Family Repurpose Project: Low Profile Mosaic Table

One piece of furniture that has moved with us for all but 1 of our military moves is this cheap-o Wally World tile top table that we bought back in 1996 in Manhattan, KS.  Tigger used the legs as his personal scratching posts and they were in awful shape.  We stopped using it as our dining table once we PCSd from Germany to Kansas and it became a laundry folding table, then an ironing table extension to my sewing area.  I wanted to throw it out before we moved to AL, but something kept us from doing so.  Now we have this fun little table the girls helped us with for a coffee table/kids table/Asian-style dining table

Why did we hang onto this thing?

We began the project by chiseling the tiles out one by one.  Rob had a great idea to turn the table over and just stomp out the middle, but that didn't fit my 'vision.'

After we chipped out 4-5 tiles, I relented...thank goodness.  He took care of the top in less than 10 seconds.  Why must I be so hard-headed?  I'll blame it on being a Taurus.

Here's the base, just needs a little grinding on that inner lip to remove the excess chipboard.

These are the scratching posts...er...table legs.  Rob sawed them off right at the lower notches and I sanded the legs, then ground down the cat claw grooves with the Dremel and sanded again.  The legs are irregular, but they are reminders of our Tigger, who passed away years ago.

Maia chose the paint.  I wasn't so sure about it at first.  We affixed new plywood to the center for our mosaic base, then I primed and sealed it so we could use it outdoors. After the primer dried, I had the girls write their names in pencil as a guide for placing the first tiles.

We used Liquid Nails to affix the broken tile pieces to the tabletop.  Liquid Nails is a nightmare to remove from the skin, just ask Rob.  The white is broken tile from the original table and the black was 4" square tile from Lowe's.  The colored tile is tumbled glass from Hobby Lobby.

Since the broken tiles had sharp edges and varied in height, we ground down every single edge so no one would get cut when running their hands over the tabletop.  After the edges were ground down, Rob used the leaf-blower to dust off the top and it was ready for the grout.  I have laid tile before, but never used grout.  That was slightly terrifying at first, thinking all of our hard work was going to end in a mucky, unrecognizable mess.

I think it was worth every bit of trouble.  I love seeing their signatures on the table and knowing that this was truly a family project!
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