Well, I got the second panel up today and I only have cuts on 4 fingers.
It’s a lot of hard work and you get all sticky and beat up and there is a lot of swearing involved. At one point I was so desperate- trying to press the section that I was using both hands to hold up that I used my chest! I also used my feet to press in a lower part.
BUT it looks so great once it’s up!
I always hold in my mind’s eye the finished product. This almost always it what drives me. Call it delayed gratification or simply an ability to visualize the end product- it is what keeps me going, keeps me focused and on task.
here is the photo of my progress:
of course all the grouting is at the end. Once it’s all up and the mastic is dried. Grouting is also even more hard physical labor and harder on the hands etc.
I have spent the last 3 days working on a panel of a broken tile mosaic shower surround. It’s a total of 100 square feet and the panel is 36″x 72″. It’s always so satisfying to get it up on the wall and begin to see it as a unified image.
I found that the quality of shelf paper one uses is key to the ease in which you can put something up. I had a mixed bag- I started with the end of a roll of not-enough-sticky paper and ended up painstakingly pulling it off and reapplying a better one. There was a fair amount of swearing today.
I’ve found that it’s easier if, when a piece of tile drops off the paper as you are putting it up- that once it’s up on the mastic, to just use the exacto blade to cut an opening where it’s missing and put it in that way rather than try to pull off all the sticky stuff while the mastic begins to dry and then put the tile back in place.
I’ve also found that the more matte a tile is, the stickier the paper needs to be. Shiny tiles will stick to just about anything.
Another technique I found helpful was to just put some decent masking tape on my curly-strand shapes.
Here’s a photo of part of it up on the wall- I couldn’t get back far enough to shoot the entire panel.