DIY Wainscoting Part 3 — Adding A Tile Accent

I’m still plugging away at the master bathroom, and the wainscoting on the home gym side of the room is almost finished! I finally started the final step yesterday — adding the glass penny tile accent strip into the top of the wainscoting.

If you missed the previous two posts on this judge’s paneling wainscoting project, you can find them here:

Here’s how the wainscoting looked before adding the glass penny tile. I wood filled, sanded, caulked, primed, and painted all of the wood parts…

And then I added Musselbound tile adhesive backing to the area where the tile was going to be installed…

When I had all of that area covered with the Musselbound adhesive backing, I peeled off the protective paper from the front, and then pressed the tile onto the backing. This stuff is VERY sticky, and it’s not easy to adjust the tiles once they’re stuck on. I wouldn’t say it’s an “only one chance” kind of thing, because you can get the tiles off if you need to readjust (at least you can with these tiny tiles), but it’s not easy.

I started in the corner so that I wouldn’t need to make any cuts in this corner. Because penny tiles are staggered, they fit together in a corner flawlessly and seamlessly without having to make cuts.

And then I worked out from the corner towards the ends…

The ends weren’t so easy because those tiles did require cuts. I had to purchase this glass tile nipper to trim those tiles. This is a different kind of nipper than the one you’d use for ceramic or porcelain tile.

I managed to get the tiles for this end cut, but they are far from perfect. Let’s just say that glass cutting is not something I’ve ever been good at, and I’m especially not good at it when dealing with tiny pieces of glass. But I at least got the four cut for this end. Just don’t look too closely. 😀 I think once it’s grouted, my glass cutting flaws will be hidden a little better.

Unfortunately, I tried over and over and over again to cut the ones for the other areas, but I haven’t had any success yet. So the area where the tile dead ends into the door casing still looks like this…

Here’s a closer view so that you can see what I’m dealing with…

And then I have the two ends of this section that will need tiles cut.

I’ll just have to practice a bit more, and then do my best. I can guarantee that those won’t be perfect, but I’m hoping that once it’s grouted, those little cut pieces on the ends won’t be all that noticeable. But, I mean, I can’t really do better than my best effort, so that will have to be good enough.

This will be my final post on the step-by-step wainscoting project. I’ll just update this post once it’s all grouted. Hopefully that will be later today, but that all depends on how long it takes me to cut those tiles. 😀



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  1. Holy cow….do you see those cuts? Man alive! You should….

    be so proud of yourself how this looks! I, for one, am living vicariously through your talent, skills, and hard work. What you envision, what you plan on paper, is simply gorgeous even before you finish. In all seriousness, if it looks this beautiful now, I’m going to get goosebumps when you reveal the project in all its completed glory.

  2. Kristi, have you tried using a tile saw to cut those? I cut my glass tile backsplash with a tile saw. I was thinking you could cut them while they are on the sheet with backing, then just pull off the ones you need and place individually.

    1. The tile saw didn’t work for me. 🙁 The backing didn’t hold them securely enough so I had to try to hold each little tile with my fingers. And my fingers holding a tiny, slippery wet tile that close to a blade just didn’t work out.

      1. Maybe you could hot-glue them to something sturdier, like a piece of scrap wood, then use a heat gun to remove them from?

    1. That’s a great idea! I do have a grinder. I may be able to cut the tile with the nipper tool, and the use the grinder just to sharpen the cut. The nipper doesn’t leave very straight edges, and that bothers me. 😀

      1. I second the idea of using a grinder! Dremels or oscillators that have a small grinding attachment are super helpful with these small cuts.

  3. I’m really liking the look of those tiles with the wainscoting and especially the light teal walls. Good luck with the glass cutting. Have you considered taping the section of the piece you need before cutting? This may help at least with small chips.

  4. At first I thought putting wood trim instead of the bubble tiles above the wainscoting would look better. However, now that I’ve seen it, I Love it!

    You never cease to amaze me❤️.

  5. Have you considered embedding the tile into the side of the wood? I think it’s deep enough. Cutting glass time tile like that is so challenging.

  6. I like the quote “I really can’t do any better than my best effort so that will have to be good enough” I think that is very true and I feel like your best effort on cutting these tiles WILL be good enough. With the grout I bet it will turn out fantastic

  7. Kristi, I think you are way too hard on yourself! Those tiles you cut look great! And any tiny imperfections will certainly be covered when you grout! Your master bathroom gets more gorgeous with every addition! Beautiful job! xo

  8. That is fantastic. Just absolutely beautiful!
    Re the cutting of the little round glass tiles. A diamond saw that I used to have for stained (leaded) glass could work too. If you know anyone doing stained glass work…