Thursday, October 15, 2009

Using Mesh for Mosaic

This is a mini tutorial for those involved with the mosaic mural projects who have never used Fiberglass Mosaic Mesh. Included is a sample of how to package your mosaic for mailing.
1. Starting from the bottom up:

  • You may want a mobile work surface (for your comfort) to tape your project to.
A cutting-board or clipboard for example.

  • Tape or clip your Template to your work surface

2. Template with your tracing-paper cartoon overlay.

*note: You may skip this step and draw directly on your template if you're confident in your design.

3. On top of your cartoon you will layer clear plastic.

Don't forget this step or your template/cartoon will be glued to your mosaic!

*I use the gallon size freezer bags. They are very thick and reusable for many more mesh projects. It has been suggested by other mosaic artists that GLAD Press'n Seal also works very well.

4. Layer your fiberglass mesh on top of the clear plastic layer.

You are now ready to start your mosaic :)

5. Apply your adhesive to only a small area of the tesserae.

* Left to right: Weldbond, Mac Glue, Dap Adhesive Caulk

6. Let your mosaic dry completely before removing it from the plastic.
*Drying times will vary with the adhesive used...sometimes drastically.
Mac Glue and Dap Adhesive Caulk are usually dry in about 6 hours...dependant on temperature and humidity. Weldbond may take a few days.

7. It is not necessary or desirable to coat the entire mosaic area with adhesive.
Because it is even more important that the adhesive used in assembling the mosaic to its final substrate is allowed to push up through the mesh and have good contact with every piece of your mosaic.

8. Once the adhesive has dried and has been peeled away from the plastic, your new mesh mosaic should still be very flexible.
Hold it up by the corners and give it a gentle shake to be sure that everything is well stuck.

9. Trim the extra mesh from your finished mosaic to about 1" or 2.5cm from the tesserae for packaging to mail.

Packaging a mesh mosaic to survive the mail

It is not necessary to use a giant package for the delicate mosaic...but it is important that it be immobile and rigid.
You will need:
  • A mailing envelope that's only a bit larger than your mesh mosaic. If it has padding or bubbles, even better.

  • 2 pieces of rigid cardboard cut at least 1/2" larger than the mesh edge of your mosaic.

Strong tape (regular gift-wrapping tape is not strong enough)

On 1 piece of the cardboard, tape down the entire edge of the mesh surrounding the mosaic.

Lay the 2nd piece of cardboard over the a mosaic sandwich and tape the cardboard edges together.
*Most of the mosaics that I have received through
the mail that were packaged using this method survived
with very few issues.

If you are using mosaic mesh and don’t plan to mail your piece out - Then, trim the mesh as close to the tesserae as possible before adhering it to the substrate of your choice.
  • Using mesh for mosaics in this way is also very useful when working on vertical, curved and 3D pieces.

  • The meshed mosaic needs to be adhered with an adhesive that has the ability to squish up through the mesh, for example: thinset and DAP


  1. Thanks for the very informative tutorial on using mesh. I still have not given it a go. Cheers, Doreen

    PS. I am not a regular blogger either I am ashamed to say I have blogged once to date.

  2. Hi Lin..quick question: I am doing a piece on mesh using glass...most of the glass was opaque, but I really want to use a yellow translucent on this piece, but the mesh shows through. Is there any way around this problem?

  3. Hi Judy,

    Let's see now...

    1. You could paint the back of the glass white
    2. If they're larger pieces or just a few areas, you could snip out the mesh in those areas then lay the translucent directly on the substrate.

    That's about all I can think of at the moment.
    I've tried using white thinset and/or white DAP...but I can still see the mesh.

  4. wow, Lin, that was a really quick response, thanks! I tried other colors, but I just have to use this yellow. It's a slightly large area, so snipping wouldn't work...I thought about painting them (too bad I already cut them) so that's probably what I will do.
    Thanks again, and see you on sgam