This instructable is for a Pacman tile mosaic desk that I made!
Although it’s very time consuming, and requires quite a bit of patience, this project is EXTREMELY simple and yields a very professional looking finished piece if done correctly.
The desk I used was a cheap one I purchased from Ikea quite a while ago, but pretty much any spare desk/table that you have should work.
This is a great project for repurposing old furniture that might otherwise be bound for the garbage dump!
Step 1: The importance of a layout
Start off by figuring out what you want your table to look like!
Since everyone who does this will probably be using a different type of desk or table, everyone’s canvas is likely to be a different size or shape…so unfortunately, that means there is really no way for me to make just one concrete pattern for everyone to use.
HOWEVER, I have included a ton of different patterns, samplers from many different video games, so you can pick and choose what you want to put on your surface!
(If you would like to use images from a game that I haven’t listed, feel free to let me know in the comments and I would be happy to help you out!)
Start out by drawing a diagram.
Make a scale drawing of your table surface, and incorporate a grid to fit in the images you chose.
Your grid squares can be whatever size you want, BUT, keep in mind that it will determine what size tiles you use. You can use whole small tiles, or cut larger tiles to a custom size if needed.
Example: I made one inch grid squares because I wanted to use one inch tiles.
Be creative! Have fun coloring things in, transposing the squares from my pattern images onto the squares of your table scale grid, and make something unique!
Step 2: Ingredients
-Tiles in a variety of colors*
-Grout application tool (float, trowel, or squeegee)
-Razor blade or scissors
*When picking up your supplies, your tile choice is going to be very important.
Once you finish your grid layout, you are going to have to track down all of the tile colors you need. You might end up buying tiles from more than one location, so be sure that they are all the same thickness and the same finish!
If they are different thicknesses your table will not be flat and smooth!
And your table will look very strange if your tiles are a combination of glossy and matte finish. (Unless of course, you planned it that way…in which case you might be able to create a neat effect!)
The tiles I purchased were sheets of one inch backsplash tiles, which means they came attached to a mesh backing.
If you purchase tiles like this, you can simply cut them apart using scissors or a razor blade.
Step 3: Prepare your surface
Then, wipe the table clean with a damp rag making sure no sawdust remains.
It is best to apply the tiles to a flat, clean, dry surface.
Step 4: Placing your tiles
Start in a corner, and apply glue and stick them one at a time, methodically working your way out.
Use tile nippers if you need to cut any pieces to fit in corners or around curves.
Consult the tile adhesive packaging and allow for adequate drying time.
Step 5: Grouting your cracks
I chose a water proof grout to protect against spills.
Keep in mind that grout comes in different colors, so be sure to compliment your design. The grout I used was just an ordinary white.
I am including general grouting instructions, just so you have an idea of what will be required of you to finish this project, but be sure to apply your grout following the instructions on the packaging because there are many different types!
Fill a bucket or container with water. The amount of water will vary according to the size of the project. The grout manufacturer's instructions will advise the proper amount for each job.
Add grout powder to the water until the recommended amount of grout has been added. For small grout joints, the grout mixture should be the consistency of peanut butter or slightly firmer. Larger grout joints require a consistency of bread dough or slightly softer.
Apply the grout. Prepare all joints in advance to ensure they are free from dust or any debris. Using a rubber grout float or trowel, begin working the grout into the tile joints completely. Apply the grout at a 30 degree angle to the tile all the way across project. Then apply in the same manner in the opposite direction until all joints are filled. Turn the float or trowel to a 90 degree angle and swipe across surface to remove excess grout. Most grouts are water-soluble and can be wiped up if grout flows over to tiles.
Sprinkle dry grout mixture directly onto the joints of the tile. Rub the dry grout in a circular motion and into the tile joints until they are uniform. Repeat this process.
Maintain temperature. An ambient temperature produces smooth, even results. Excessive or rapid heating or cooling may result in uneven or discolored grout.
Remove residue. Allow 30 to 40 minutes of drying time before wiping residue from the project surface. Apply a damp sponge to the tiled area and wipe away in a circular motion any remaining film or residue. A terry rag can be used for the final polishing.