I love the look of tile, but I’ve always been a little scared to attempt it myself! Something about the combination of necessary tools, cutting, and grouting seemed overwhelming. Oh my gosh was I wrong! Not only is tiling far easier than I had imagined, but it’s really fun too! If you want a beginner’s tiling project with a small investment and huge reward, this DIY mirror if for you!! 🙂
Like most of my refurbishing projects, this one began with a trip to my local Goodwill. Mirrors can be expensive, so why buy new when you can simply reuse, and enjoy a significant discount! After two visits and a 20% off coupon, I walked out with this beauty for $8!
What You Will Need:
- Framed Mirror (make sure it has a flat frame, or the tile won’t lay flat)
- Mosaic Tiles
- Painter’s Tape
- Paint Brush
- Sanding Block
- Tile Grout
- Tile Set or Tile Adhesive
- Tile Cutters
- Tile Sponge
- Tile Trowel
- Tile Float
1.) Clean the Frame: Always start every painting job with a clean surface. Give the frame a good cleaning with a damp cloth and some wood cleaner. Don’t worry about cleaning the glass; you’re just going to be covering it up while painting.
2.) Sand the Frame: Take a sanding block and lightly sand the entire frame. The goal to even out any rough spots while creating a course surface for the paint to adhere to; about 30-60 seconds per side is all you should need to spend. Wipe down the frame with a damp cloth to absorb any dust.
3.) Lay Out your Tile: This is perhaps the most time consuming and important part of the process. The more time you spend planning out your tiles, the less time you’ll have to spend actually laying them down. Mosaic tiles are usually sold on mesh backings which can easily be cut with scissor and don’t’ require spacers. Pick tiles that will not only compliment your design, but also fit within the frame’s dimensions. I chose a combination of small cracked glass and stone tiles, because they would fit nicely on my frame without too many extra cuts….they were also on sale. 😉
I used a tile cutter which I bought at Home Depot for about $10 to cut any tiles in half and fill in the gaps. It took a little while to get familiar with the contraption (especially as a left handed person!), but after a few tile casualties, I had everything positioned the way I wanted it. To keep everything in order, I laid out the tiles in long strips, so I would know exactly where each piece would go.
Click and drag to move
4.) Prime and Paint: Everyone has their own preference for painting furniture. I usually prefer using spray paint, because I feel it goes on more evenly than a paint brush and take less time to complete; however, since I had some nice leftover latex paint from another project, I chose to go with that 🙂 For a more in depth step-by step on painting furniture, please read my distressed dresser tutorial.
5.) Set Your Tiles: Since this was a small project, and I am an incredibly impatient person, I chose to use a tile adhesive called SimpleMat. You could also use a traditional tile thin-set, but I loved the idea of being able to grout right away! The SimpleMat was super easy to use! Simply cut the desired length you need, press it on the base surface, and then pull of the plastic film once you’re ready to add your tiles. WARNING: This stuff is sticky though! Make sure you know where all your tiles are going to be place before laying them down!
6.) Grout Tiles: This is the home stretch!! Since this project was so small, I purchased a small premade grout mix in bright white to match my paint color. Make sure whatever grout color you choose will compliment your overall look. Use the grout float to scoop the mixture onto the tiles, being sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies, while removing any excess that may begin to clump. WARNING: This is a messy process! I suggest using gloves, and keeping small children/pets away to avoid any unwanted catastrophes. After about ten minutes of starting the process, wipe down the completed sections with a damp sponge, changing out the water frequently. Once the grouting has been completed, leave the mirror to set for 24 hours undisturbed.
7.) Clean and Caulk the Tiles: Once the grout has set for 24 hours, finish the process by first cleaning any leftover grout haze on the tiles (for this I used Windex; however, they also sell specific tile cleaners if you want something stronger), and sealing the gabs between and the tile and frame with caulk.
Voila! You’re done!….and ready to take on a larger tiling project, perhaps a kitchen backsplash?