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Make a Mosaic Doorstop

By Edited Jan 15, 2016 0 0

Why use a shoe or a piece of junk to keep your door from slamming shut when you could create a decorative accessory instead? All you need is an old brick, some mosaic tiles, and a few supplies.

Start with a Clean Brick

Clean your brick by giving it a good once-over with water and a scrub brush and let it dry completely (brick is porous and may take a couple of days to dry thoroughly). Gather your materials: You'll need latex-modified thinset, craft sticks, tile pieces or other decorations (such as half-marbles, shells, etc.), sanded grout, a grout sponge, pieces of heavy cardboard, white glue and a sheet of cork or felt. Acrylic paints are optional if you decide to paint the sides of the brick.

Set your brick on a worktable and decide how extensively you want to decorate it. Do you want to tile the top and all four sides, or only the top? Do you want an all-over pattern or something different? An interesting and simple pattern is to use tile pieces with flat sides to line the edges of the brick, then fill in with a contrast color: it looks a bit like a river flowing through the brick.

Attach the Tile Pieces

Work out your design until you are happy with it, and then mix up a batch of thinset. Using the latex-modified product helps to reduce the chance of cracking because it contains some "give." Use a craft stick to apply thinset to the back of each tile and press it firmly down to the brick. Alternatively, spread a layer of thinset about ¼ inch thick across the entire surface of the brick and set your tiles firmly into it. This method is fine if you already have an idea of how you want to place the tiles and can set them fairly quickly. The thinset will begin to set up in about half an hour, so if you're going to need some time to create your design, it's better to apply thinset to the back of each tile piece.

When you are happy with your design on the top surface of the brick, let it dry for at least four hours. Handle it carefully even after that, because tiles can still break off until you apply grout. If you've decided to tile the other four sides, do that now. It's possible to apply thinset and tiles to vertical surfaces, but you'll have to press firmly to be sure it adheres properly. If you've got loads of time, just lay each side facing up and tile it separately, then let dry about four hours.

Grout the Finished Design

When the brick is covered in tile, let the brick sit overnight. Mix up the grout according to package directions, then apply it to the tile with pieces of heavy cardboard. Make sure to push the grout into all spaces between tiles. Then wring out a grout sponge in a bucket of water and carefully wipe away excess grout, being careful not to gouge out the grout between the tiles. Sanded grout is better for this project than the unsanded variety, since you will likely have larger spaces to fill. Wait a couple of hours, then buff the surfaces of the tiles with a clean rag to remove any lingering grout haze.

Paint the Sides

If you've tiled only the top of the brick, consider painting the sides for a more finished look – or just leave the brick natural, depending on your decor. Use acrylic paints and artist brushes. It is also a good idea to lightly spray the grout with a grout sealer, in order to deter mildew. Apply one color all over for a contemporary vibe, or paint a design such as a checkerboard or stripes for a more casual feel.

Add Felt or Cork

When the paint or sealer is dry, turn the brick over and cut a piece of felt or cork to the size of the bottom surface. Spread a thin layer of glue onto the entire surface of the brick and press the cork or felt down firmly – this will protect your floors. Be sure that all four corners are firmly attached. When it's dry, turn it over and your new doorstop is ready to perform its function in style!

A simple mosaic doorstop
Credit: Patricia Rockwood
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