It was finally time to finish off work on our bottle wall sections this week. We have written a few posts about bottle wall construction over the last few months, and now it was time to add the finishing touches to our largest project. We found a lovely arched sash window as a second in a local joinery and decided to add a bottle wall arch to each side of it for a beautiful composition and also to add more light into our extension.
The final layer of cement was added to the inside and outside of these sections about ten days ago, just rendered up across the sections, bottle bricks and all. We then removed the cement from the bottle bricks and smoothed the wall with our hands for a flat, sleek finish. We let the cement set over night and used a wire brush around the edges of the bottle bricks to clean them. We then used non abrasive scouring pads to clean and polish the bottle surfaces and the blue mosaic pieces.
After this the walls looked nice but something was still missing. We wanted more colour. Most people admire multicoloured stained glass windows and we wanted to recreate something of that feeling in our build. Finding coloured bottles is quite difficult and there is only so much Swedish raspberry vodka one can drink to get red bottles. We went out and bought some glass paints.
First we cleaned the surface with methylated spirits, and put the paint on in a thin layer. It is important to spend some time deciding where the respective colours go for a balanced look. As our walls contained a lot of green and brown bottles already we went for blue, turquoise, purple, red, orange and yellow paint. Each bottle brick needed two or three layers of paint. It is a little bit tricky to get the paint even but thin layers works well as a thick coat is likely to drip and run.
We are pleased with the results. The paint is quite expensive to buy but goes a very long way and we think you agree when we say it has made our walls even more beautiful. Now the bottle sections are finished we can concentrate on finishing off by painting the walls around them in a crisp white.
Making a wall out of bottles and jars takes a long time. Cleaning, matching and taping the bottle bricks, building the wall and adding the finishing layer of cement before cleaning, polishing and painting the glass bricks. But if you are looking for a cheap, environmentally friendly, unique feature in your home it is well worth it. We have built two more walls in our extension in the same way and all together they look great and help create a bright, happy and special place. We like a multicoloured style but you could easily go for something more restrained, perhaps all the same type green wine bottles in a square grid for a sleek contemporary look.