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Just like clean-up is unescapable with all kinds of art, it is with mosaics too. You just remove different types materials from your art. This article pertains to cleaning and detailing after you have grouted your mosaic piece.
One common problem after grouting is grout "haze." Where after you have wiped off your tiles you still see a smeary haze. To cut through this haze, you can use vinegar and water and lightly rub on top to remove the haze and shine up the tiles. Also a clear furniture polish rubbed only on top of your tiles will shine them up really well - just try to keep off your grout as it can cause the grout color to darken.
Other clean up challenges can be grout trapped in those tiny crevices of porous tiles or tiles that have texture. These can be frustrating. Try using a tool with a sharp, narrow point to get in there to remove those annoying spots. Skeewpicks are a set of 4 tools that I use and work great for these types of challenges. (Here's a video I made showing how they work.)
How do you finish out the edges of your mosaic? A common way is framing. Be sure to plan for a normal frame size ahead of doing your mosaic so you don't have to have custom sized frames built. This can add a lot of expense.
If you don't want the expense of framing, you have some options. You can tile the edges if your substrate is thick enough (minimum 1/2" thick); but plan ahead for tiling edges as you may need to do this first, before you mosaic the top. Some artists that use foam core boards like wedi board, kerdi board, etc., like to wrap the edges with fiberglass mesh and thin set, then tile. This needs to be done before you start your mosaic. You can also try painting the edges of your backer with Acrylic paint.
If using a Skeewbacker, painting the edges, putting thin set over the edge and even just grouting the edges works well. Other options for edging can be gluing fabric, rope, tiles, metal strips, just whatever compliments your design - as long as your materials are compatible with your backer so no warping occurs.
For more information on Skeewbackers, click here.
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