Mosaic guitars are really fun to make and great conversation pieces. If you have an old or damaged guitar it can be repurposed into a beautiful decorative mosaic. Mosaicing a guitar can present its challenges, as it is a complex shape with many curves, so take your time and plan it carefully to achieve a great result.
As they are an indoor project the materials you can use are vast and can include tiles, shells, beads, mirrors, buttons.
1) Remove the strings of the guitar; you may need to reattach them later. If you are planning to do this than you will need to be mindful of the thickness of the mosaic tiles.
2) Preparing your surface. There are two options here, to remove the laquer from the guitar or mosaic over the lacquered surface.
Removing the lacquer by sanding it back gives you more options in terms of what adhesive you can use. If you have sanded the lacquer off than you could use Weldbond or a cement based adhesive. Be mindful, when sanding, that the wooden surface is fairly thin in sections. Once you've completed the sanding you will need to seal the wood before adhering the tiles.
If you keep the surface lacquered than you will need to use a strong adhesive, like a clear liquid nails. I'd also suggest roughing up surface to help the adhesive take hold.
3) Plan your design. Pinterest is a wonderful resource for ideas if you are in need of some inspiration.
4) When tiling the face of the guitar, prop up the neck of the guitar to give you a level working surface. You will need to support the guitar when tiling the sides; books can be useful for this.
5) Once you have finished tiling allow the adhesive to cure fully before grout, usually 24 hours.
4) Grouting will need to be completed in stages. When grouting be mindful of the following points:
- Don't end your grouting on an edge as this is a vulnerable area in terms of impact damage
- Cover the inside of the hole prior to grouting to protect the wooden surface
- When grouting a new section, wet the dried grout from the previous section before you begin. This will prevent the dried grout from sucking all the water out of the new grout before it has dried.
Tip: If you find that your tiles are falling off curved sections when using Weldbond adhesive, apply the Weldbond and let it sit for awhile until it becomes tacky. Don't let it develop a skin, you've left it too long.
This beautiful mosaic guitar has been made by Tina Van Raay