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How to Minimize Cleanup for Your Mosaic

mosaic shape for frog with red eyes

Tired of all that cleanup? Sometimes it can be very challenging to get all the glue and cement off your tiles and make your mosaic art look really clean and finished. Here are a couple of tips that might help alleviate some of these problems and save you time too.

If you happen to be a little heavy-handed with glue, like me, try squeezing a small amount of glue onto a dry, flat, clean surface that can either be thrown away or easily cleaned off. Then using tweezers or your fingers, dip the back of each tile into the glue. This helps you control the amount of glue that you use and helps eliminate excess glue that sometimes pours out of your bottle of glue. I call this the "dippin'" technique.

When you're done, it's easy clean up – just toss away or wait until glue is dry and it will peel off the surface easily so you can add a fresh mound of glue and go again.

Thinset can be super messy and get on your fingers which gets on your tiles and so on. So, for using thinset on small projects, I've found that "buttering" or spreading thinset on the backs of my tiles with a wooden craft stick works really well.

If you try to apply thinset to a large section of your mosaic all at once, you might end up with thinset that is too thick and then it will come up too high on the sides of your tiles, filling in where your grout needs to go. Then you are stuck with all that clean up work to do before you grout – or worse, after you've grouted. And, spreading your thinset over large areas will cover up your pattern if you are working over one.

So try these dippin' and butterin' techniques and see if they work for you. Watch my video to see how I do it.

this article is made possible by the support of skeew.biz - cool stuff for cool mosaics

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