Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Heart and Home How To: A Pique Assiette Table

This was a really fun project! I love working on something when I can be creative with the design, as well as giving something old and dirty a new life. I started this thinking I would be done in one or two days. But I forgot that I also have a life.......
Anyway, this little table had at one time been really cute, with a colorful design on top and nicely painted legs. But after spending time outside the top got all faded, and the legs were pretty grungy. I figured I could bring it back to something pretty cute with just a little effort:

To clean up the legs, there's nothing a little Krylon copper spray paint can't fix. Love that stuff, it is so easy to use and dries very quickly. (Hey, does that paper say Hawaii for $99? That is soooo tempting!)
Next I fooled around with some ideas for a design. I knew I would change my mind once I got started, I always do! Not that there's anything wrong with that......

Next step, getting out all the tools and tile and broken plates and stuff. Which requires climbing into this big, dirty, rat smelling cabinet in Mr. H&H's garage. He would be shocked to see the mess in that cabinet, since he takes such pride in the neat and tidy state of his garage. But I suppose what's behind closed doors doesn't count when he goes into his fits of cleaning out there.

Okay, now we're cooking! I'm getting used to doing this again, it's been awhile. Each piece of tile or broken ceramic is "buttered" with tile mastic (adhesive) and glued to the surface of the table. (by the way, I just smash plates, tiles etc. under a towel with a hammer to get the right size pieces. I know some people prefer to use tile nippers to cut the plates or whatever into more uniform sizes, but I like the look of the random pieces and the different shapes. I'm not reassembling the plates or tiles, just using them for their colors. But maybe on another project I'll try it the other way.)

Anyway, for the "glue" I'm using an acrylic type that is recommended for outdoor use (AcrylPro ceramic tile adhesive, which comes in a big tub. Purchased at Home Depot), this is very important!! I spent a lot of hours on another project just to see it disintegrate piece by piece because I had used the wrong type of adhesive, and didn't account for the effect of the weather. That was very discouraging, and I learned my lesson.

In progress:

You can see that the design I drew on was just to give me an idea of where to put the tile. More of a suggestion for the design. It's not really an exact science. Which is why it's fun! Here's the table with the new tile top, before it's been grouted. That's the next step and finishes the whole thing off.

I decided not to include words in the design, thought it would be too busy for such a small surface:
Note the pretty glass tiles around the edge of the table top. I love the colors, and used a random pattern when I glued them on. Which is to say, I didn't use a pattern at all, just stuck them on any old way.

Now I was finally able to get some grout on this thing! I mixed dry grout (Polyblend Grout, sanded) with a little water to the consistency of toothpaste, and spread it on the table top with a spackling tool and my fingers. It's important to get the grout into all the grooves and places between the tile pieces:
It doesn't look that great now. But, after the grout dries for awhile, a wet sponge is used to wash off the excess, and to rub away any grout that has completely covered up pieces of the tile. This part is fun, because that's when you really get an idea of what the finished project will look like.
And here it is: TA DA!!!

I think it turned out really cute! Plus now the table is a lot sturdier and substantial. After 72 hours I sealed the grout with waterproof grout sealer, (very smelly stuff: Jasco Silicone Grout Sealer) to increase the table's longevity outdoors.

The finished project.
I like it!
It's just what I needed for that spot beside my couch on the front deck!

I hope that was enough information for those of you who might want to try this sometime.
Almost anything can get a face lift in this manner. Use your imagination and have fun!
Until next time!


Chris said...

Heidi, you did a great job! I really like the splash of yellow amidst the pretty blue. Hmmm...I need one of those!

Blue Creek Home said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial for outdoor mosaics. I have done small things, but I really want to do something bigger. I wouldn't have known to use the acrylic glue.

Your is gorgeous. Thanks!

Lyssa said...

This is such a great project! Something that I found to be a great thing for this, I found over at Tomboy Tools website:
It's a Mosaic Tile Kit! Just had to spread the word...plus i'm a consultant so that helps ;)

HeatherAnn said...


I was wondering where you got your pillows from. I absolutely adore them =]

Heidi said...

Hi HeatherAnn,
(I couldn't find an e-mail for you so I'm answering here.) I made the pillows. Isn't that fabric great? It's sunbrella, great for the outdoors, I love it!:)
Thanks for visiting.

HeatherAnn said...


Sorry about not leaving an email and for taking sooo long to get back to you. I'm kinda new to the whole blogging world. You did a great job at making those pillows, I'm totally jealous =] That fabric would go great in my bedroom!!! Do you happen to remember what store you got it from?

oh and my email is daydreamingmylifeaway@gmail.com

hee hee hee, thank you =]