DIY attack on dated contractor mirror

I find that when I am frustrated/mad/upset/perplexed/bored (read: in any mood but relaxed) I find that a list of projects can always help take my mind off of things and somehow I see my mood in the chaos that is inevitable during a project and when the project is complete and everything is back in order, I too feel that my life in somewhat back in order. Although it may be a temporary fix, I find that it is a great outlet. The project I am using to deal with my “mood” today is framing the large boring contractor mirror in my bathroom.

Here is the before picture of my bathroom again – Just a plain mirror, by no means atrocious but I see a lot of potential for a cheap change to make a big difference.

I took my measurements into Lowe’s with me and found a simple piece of composite molding that was primed in white. My mirror will be black so buying something already primed eliminated a step for me. I decided to use composite because I figured it would be a little lighter than wood and I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it bowing out. Saying that, I have never done this before so I think any kind of moulding that you want to use would work for this.

I used EverTrue 1/2-in x 3-1/4-in x 8-ft Primed Composite Base Moulding from Lowe’s  $6.40 a piece and I needed 3 pieces of it.

Then I picked up a quart of valspar Latex Enamel interior/exterior paint in Satin Black for the frame color. Cost for the paint was $9.29. I have paint brushes at home and I am going to use liquid nails to hang the frame which I also have at home. If you’re like me, I always forget the “duh” things for a project so don’t forget to pick those up if you don’t have them. You’ll also need a miter box and saw to cut the wood.

I brought the wood home and cut all my pieces first. Then I taped them up on the mirror to be sure that I cut them correctly and that the corners matched up. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect, mine didn’t, it was close but there were still some gaps which I filled in with caulk after I was done.When I taped the pieces up, I noticed that the  two places at the top where the clips were would cause the frame to stick out a bit. See the original clips below. There were two at the top of my mirror. So instead of trying to cut out spots for those, I opted to use a different type of “clip” i unscrewed the two clips from each side and put one clip in the middle and to make it as flat as possible, I used a washer and the screw fit perfectly through the mirror.

 The mirror is still supported but now I have a nearly flat surface and the frame of the mirror will hide the washer. Note: I have seen some people who will remove the clips and put liquid nails on the back of the mirror to make sure that it is supported. While this is definitely a great way to ensure that the mirror won’t budge, it is also a pretty permanent solution. I wanted to be sure that the mirror would still be removable if my parents decide that they want to do any more extensive renovations later on and once liquid nails is applied to the back, I worry that the sheet rock will come off with the mirror if we ever need to remove it. So I opted for the less permanent solution.

After figuring out the clip solution, I sanded any rough spots on the frame and took them outside to paint. I painted the back and the front of mine – when you put the wood against the mirror you will have a small reflection around the edge  so painting the back is a good idea. Here you can see the unfinished back and above it the pieces that have been painted on the back.

After I let these dry overnight, I spread some liquid nails on the back as close to the bottom of the frame as possible so that when I press the frame against the mirror and the glue spreads, it won’t show in that small reflection I just mentioned. I started with the bottom piece, held it in place for a few minutes and then put some painters tape to help it remain in place on the frame. Then I did the side pieces. 

And then last but not least, I glued the top piece into place. Liquid nails does take a while to dry so even though I had tape to hold the frame in place, I checked on it often to be sure it hadn’t slid anywhere. I think that the frame has added a lot to the overall feel of the bathroom. I still have some touch ups to do on the frame (a couple of places where the paint peeled a little) and then I need to caulk in the corners for those little gaps we talked about earlier. There are also a couple of other finishing touches I’d like to add. But more on that later… here’s a picture of the “finished” mirror.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The total cost of this project: $30.84. Which is GREAT for my $400 overall budget. I love the “big difference” projects that don’t cost much. So far the bathroom has cost $131.64 which leaves me with $268.36 for the rest of the project.

Next, I will be adding some finishing touches to the mirror, painting all the hardware in the bathroom and adding some decorations. I will be adding new faucets at some point but since some updating needs to be done to the pipes, etc. That will be the last thing that is tackled for this project.



2 thoughts on “DIY attack on dated contractor mirror

  1. Hello! We are in the middle of this project & were wondering what size washers you used? I went to Lowe’s competitor & it appears that the hole in the washer is too big & the screw will not be flush. Any help is appreciated!!

  2. Pingback: The Dreaded Move and Address Post Tutorial! | Bella Mandarin

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