A couple weeks ago, we decided to frame the guest bathroom mirror. The edges were starting to turn a bit shabby. Short of buying a new one, all we could really do was cover it up. I was fairly excited before starting the project, surprised how smoothly the process went, and pretty happy with the results. I especially enjoyed the fact that this was a quick, easy, and inexpensive upgrade. Framing the mirror is not at all an original idea (you can find it all over the world wide webs), but you can be original with the shape of the trim and color you choose. If you have a free morning or afternoon, you can get this done. It was an easy project, but I did learn a couple of tips along the way that I’m excited to share with you.
Here are the essentials you’ll need: ($20-30 + 3-4 hrs, depending on the size of your mirror)
- Baseboard trim or wood board of your choice
- Liquid nails or Loctite for Mirrors/Ceramic
- Paint (we had leftover paint, but I recommend purchasing paint samples for $3 if you don’t have any)
- Water Putty (If you don’t already have this, I highly recommend it for this job and many others. It helped me fill wood gaps, finish dry wall, patch holes, etc)
- Painter’s Tape
Before you buy the trim, you’ll want to measure and write down the size of the mirror (width x 2, height x 2). Home improvement stores usually sell trim by the foot, you can cut to length there, and you’ll want to use their miter block to cut at 45° angles (unless you have a miter saw at home). If you have space, you can overhang the frame past the size of the mirror, so you’ll want to measure the size you want to cover. You’ll cut the trim like a trapezoid, and the longer side of that trapezoid is the size you measure on the mirror.
Tip 1: if your mirror is held up with clips like ours, you’ll want to cut grooves on the backside on the frame. I placed the trim next to the mirror, marked the location of the clips, and cut grooves using an oscillating saw.
The Lady J helped me paint the frame pieces. I didn’t think the back needed any paint, but I was wrong. Tip 2: you can see the reflection on the mirror, so paint the back too. Also, it is a lot easier to paint before installing it.
Then I squeezed loctite onto the bottom frame first. We were lucky to have a backsplash to hold up the bottom frame, which made it easy to keep it still. Tape it down, and glue one of the sides next. If your mirror butts up against a wall, use that to level the first vertical frame. If not, use a level, tape it, then level again. Squeeze glue on the last two frames so you can put them up one after the other. Place the vertical, and finish with the top piece. Adjust both as necessary until they fit, then use tape to secure them.
Sometimes (like the one time I did this), the frame might move slightly while the glue cures, creating a small gap at the 45° cut. Tip 3: this is where the putty comes in handy. Mix some up with water, and fill in the gap with your finger. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then wipe off the excess with a towel. After an hour or two, come back and paint it over with a brush. If you’re careful, you won’t need any painter’s tape on the mirror. Or use a sheet of paper and place it on the corner of the mirror while you paint.
And that’s it! We managed to give new life to the mirror with this quick upgrade. I especially enjoyed the fact that I finished this project with minimal sweating, since it was done mostly indoors. Have fun!