Creating a Hand Painted Tile Mosaic for Your Kitchen Creating a Hand Painted Tile Mosaic for Your Kitchen

What You'll Need
Marking pen
Cleaning rag
Paint brush
Rubber mallet
Piece of scrap lumber
Tile spacers
Sanded grout
Mosaic tile adhesive
Soapy water
Urethane resin paint
Urethane sealer
Sheets of blank mosaic tile
Graph paper

Hand painted tile can be one of the most artistic and unique features of your kitchen. It can also be one of the trickiest to successfully craft and install. Mosaic tile is naturally high maintenance due to the tiles' small size, many grout lines, and tendency to crack if not installed properly. The good news is that you have no limits to creativity as far as your hand-painted designs. Following these basic guidelines will help make this mosaic tile project go smoothly.

Step 1: Draw Your Design

Plan your mosaic tile design by drawing each tile individually in each square of your graph paper. This is similar to piecing together a puzzle, and the results are well worth the time and effort. Use a pencil first so you can easily make changes and revisions. You can later trace over your pencil lines with the marking pen once you are satisfied with the entire design.

Step 2: Prep Your Tiles

Wash any dust, sand, grit, or other residue off your mosaic tiles with soap and water, using the scrub brush. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. This step is important because the urethane paint will not adhere correctly to tiles that are not clean.

Mosaic tiles come in sheets with a mesh backing. Take care not to drip or smudge any paint onto the mesh itself; it can be quite challenging to remove. Using a smaller, delicate brush to paint your design can reduce the chances of this problem happening.

Step 3: Outline and Paint 

Lightly draw your design onto each tile, then go over your lines with paint. If you are placing two or more colors close together, give the first one time to dry before painting on the second one; the same goes for the third color, fourth color, and so forth. Allow all paint to dry for 24 hours, and then apply an even coat of urethane sealer. Give this another 24 hours to dry, and you are ready to install your new customized tile mosaic.

Step 4: Install Your Mosaic

Decide where in your kitchen you want your new mosaic. Backsplashes are a popular choice, particularly if you have darker kitchen cabinets and appliances above and below. A colored tile mosaic can do a lot to brighten up the entire room in this case. Clean the backsplash area and apply a tile adhesive recommended for mosaic sheets with mesh backing.

Press one corner of your mosaic sheet in place and lower the opposite corner carefully. Gently press the entire sheet in place, but be careful not to press down too hard. Use a few tile spacers at the outside edges to help you apply the grout consistently. Lay your piece of scrap lumber against the tile and tap lightly with your rubber mallet to force out any air bubbles. Allow the adhesive to cure for 24 to 48 hours.  Finally, apply grout, filling the spaces between the tiles.





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