Mirror makeover

Happy Monday!  I hope your weekend was great!

Today I’m going to tell you how we framed our bathroom mirrors- because I must have done 5 million (no exaggeration here folks) Google searches in order to figure out how to do our mirrors.  There are SO many different ways to frame mirrors out there, including kits that you can buy.  I’m going to add my tutorial to the list- I’m not saying it’s the best, but it was simple and involves very few tools.

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

1.  Square or rectangular mirror
2.  Low profile mirror clips
3.  Pine base molding (we got ours at Home Depot- Home Depot** will cut it for you, or they usually have a hand saw in the lumber area where you can make your own cuts)
4.  Miter box saw
5.  Mirror adhesive
6.  Pre-stain wood conditioner (recommended for soft woods such as pine)
7.  Sandpaper (150/220 grit, just to smooth down the edges where you make your cuts)
8.  Stain color of your choice
9.  Polyurethane of your choice

First, you’ll want to remove your mirror from the wall.  Then, measure the dimensions of your mirror and figure out how much of your mirror you want to frame.  We did ours a little “wonky” because of the location of the holes for the original mirror clips.  Basically we had a GIANT mirror hung on the bathroom wall with 4 plastic flowers that had screws running through them, inset ~4″ from the edge of the mirror.  I wish I had a picture.  I don’t.  It was hideous, trust me.  I guess lucky us that the mirror wasn’t also glued to the wall.  Anyway- so we had the holes cut off the mirror- again, lucky us that the mirror was giant because we did have to cut off quite a lot.  Here’s a terrible drawing from mspaint to illustrate:

The dots are where the flower clips were and the lines show where we had the mirror cut down


Because we’d made the mirror narrower when we had it cut, we didn’t want to cover up a bunch of it with frame- we wanted to keep it’s original rectangle shape.  So we decided to go with this plan for framing (again, excuse the terrible mspaint drawing):
The red is the edges of the mirror and the brown is the wooden frame we made

This way, the frame would conceal the new clips, but not cover up a ton of the mirror’s surface.  After settling on this method, we then placed our molding pieces on the mirror and measured the length that each board needed to be on its outside edge (the longest edge).  Then we went out and cut each board at a 45 degree angle with the miter box saw.  Pine is soft enough to be able to make the cuts with the miter box saw- which is good because we don’t own a miter saw!
After making the cuts, we sanded down the edges and the faces of the boards to make them nice and smooth, and then prepped the wood with a wood conditioner.  This allows the soft pine wood to better accept the stain.  
We stained the pieces according to the directions on the stain can (we used a tiny can of Minwax English Chestnut and had enough to do both mirrors, plus some extra).  Make sure you stain the back of the wood as well, because you will see a little bit of it in the mirror.  After the stain was dry, we applied several thin coats of polyurethane (Minwax fast drying poly in satin).  Alternatively, you can get a stain with a poly built in- I used this on our coffee table and it worked great.  Or, if you don’t like stain, you can paint the frame.  Your choice!  
Once the frame pieces are dry, you’ll want to glue them to your mirror (*NOTE* This is why we used the pine molding, because it was very lightweight and could be glued easily, without fear of it falling off.  Also, you need to make sure you use glue rated for mirrors).  We glued the edges first, because they were going to be fully glued to the mirror and we could easily line them up with the sides.  Plus we needed to hang the mirror back on the wall with the clips before attaching the top and bottom pieces.  Once the sides were fully attached (about a day of drying), we took the mirror back inside and hung it on the wall with our low profile mirror clips.  Then, we glued the top and bottom on to the mirror.  We were able to use the side pieces and a little bit of painter’s tape to keep them in place.  You’ll want to make sure you keep the door closed and turn on the bathroom fan during this process, because the mirror glue is very smelly.  Here’s the finished product:

Loving that stained glass in there…

And a couple close ups:

The stain really brought out the pretty wood grain of the molding

Mitered corners- if you don’t get your miter cuts just right, you can fill in the gap with some wood putty that accepts stain.  If you decide to paint your frame, fill in the gap with some paintable caulk or spackle. 

Ta-da!  Not too difficult and it dresses up a mirror nicely.  Plus, it’s affordable.  All in all, we spent around $55 per mirror to get this project done- $20 to have the mirror cut down, about $15 for the molding (our mirrors are about 4ft long x 3ft wide), $20 for the stain and poly and wood conditioner (which we used on both mirrors and still have some leftover), $8 for 2 packs of mirror clips, $5 for mirror adhesive and $8 for the saw kit.  If you don’t have to cut your mirror down, you could easily do a large mirror for $35- WAY cheaper than those mirror kits!!

Framing the bathroom mirrors has to be one of my favorite projects that we’ve done in the house- a lot of impact for very little effort.

What do you think?

**Disclosure:  I was not paid or compensated by this company in any way for this post.


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