Hi, I've been keeping this old ugly bird bath for ages as I had nothing to replace it with. The bowl is rather flimsy, meaning if I put a hand on each side of it and I can bend it, slightly. So I'm not sure it is strong enough for grout and etc. It also has a round raised area in middle, originally from K-Mart for 10 bucks or so... that's how old it is! I found this site, and was wondering if I could mosaic it. If so 1) what do I use for grout, and 2) what do I seal it with that will not hurt the birds? Oh yea, I thinking of smashing up a bunch of plates to use. Thanks for any help/guidance/suggestions...my mind is a total blank.
The mosaics I've seen on this site are just fantastic. You are all a very talented, creative group. The mirror lady was awesome, I would never have thought of that - or even tried it for that matter!
Hi, I've just dabbled in mosaics so far, but I may be able to help you. If the plastic birdbath is at all flexible, I'm pretty sure the mosaic pieces would pop off and the grout would crack and crumble if it were flexxed at all. If it were my project I would cover the whole birdbath with a thin layer of thinset, press wire mesh or chicken wire into the wet thinset, put another coat of thinset over that. As the thinset dries over the next couple of hours, smooth the surface so it is smooth enough to take waterproof tile adhesive or Liquid Nails (these adhesives can be on pieces that will be outside). Then I would choose pottery pieces and tile pieces that were highfired (not chalky or able to scrape unglazed part of fired clay with fingernail). Decide on your design and start gluing the pieces on. Let the adhesive dry completly (24-48 hrs). Then use a sanded grout of your color choice (I get mine at Home Depot along with the thinset in the tile department). Let it dry for about a week, then apply a liquid grout sealer(Home Depot) to protect the birdbath.
If the birdbath is not at all flexible, don't put on any thinset, just start gluing the pieces on and take if from there.
It should be pretty hardy, but I would bring it inside during winter months.
No matter how you do it, please post a picture! Would love to see it. Susan
Swalt: Thank you so much. Mosaic cement bird baths are so expensive, I just can't afford them. So I thought why not? I don't think a bird landing on the side would cause the bath to bend, but I also have squirrels that I've seen try to get a drink of water, so was afraid one of them would jump into the mosaic-ed one and make it crack. I will attempt to do it and will put pic on when done...although may take me awhile, I'm so slow, and have so many 'projects'.
You are welcome. I'm just a newbie at it as well. So you might wait to get other's responses to make sure it will work. I did that same process over a straw doll to make a mosaic doll a couple of years ago and it worked well-very solid. A birdbath IS a big project! Reward at the end is great! I will hope for pictures...You have inspired me to be on the lookout for a plastic birdbath to try for myself. OK, now I have another project... :o))
if it flexs already then just moving it to grout it could cause the stuff to pop off never mind any creature getting on it.. reinforce that puppy with cement and chicken wire then mosaic it.. it will be easier to do the mosaic if you do that first.. buy a broken bag of quickcrete from lowes for a buck, sift out the gravel and you have a fine gained thinset to use that will take mosaic real well once its cured.. use chicken wire on the plastic form to give the concrete something to grab on to.. yes it will take you longer but youll have a piece that will last just about forever if you keep it sealed