1. Make sure the surface you are going to stick the mosaic to is hard. If the surface has any give, the mosaic could crack.
2. Clean the surface from any debris and dirt. If is it bare wood, I would prime it.
3. Buy mastic. This is the “glue” that holds the tile pieces in place. Read the information on the bag or can. I used dry mastic that had to be mixed with water. Follow the directions precisely.
4. Buy grout. This is the stuff that goes between the tiles. It comes in a variety of colors, with sand and without. I used sanded grout because I knew I would leave large gaps between tiles.
5. You will also need a notched trowel to apply the mastic and a grout float to apply the grout.
6. Buy or find tiles, plates, and/or other ceramic objects.
7. Break any ceramic objects that aren’t flat. I put my plates between 2 pieces of cardboard and whammered them with a 4 lb hammer. Wear protective googles!!! Pieces that don’t sit flat are going to be hard to use. Discard what you can’t use.
These broken bits have sharp edges! You can file the edges of each piece. Being in a hurry, I did not. In most cases the grout covers the sharp edges. Unfortunately, my table still has some sharp points that stick up. I’m going to use a hand-held power sander with the appropriate emory sandpaper when I put the tabletop back in place.
8. If you’re smart, you will plan exactly where you want each tile piece to go. If not, you’ll need to work fast and hope for the best. Do some web searching and I’ll bet you’ll find a variety of instructions on how to prepare mosaic tile. In fact, check out the Mosaic Tile Guide!
9. Read the directions and mix and apply the mastic. Don’t put down too much at any one time because it takes longer to place those tiles than you think it will.
10. Read the directions and mix and apply the grout after the mastic has set. Enjoy!