Mirror, mirror – I think i’m finally finished with you.

Well… I loved the change that adding the frame to my bathroom mirror added. However I just felt like it could be spruced a bit. Here was what it first looked like.

I totally love that it made the bathroom look updated and much more finished but this is such a large mirror and I just couldn’t resist the urge to add decorative touches and get at it with some antique gold rub n’ buff – more on the miracle of rub n’ buff later but I am not joking I had never used this stuff before I went at this mirror and now I want to use it on every project ever. Back to the project at hand.

I thought some thin pieces of decorative wood and then a medallion at the top would really add to the whole look. Off to Lowe’s I went. One gentleman asked me how my projects were going and wanted to see pictures (read: I spend waay too much time in Lowe’s). So I found this moulding that was about 3/4 of an inch wide and I think it is the perfect subtle accent. Each piece was $6.98 and I only needed two pieces.

There is a small rope pattern and since it was flush on the sides I knew it would fit right against the frame that is already completed. Plus if there are any gaps, then I can add some caulk and some paint and no one will ever know.

I also thought it would be nice to add a decorative piece to the middle of the top of the mirror, my lighting is rather high and I think the medallion in the center just draws the eye up. I got this in the same section as the rope moulding. It is just a medallion that they often use for the center of the moulding on the fire-place or something along those lines.

8′ Raw Whitewood Rope Moulding – $6.98

I got the EverTrue 3-1/2″ Raw Whitewood Ornament for $6.92.I already had the paint, adhesive, rub n’ buff and caulk at home so I didn’t need to buy any extra but I also used those items for this project. 

So I cut my moulding pieces and painted them with the satin black paint like before. I also painted the medallion black. Once they were dry, I took a little antique gold rub n’ buff on a soft cloth and lightly rubbed over the rope moulding as well as the medallion to give it a more traditional but rustic feel. We will definitely have a whole blog tutorial on rub n’ buff – this stuff makes my heart sing. For real.

So here is the FINISHED product. I do not plan on doing anymore additions to the mirror and just love the way it turned out. My neighbors have come by and all asked when I can do their house. My dream is to make design my business one day. Baby steps, right!?

Here is a close up of the moulding the rub n’ buff really gives it some dimension.

And here is the big picture:

I love how it turned out. More pics from the decor updates and such to come. Total for these additions to the mirror it cost $22.60. So in all I have spent $154.24 on the bathroom update project. I have $245.76 left for decor and new faucets. I feel like it is all coming along nicely!    More mini updates to be posted soon. Hope you have a great week!

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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.

-BellaMandarin

Loved a lot about the 90’s – the tired standard bathroom lighting is definitely not one of those things.

My parents moved into this house when I was in the 5th grade – I’m now in my mid-twenties. So there are a few things around the house that have been gradually updated in recent years but as with any house, it is always a work in progress. So in the bathroom, the walls have been painted and the cabinets have been painted which definitely updated the place but there are some other simple fixes that will make it look a whole lot better.

First – the lighting. If you remember these little beauties  in all of my “before” pics:

So I did a little pre-shopping online and went to Lowe’s set on these awesome oil-rubbed bronze lights – the picture totally doesn’t do it justice but you can get the gist of what I am after:

These are $59 each and there is a lighting fixture over each sink so for two total it’s $120 then since my parents are retired military, they were able to get these at a 10% discount so after tax it was $114.78 for both of these. So I get home, totally pumped to start the transformation. I take down the first old lighting fixture and discover the large bracket used underneath with HUGE anchor holes, etc. So after some serious frowning, I decided rather than having to patch and paint and on and on, it would be better to find lighting that had a backing piece extending across the entire fixture rather than having it just at the center. So while I loved those beauties, I love the idea of simple updates more. So back to Lowe’s I went where I settled on a “mix & match lighting” set.

The fixtures were $29 each and the glass bells were $8.98 a piece. They look a little more of an ivory color in the picture but they are actually a frosted white linen finish. They are a little bit heavy though so I am glad that I am using the larger bracket.

So for these two fixtures and bells (after the 10% discount) it was a total of $100.80 – I could have gone with a cheaper bell to reduce the overall cost but I just really love the shape of these.

So, up they went. Since we weren’t working on any of the main electrical, we were able to just turn the light switch off to these lights and plug in a lamp in the bathroom (anyone else have a bathroom with no windows? what a pain!) rather than having to flip the circuit to off.

Pretty simple to put these up, just had to re-attach the wires and put the main piece on our existing bracket. No more 80’s dressing room lights – just a simple light change made a HUGE difference:

I love the new lighting. Next thing I will be tackling is the large contractor mirror seen above. So far my mini bathroom reno has cost a total of $100.80.

– BellaMandarin

When life starts falling apart… start a DIY project, of course!

Let’s see… over the past few months I have had a large number of changes in my personal life – some great, some that I could have done without. But, hey… I live my life knowing God has the plan and I must only be faithful. So what better to do than redecorate when everything feels out of control? I find it comforting to have a project.

So first things first – my bathroom at my parents house has had a few changes recently including a new soothing green paint color and the cabinets went from boring white to a much more modern black. There are still several things that could bring this bathroom up to a much more modern level. On my “to tackle” list is… 1. The large contractor mirror 2. Those old light fixtures that do nothing at all for any space – who ever thought those were a good idea? 3. The bathroom hardware – door handles, faucets, towel bars, etc. and finally 4. The general decor and accessories.

All of this is a work in progress and I will include some progress pics as well as the final product. The total budget is approximately $400 – lighting and new faucets will use up a lot of that so it will take some creativity to do the other items and come in under budget. Stay tuned for tutorials and updates on the progress. For now I will leave you with a few “before” pics.

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The 80’s light fixture – these remind me a bit of a broadway dressing room.

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The plain contractor mirror

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The current towel rings – not bad at all, but they don’t go with the look I’d like, so they will need a little update.

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and last but not least, the gold hardware. Again, not a huge deal and not super noticeable but they don’t really go with the look that I would like to have.