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About twenty years ago I bought an adorable little bistro table for a mere $10 on clearance at Target. There were no chairs with it but it was a stained glass mosaic top on a wrought iron base that must have been put there at that price just for me. It has survived several moves, and numerous seasons, but is much worse for wear. It was time to either bid it a fond farewell or put forth some elbow grease and give this cute little table some love. I, of course, chose love.
First, I had to decide how to refinish it. Looking at the price of stained glass pieces were not only daunting for this project but would give an almost identical look. So I tried to get the glass tiles off, and tried, and tried, and tried. I tried several different methods to attempt to dissolve whatever is holding on those remaining tiles. I did Googled my heart out. I spent hours trying to find a solution. Nothing worked. I don’t know what they attached those little pieces of glass with, but they did NOT want to come off. So I ordered a new piece of acrylic and planned to do a stained glass picture on it. When the acrylic arrived it was not rigid, but very flexible. That would simply not work for a tabletop. I didn’t read the description well enough and assumed the piece was stronger than it was. I was back to square one. I thought about just cutting a piece of wood and using that but why? If I was not doing a transparent tabletop then I could just flip over the existing one and use the underside, so that is just what I did.
In the end, I decided to do a mirrored mosaic tabletop and use Gallery Glass Paints and DecoArt glass stain to add some color to some of the pieces. To be perfectly honest I liked the DecoArt Glass Stain much better for this project, although Gallery Glass is better for others. Now, as Gallery Glass and DecoArt Glass Stain are not intended for outdoor use, but I will be sealing it using Rustoleum Triple Thick Glaze.
Mirrored Mosaic Table Supplies:
- Table ~ any old table you have on hand
- Full-Length Mirror
- Mosaic Grout
- Scoring Tool
- Gallery Glass Paint or DecoArt Glass Stain
- Rustoleum Triple Thick
- Scraping Tool
- Goo Gone
The first thing I did was take off the tabletop and took it inside to thoroughly clean it with glass cleaner and a razor blade to remove 20+ years of underside ickiness. Next, I took the mirror and used Goo Gone to remove the adhesive backing from the mirror. Then I covered the mirror with an old towel in order to prevent mirror shards from flying all willy-nilly around the dining room. I took a small rubber mallet and gave the mirror a couple of good whacks to make break it down a bit, not too much, as that would be both messy and a bit dangerous.
Once I had the mirror broken into some larger pieces I took the scoring tool and to make score lines in order to start breaking down the mirror into smaller pieces. I wanted some medium approximately 1 inch for the main size and getting smaller from there as needed to fill in and make it appear random. I was careful not to make uniform looking pieces for this project, although it would be easy to do so if you wanted to.
Next, I started simply gluing the pieces down being careful to maintain a consistent distance between the pieces. Any larger gaps I filled in by cutting smaller bits of mirror and adhering those in. It is actually a very easy, although time consuming process, and I entertained myself by binge-watching the newest season of “Jane The Virgin” on Netflix. When that was done I let the glue dry thoroughly.
Now for the grout. I chose to do black for this project because the mirrored pieces will be so bright I felt I needed some contrast. I used a premixed craft type of grout for this project, but you can also buy larger quantities of grout in your local home center and color it with either a commercial colorant made for grout or good old acrylic paint. Being sure to use gloves (grout will quickly dry your skin, and in the case of the black, stain it), start applying the grout using being sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies of your project. Let it set up for a bit, then using a damp sponge, clean it gently off of your mirrored pieces. It will leave a hazy appearance on your mirror. This is fine. Once it is completely dry, you can give it a good cleaning and buffing and it will shine right up.
After you clean it, it’s time to apply the Gallery Glass Paint. Gallery Glass is not waterproof or permanent. You can peel it off of glass when you are done with the design which is great in most cases, and perfect for rental units when you want to add a bit of privacy to your glass, but in this case, a waterproof sealer is a necessity.
Once it was completely dry it was time to give it a few coats of Rustoleum Triple thick to seal it all in. I let that dry and have the base a couple of coats of a matte black metal paint and the table is ready to enjoy.