Monday, November 28, 2011

Adding tile to wood

Classes are on a short break right now, which gives me some solid blocks of time to catch up on holiday orders. Last year, I overextended myself and I was miserable! So I vowed to lighten my load a little bit. I'm thrilled that I remembered to do that this year!

I've been working on a large mirror, and my clients wanted to add a small section of tile in the mirror frame, to tie it in with some other pieces in their home. They chose a gorgeous glass tile that has some texture in it; it looks amazing next to the African Mahogany that I used to build the frame.

But textured tile can often be tricky to work with - as the grout can get into the texture and ruin the look of the piece.

Here is the mirror with the grout drying - the area is masked off so that the grout doesn't stain the wood.

Once the grout dries, I uses a small piece of burlap to wipe off the residue. It helps to do this over a trash can, so all the dried bits of grout simply fall into it.

It is a little hard to see here, but the grout has infiltrated the texture, and needs to be removed. This is when I pull out my secret weapon -

a small section of dowel rod.

Sharpen one end in a pencil sharpener,

so that you get a pointy end.

Then - using that end, you can dig the grout out of the cracks. The dowel is much kinder to the tile than using a nail or something sharp that can scratch it.

Once - I used a pencil to do this, and ended up having to go back and wipe out graphite from the area that I was cleaning. Take it from me - don't use a pencil, no matter how handy it might seem.

An here is the finished tiled area - it's gorgeous!

The mirror is done and awaiting pick up - so I'm on to my next project - and this one is a doozy! I'll give you one hint -

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