill – she helped with this!)

I used plain white tiles I found at tip shops, not all the same thickness, broke those and used them in a random fashion to achieve a contrast between the oblongs of green and the randomness of the white. The result is an uneven ‘textured’ surface with a sort of geometric pattern.

Of course, you always run out of grout before you finish…

And the edges were really rough. I had to find a way to finish those off smoothly which I did by some sanding and some imaginative grouting.

Lastly, the cupboard needed new handles. I got Wayne to make me some spoon handles. Very cute.

The cupboard was intented to live on the porch to hold boots and provide a spot to sit to pull them on, plus hold a pot plant or two. Since the porch is still a hold-all for timber and tools for other ‘not quite finished’ projects, its been useful in the grooming room to hold blankets.

For the time being its found a home in Fentonbury.


1 thought on “DIY – mosaic makeovers

  1. Looks lovely! I found a round table once at a sale for $10 and bought old plates that I broke and tiled the table with. My neighbor loved it so much that I ended up gigging it to her. Thanks for reminding me of yet another way to make my old things new again!
    Hi from NC!


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