May 7, 2009

How I grout -

Sometimes I grout as I go. It will be usually when I think that the materials I am going to use next on the mosaic will be ungroutable, like Smalti or marble.

I am using here a light grey grout. It's my favorite color because on one hand it's dark enough to remain as it is, and on the other hand it's light enough if I want to dye it.
I clean it thoroughly before it cures.

In this case I think the grout is too light on the hair and clothes so I am using a black ink to dye the grout. I do it with a good small brush because I want to be very accurate. I mix the ink with a little water and also dip my brush in water each time before dipping it in the ink.
The grout is still wet at this stage. I love dying it with ink because it is totally dissolved in the wet grout and once it is dry it is permanent. However you can still clean it away with a wet cloth if you don't like it if you do it quickly before it dries.

Make sure when you clean it not to clean it towards the parts which you don't want to dye. Make sure the cloth you are using doesn't touch the non-black areas. In this case I made sure not to touch the face.
This is how it looks now after the dying -


  1. Irit this is really helpful . What kind of ink do you use?
    Jean Kinloch

  2. I've been asking for information about dying grout ever since I took my first class and I haven't received any helpful information, so I was very happy to find your blog and the pictures. I would also love to know what kind of ink that you use.

    Susan Murphy

  3. Susan, I use regular inks that you find in any art store I don't look for a specific brand.

  4. Thanks, Irit! I've been waiting to grout a piece until I could figure out how to make a greenish-blue grout, so I'll check out my local art supply store today. I really like the tutorial that you put together. It's been very helpful for me.

  5. I used the ink technique on my chickadee piece and love the results. Thanks so much Irit.

  6. Irit, I would think it would have to be waterproof ink, like India Ink. This would be permanent, because If you used a waterbased ink in an outdoor mosaic it would wash away.

  7. Would a Sharpie work? They are permanent, have fine tips, and come in many colors.

  8. I don't know the Sharpies. Best to give it a try on a sample board.