Most mosaics using either tile or pique assiette today tend to be grouted using tile grout in a number of natural grout tones. Grout can be found in a range of natural colors in your local hardware shop. But if you are looking for something a little more daring, or a color to suit your particular mosaic piece then you may have to create your own color. This can be easily done. Here are a couple of methods of coloring your grout to suit your project.
- Tints All or
- Acrylic paint
Remember that grout always dries lighter than it’s wet counterpart. So do a sample test to be sure you achieve the color you are looking for. When you choose your colors always choose solid and standard colors like red, black, yellow or blue. And always mix your color with white grout, not an already colored grout e.g. grey. If you do – your results will be disappointing. Experiment with the quantity of acrylic paint you require. Keep adding and mixing until you get the desired shade. Adding color can affect the strength of the grout slightly but it is unlikely to cause any major issues.
In my experience, trying to color grout after the fact is not effective. For example, you grouted a piece white and then decided you should have used black or red or some other color. There are colorants you can use to do this job but in my experience they’re not very effective. Grout colorants rely on three factors for success: porous grout, glazed tile surfaces and a steady hand. This method will not produce a clean finish. Here is an example of a piece which I colored gold after it had originally been grouted yellow. I had to use a fine paint brush to cover the original grout lines. It took ages to complete and the finish is not all that convincing.
Grouting is a far more time consuming process than one might imagine, particularly if you are using fine bone china. The reason for this is that the surface is not flat and therefore special attention must be paid to removing all grout from around each shard, so that each piece can be seen clearly. If you don’t take the time to do this, the piece will look messy, undefined and incomplete. It is a laborious time consuming process but the end results are worth it.
Below is an example of a table top made with fine bone china and grout in a light grey.
The round pieces in the design were cut using tile nippers. I have used the original plate designs to help determine the final form of the table top. Christchurch (New Zealand) is surrounded by braided rivers and I wanted to capture that in my design.