Is there a house anywhere that doesn’t start out with an ugly builder grade bathroom mirror? Maybe if you have a massive house budget. But with our budget we got ugly flat builder grade mirrors glued to the wall. Removing them can be a nightmare, and the wall is usually heavily damaged behind it.
When we started on our second major bathroom project I knew that I didn’t want to remove the mirror. Framing builder grade mirrors is probably one of my favorite projects. It’s so quick, inexpensive and easy and it has a huge impact! It only takes a couple hours, once the boards are stained, and there’s no downtime. Best of all, there’s no demo.
1×4 pine boards (4)
Loctite PL 530 Mirror adhesive
*** Tips about your board size***
A 1 x 4 board is almost four inches wide. Its not exactly four inches. Why? I have no idea, the board makers decided this.
The length of your board is determined by the length of your mirror. I don’t provide the length because your mirror may be different than mine.
Prepare your mirror
We’ve had a bunch of questions about whether to remove mirror clips. As you can see we didn’t have any on this mirror. Removing your clips could make it fall, so we recommend leaving them on.
We recommend holding the wood up against the mirror and seeing if it sticks out too far. If you don’t like how far it sticks out with the clips you could notch out the back of the wood where the clip is to make it flush.
Make sure you mirror is clean and dry
Measure for the frame:
Measure the top and the bottom length of the mirror where the rails will be attached. Cut the boards to the length of the mirror. We cut ours to about 1/2 inch over the edge of the mirror.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a saw at home, just have the hardware store cut the boards to size for you.
Then measure and cut the stiles (the vertical boards) to length, to fit between the rails. These will sit on the bottom rail, and the top rail will sit on the top of the stiles. (see above pic)
Sand and Stain the Wood
Once cut, sand the boards with 150 grit sandpaper then do a dry fit of the frame to make sure the frame will sit square when mounted. Make any fine adjustments needed.
Choose your color of stain. *Tip- take a scrap piece of the same wood you are using for the frame and make a sample board so you can see what the actual color will look like on the frame.
We chose the dark Walnut.
Next, use pre stain on the boards to get a more uniform (not blotchy) look. Then stain the boards.
In the picture above the board to the far right is NOT pre stained. The one to the left IS pre stained. You can see the difference between the two and how uniform the color is on the left after using pre stain.
*Tip- Make sure you stain ALL sides of the boards. When the boards are glued to the mirror, it will show a portion of the back of the boards. You don’t want them to look unfinished.
*Since this is a bathroom mirror and near water and moisture, I am using Spar Varnish as a top coat.
Attach the Frame
Next, you’re going to attachthe mirror using Loctite PL530 Mirror, Marble & Granite adhesive.
Attach the bottom rail first and let the adhesive dry before adding the sides. Then add the two stiles on each end of the mirror, sitting on top of the bottom rail. Let the adhesive dry before you put the top stile on.
Then add the top rail and let the adhesive dry.
Decorate and done!
That’s it! Just a couple hours and you’ll have a brand new bathroom mirror that will become the focal point of your whole room!
You can see the dramatic difference in the photo slideshow! I just love this easy inexpensive project. I hope you’ll be inspired to do your own bathroom mirror!
As you can see we also painted, updated the lighting, replaced the vanity, installed a new vanity top and changed the faucet. We also installed new flooring. We did all of this on a very small budget. Stay tuned for the complete makeover blog soon!
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