Things You'll Need
- Non-beater bar vacuum
- Damp sponge
- Grout and tile sealer
- 1/4-inch artist brush
- Stone enhancer
- 4-inch foam roller
- Roller pan
- Car polish
Mosaics are an art form in which patterns and designs are made up of small pieces of stone, glass or tile. These small pieces are often fixed in mortar and grouted like other tile work. Pieces of ancient mosaics have been found in Greece on both floors and walls, showing the durability of this art form. Making a mosaic is often labor intensive because pieces may be irregular in shape and of many colors, requiring the artist to make careful selections to bring an artistic pattern to fruition. Preserving the work is important, so a good tile sealer often is applied to protect the tiles and grout from damage and staining.
Clean the mosaic pieces using a non-beater bar type of vacuum cleaner to remove any debris and small grit. Wipe the cleaned surface with a damp sponge to remove dust.
Apply grout sealer after the grout has cured for three to five days. Grout sealer is used to protect the grout from staining. If the tile has a hardened, very shiny finish, the tile itself will not be vulnerable to staining. If, however, you are using broken tiles, stains can enter the unfinished or broken sides of the tile near the grout line. Seal just the grout for unbroken tiles. Seal the entire surface if the tiles are broken.
Seal natural stones using a natural stone enhancer product applied with a 4-inch roller. This will create more of a wet look to the natural stones, bringing out their color. Natural stones are often porous, and the sealer protects the stones from staining. Sealer may need to be reapplied every two to three years to maintain the finish.
Wax the mosaics for a high shine. Use a car wax polish and a buffer to bring out the shine.
Mosaics mounted to a wall may not be subject to much wear or staining. These may need resealing much less frequently. Floor mosaics and mosaics on tables or in kitchens may require more frequent resealing. Clean your mosaics with pH-neutral cleansers; other soaps may ruin the finish.
F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.