Making wonderful glass mosaic tile art is easy! Permit me to show you recommendations on how.
The purpose of sealing grout should be to make it water and mildew resistant, and to assist in keeping out dirt. Many mosaic articles and books say you will need to always seal grout. I don't always agree. In my opinion, indoor wall-hanging mosaics displayed in dry environments have no need for sealing. I simply don't bother because my indoor wall hangings don't get wet or messy. However, indoor mosaics exposed to dirt and moisture (e.g., tabletops and backsplashes) should, indeed, be sealed.
Grout on all outdoor mosaics should invariably be sealed for maximum protection from dirt and weather.
There are two basic types of grout sealers: 1) Penetrating, and 2) Membrane forming.
Penetrating Sealers: These sealers soak into the grout and leave deposits when the base liquid evaporates. The deposits, typically latex or silicone, fill the voids regarding grout, which then helps the grout resist dirt, grease, and liquid. Penetrating sealers usually don't change the grout color, except to slightly darken the item. Higher quality sealers typically result in less grout discoloration.
Membrane-forming Sealers: These sealers don't soak into the grout; instead, they remain the grout surface and harden, usually to a glossy finish (i.e., they form a thin membrane on the grout surface). Membrane-forming sealers are typically used in grout dyes to purposely change the grout color.
Note that sealers don't provide 100% protection in all conditions. Read product labels carefully the actual heading of 'Limitations' and you'll realize they typically say 'repel' or 'resist,' which aren't the same as 'provides complete shelter.' Don't expect sealers to prevent staining over all circumstances.
I prefer a quality penetrating grout sealer on my glass mosaics. My favorite is TileLab SurfaceGard Penetrating Sealer done by Custom Building Systems. It's water based, easy to apply, cleans easily off glass tesserae, and repels dirt, water, oil, and stains. I apply it to my mosaic tabletops and trivets the soft paintbrush to spread it the particular entire surface. Two minutes later following the sealer soaks into the grout, I use paper towels to wipe excess sealer off the glass tesserae. Then, after another two minutes, I exploit a clean towel to buff off any remaining deposits. If you wipe the sealer off the tesserae within several minnutes after applying it, there's usually no worries with it dulling or damaging the glass.
Although the product label recommends two coats, I tested it and learned that one coat often enough for my indoor mosaic tabletops and trivets. When first trying the product, I permit sealer dry for two hours and then applied a drop of water with a grout line. The water beaded instead of soaking in, indicating the grout was adequately sealed. So, I use only one coat for my indoor mosaics that stain and water resistance. However, for all outdoor mosaics, I always apply two fur.
It's important to wipe off excess sealer from glass tesserae within seconds of applying it. Don't risk the sealer dulling your glass with a residue that may be impossible to remove if left to thoroughly dry. Also, when using grout sealer, don't forget to take proper safety precautions. Read and follow solar light label.
Remember, making mosaic art is a piece of cake. You can do it. Yes, you are able to!
Bill Enslen has generated glass mosaic art and mosaic table art for three. His new ebook gives you step-by-step details for creating your own mosaic masterpieces. Visit his website and visit free sample chapters. Let him show you just how easy it is. With Bill's help, you can do it. Yes, you can!