Achieving the Broken Glass Look for Side Tables

Side tables today are often used as a decorative pieces in many homes. Now, old and worn side tables no longer need to be discarded because they can be refaced using a broken glass look known by artisans as “Mosaic” art. Creating this look in your home on a new, or existing side table is really quiet simple, as you will learn by following the directions below. 

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Pottery, stone, shells, marbles, tiles, and/or broken pieces of glass
  • Tile adhesive
  • Tile grout
  • Spray tile sealant
  • Sturdy table
  • 1 inch L-shaped strips of wood
  • Nails and/or wood glue
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Clean rags

Step 1 - Selecting your Color Scheme and Style

If this is your first time doing this type of project, it may be wise to limit your color palette to 2 or 3 colors using only smooth materials with no broken glass, stones, or shells. You can create a more balanced and a more formal feel to the side table by using elements and patterns such as butterflies, hearts or flowers that are familiar to everyone as opposed to an abstract explosion all over your table.

Step 2 - Creating the Design and Preparing the Side Table

Take a large piece of cardboard and trace the top of your side table onto it. Once you have done this, you can now begin to lay out your smooth colored pieces on the cardboard, arranging and rearranging them until you find a pattern or picture you are happy with. When creating your picture or pattern, you should start in the center and work your way toward the outer edges of your table top.  Next, wash down your side table top with a good cleaning solution to make sure there are not residues present that might prevent your adhesives and grouts from sticking. After drying the table top, take your one inch strips of wood and fasten it to the sides of the table top to form a frame around your table top to house your pattern design.

Step 3 - Transferring our Template to the Side Table

Using your tile adhesive, spread it on a section of your table and then you can begin transferring your pattern from the cardboard to your table.  Adhesive dries quickly so do not use more than the area you can cover in the time allotted on the package for drying. Once your entire pattern has been transferred, allow a twenty-four hour period for the adhesive to cure before moving to the next step.

Step 4 - Grouting and Sealing your Side Table

Once the adhesive has cured, you can now grout your side table. When grouting the table you need to ensure that you grout between each decorative piece on your table top, as well as out to the very edge of the table. Black grouting looks more formal than white grouting and is much easier to keep clean, but today you can purchase grout tinted to any shade you like, so be creative. After you have completed the grouting, you will need to use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess grout before sealing it. When this has been completed, it is time to seal the table’s surface area. This is necessary to protect your work from spills and stains, and all you need to do is apply a spray tile sealant over your mosaic work and wait for it to dry before using it.