Mosaic Plate Fireplace

Mosaic Plate Fireplace

Create a mosaic tile fireplace from broken plates.


5 col

Second-hand plates broken into tile pieces make a gorgeous mosaic on a fireplace. Place the pieces by varying shades to create an ombre effect.

Materials
20-30 Second-hand ceramic plates in 3 different shades
Tile mortar and grout (in desired color)
V-notched trowel
Thick butcher paper
Painter’s tape
Hammer
Protective glasses
Work gloves
6 small buckets
Scissors
Large soft sponges
High-heat resistant fireplace paint in desired color
Interior latex paint (in desired color for mantel)
Paintbrushes
Level

Instructions

To create the tiles:

  1. Lay out a large piece of the butcher paper onto a workstation. Working with one color of the plates at a time, place the plates, one-by-one on the butcher paper and fold the bottom of paper over the plate. The different shades of plates will later be used to create a blended ombre effect on your fireplace
  2. Wearing protective gloves and glasses, smash the plates into “tiles” using the hammer. Using the thick paper will prevent shards of plate from breaking through the paper. You should try varying which part of the hammer you strike the plates with. Using the face, claw and even the cheek will yield different breaking results
  3. Break all of the plates and separate the three colors into three different buckets. Wear your work gloves and carefully handle the broken plate pieces

To apply the tiles:

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  1. With all of the plates broken into tiles, divide and mark the fireplace’s face into 3 horizontal sections using triple lines of the painter’s tape for each section. Use a level to ensure the line is perfectly flat. The triple tape line will later help us create a fading ombre effect. Your sections do not need to be evenly spaced, but the size of each section will determine how large your bands of each color will be
  2. Cover the floor in front of the fireplace with pieces of butcher paper to protect it from anything falling. Mix the tile mortar according to the manufacturer’s instructions in the fourth bucket. Once mixed, apply the mortar to the top section of the fireplace face using the v-notched trowel. Apply the mortar in small sections, making sure you are smoothing out the mortar over the entire section
  3. Start by applying the lightest colored tiles on the top section. Be sure to “butter” the back of each piece with mortar by using the putty knife before the tile piece is laid

Tip: Try to place the flattest pieces of the plates first and then move to the curved pieces. Also, placing each piece about 1⁄2-inch apart will give you adequate spacing.

  1. Once the entire top band has been covered with the tiles, move down to the taped section below it. Apply the mortar below the tape and apply the second lightest color of tiles to this middle section in the same way you did in step 8. Once the middle section has been tiled, move down to the lowest band and cover it with the mortar and darkest color tiles
  2. Now that you have the three main colors placed, you will begin to blend the colors together in the taped-off sections, creating the ombre effect . Remove all of the painter’s tape, which will expose two lines where no tiles have been applied yet. Cover the top line with the mortar, then apply a mix of the lightest and second lightest tiles to the mortared line. Move down to the second line, cover it in mortar, and apply a mix of the second lightest tiles and the darkest tiles to this line
  3. Once all of the plate pieces have been applied, allow time for the mortar to dry completely, which will vary by the brand. Check the packaging for specific drying details
  4. Once the mortar has secured the plate tiles to the fireplace, mix the grout (according the manufactures instructions) in the fifth bucket and prepare to fill in all the gaps between the plate pieces

Tip: The color of the grout you choose is very important. Choosing a light color that matches your tiles will cause the completed product to have a continuous, more blended appearance. Choosing a darker color that contrasts with the tiles will cause each individual tile to stand out in your final product, taking away from the blended, ombre effect.

  1. With the grout mixed, apply it to the tile mosaic using the trowel and putty knife, wiping the grout over the face of the tiles and into all of the cracks and crevices
  2. Fill the sixth bucket with clean water and wait about 20 minutes before sponging off the grout from the faces of the tiles, cleaning the surface of the mosaic piece. Repeat this process until all of the grout from the surface of the plate tiles has been removed
  3. Allow the grout to dry overnight. Once the grout has dried and the plates have permanently set, paint the mantel the desired color, using the paintbrush. Be sure to mask off the mosaic with the painter’s tape before painting. Once the first coat has dried, apply a second coat and allow it to dry as well
  4. Clean the bricks on the opening of the fireplace using a hand brush to remove soot and dust
  5. Once the bricks have been cleaned, use the paintbrush and high-heat resistant fireplace paint to paint the bricks. Once the first coat has dried, apply a second and allow it to dry completely

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