How to Mosaic a Skeewbacker
Skeewbackers have a foam core interior and a waterproof membrane on each side, so they are perfect for mosaics - lightweight and can be used indoor and outdoor.
But first, know where your mosaic is going and plan for the appropriate glues you will use. I suggest weld bond for inside and thin set for outside. These glues work great with these boards. Make sure you read this before you start to glue so you use the right kinds of glue in order to keep the foam core interior safe.
Once you have a design and your tiles ready to go, here are the steps:
Step 1: You can mosaic either side of the board. Just pick the cleanest side of the board where edges are smoothest.
Step 2: install your hanging kits so they are flush with the surface. Here’s a video on how to do it.
Step 3: If you want to trace your design onto the surface of the Skeewbacker, you can. You can also put carbon paper underneath a paper design and trace over the design to transfer it onto the backer.
Step 4: If you are tiling the sides, do this first. You can also paint the sides and back with acrylic paint if you wish after you are all done. The 1/2” thick boards are easier to tile the sides than the 1/4” thick boards are. If you don't wish to tile the sides, you can also spread either grout or thinset over the edges.
Step 5: If you are doing a border, I recommend you do it next so that your border tiles cover the exposed edge tiles like this (show image).
Step 6: Fill in the rest of your design.
Step 7: Let dry and grout with sanded grout.
Step 8: As mentioned previously, if you haven’t tiled the sides, you can use an appropriate paint and paint the edges and the back if you wish. This is up to you. You can also frame the backer.
Skeewbackers have no moisture transfer, almost no thermal conductivity properties, and they will not rot whether indoors or outdoors. There is no fiberglass. Their only known vulnerability is to solvent based chemicals like some paints (especially spray paint) and some adhesives. Avoid those whose contents contain words like solvent, ethyl, methyl, toluene, and acetone. E6000 is an example of an adhesive with solvents. Do not use it.
Most of all, have fun!
Shouldn’t the sides be taped and thinset applied for use outdoors?
Answers to these 2 questions: Yes, you can cut these Skeewbackers into shapes. I like to trace the design onto the backer, then use a Jigsaw to cut out the shape. Also, if you have the Skeewbacker Coasters, then you can use weld bond to glue the cork onto the back.
Can you cut the skeewbacker to the shapes you want? If so what is the best way to cut it?
Glad to know about the non-compatible adhesives. Luckily my tube of E6000 was dried up.
I would like to know how to attach the supplied cork pieces to the back.