This summer I undertook the largest mosaic project I have ever attempted. Last year my parents built a new front porch for my little brick house, and this year I wanted to continue to work on the home’s curb appeal. My front door is painted a pretty British racing green with matching wooden screen door, so I wanted something to flank both sides while displaying the address numbers.
Inspired by the craftsman designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, I first sketched out the design on graph paper, and then converted that to Excel spreadsheet to create an installation guide.
My original plan was to make the panels flank both sides of the door and go all the way to the ground. After realizing that the cement backerboard came in 3×5′ sheets, I redesigned each panel to be 1.5×5″.
I ordered whole sheets of 3/4″ tiles in the Kaleidoscope Color Grove Glass Mosaic series from Mosaic Tile Supplies. I chose the colors, Flax as the background, with accents of Lipstick, Caramel, Stratosphere and Portland.
Once the sheets arrived, I flipped the Excel image because the tiles arrived on face-mounted sheets, meaning that I would be working on the sheets from the back. I cut out the tiles from the Flax sheets, and then replaced them with the other colored tiles, using masking tape to piece the squares back together. So, basically I was creating large quilts of tiles. I then applied tile mastic to the backerboard and applied the tile squares to the board, leaving a two-inch border for the MDF trim. Once the tile adhesive dried for 24 hours, I then removed the paper cover soaking the paper and carefully removing the tape and paper. I then grouted the panels.
The hardest part of the process was drilling into the bricks on the house. My father was generous enough to assist in this process. He installed screw anchors and then was able to screw the panels directly onto the wall. He then covered the screws and raw backerboard with MDF trim painted to match the house paint.