Thursday, September 6, 2012

Project from ....!

Have you ever started a project thinking, "Oh, this will be easy, no prob, piece of cake..."? I know you have. So you will understand the title of this blog post.

I have a sweet piece of furniture I brought back with me from Germany years ago. It's funky, I love it, but I wanted to give it a face lift so I had the brilliant idea to tile the surface and transform it into a bar for my dinning room. I was gifted these tiles, wonderful, right?  They are glass, they are Italian and they are beautiful, what a great idea. Not wanting to sound ungrateful, the tiles had been stored in a garage so they were...ah, dusty, that's New Mexico dust, one month of which is equal to three years of Michigan dust. They were also "paper-backed"... easier to keep them spaced and ready to apply to a kitchen wall, etc.. This would be great if they had not sat in a garage in New Mexico for years baking in the heat, but the paper was crumbling, tearing, let's just say, I had tiles EVERYWHERE! I decided to remove  all the dusty paper but it had literally been baked onto the face of the tiles. What a mess. It took myself and cosmic daughter Heather three days to scrub the paper from each small tile. Then I panicked, worried about maintaining the tile's original spacing, so I had the brilliant idea of taping them together on their "wrong" side with blue painter's tape...mistake!

In the end I had to remove every tile individually from all the tape and paper.  Blue tape misstep...arrggh!

Moving forward, I painted the back of the top cupboard a lovely teal blue. It is subtle and so much nicer than the previous wood color. Note the surface though; it is a black, strange paper-like, bumpy substance attached to the top. I decided I could not tile directly onto this strange surface. What to do? At first I thought I would use a new product that adheres the tiles without mortar to a sponge-like surface that you then grout. After many consultations with my smart husband, I rejected that idea because of my fear of too much movement under the tiles, and returned the product to the big box store.

Frustrated, I was just about ready to toss the whole project when, thankfully, my husband Michael had an idea to create mounting boards, that are then adhered to the top one at a time, then grouted together. But first, I had to lay out every tile...because the tiles, now removed from their paper and changed from the color-blocked design, had to be placed one-by-one to create a pleasing but mixed design. Also, my color palette was limited as were the number to total tiles available. I just had to test the design. Okay, now after months and months of fooling around with this. Finally, I am making progress!

 Testing the design

I am adhering the tiles by back-buttering with liquid nail. I found it easier to control tile placement and mess using this method. The board on the right is fixed, the one of the left...I am working on as you read this! Once I get all the tiles fixed on the boards I will liquid nail the board to the surface of the German ....what? Credenza? Schrunk? (that's the German word)...and then grout the entire surface. At least this is the plan!
So, stay tuned for the reveal. Hopefully by the beginning of next week, fingers crossed please.
...and, um..if you need me, you know where I'll be this weekend! Cheers!

1 comment:

Maria Rose said...

Ooo I love those colors! I can't wait to see the finished product. Good luck

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