If you’re constantly thinking of ways to spruce up your bathroom design, we’ve covered a range of ideas over several articles. From replacing hardware as your door and cabinet handle to rethinking your tiling, to replacing your showerhead with a luxurious or eco-friendly alternative, there are lots of small, single-day projects for the DIYer that can combine to look like a complete bathroom renovation at minimal cost.
Today, we’re going to walk you through a simple, step-by-step method of building a custom frame for your bathroom mirror. Turn that frameless, hook-hung mirror into something that adds some pop to your bathroom or ties in seamlessly with your cabinetry. Here’s how!
Gather Your Supplies
Here’s what you’ll need to tackle the project:
- A miter saw or a miter box and hand saw
- Baseboards or trim molding of your choice
- Shoe molding (optional)
- Spray paint or interior paint
- Liquid Nails
- Tape measure
- Wood chisel (if the mirror is hung with clips)
- Paintable caulking
- Painter’s tape
Step 1 – Measure out the dimensions of your mirror to determine the length of your pieces of baseboard or trim. You might want to consider combining different types of trim to add some texture for when this is done correctly, it gives the room an regal look. Whatever you’ve decided to use, mark out the trim to the exact length and width of the mirror to make your cuts.
Note: Don’t compensate at this point for the width of the other pieces of the frame. Just cut two strips that are the full width of the mirror and two that are the full length.
Step 2 – Remember the old rule: “Measure twice, cut once.” Once you’ve double-checked your mirror’s dimensions and your markings, make your initial cuts. You’re probably wondering at this point why you’ve cut overlapping strips of trim. Now you’re going to trim them down to meet at a 45-degree angle. Leave the outer edge of each strip to cover the full length or width of the mirror, and trim at a 45-degree angle toward the inside edge. This way, each part of your frame will meet up perfectly and look like a unified piece.
Step 3 – Double check your work by holding your frame strips up to the mirror. If your mirror is hung with clips, take the opportunity to measure their position on the mirror and use a wood chisel to carefully make some space for them on the back of your trim. This way, your frame will sit flush with the mirror.
Step 4 – Use a high-grit (fine) sandpaper to smooth the edges from your cuts, and use wood glue or Liquid Nails to assemble your frame. Double check your clip markings before you put it all together. Use duct tape to keep your frame together and let it dry for the period of time specified on your adhesive. Don’t worry about a slightly imperfect fit – you’ll fill it in with paintable caulk later on.
Step 5 (optional) – Add shoe molding or any other second layer of trim following the same directions for measuring and cutting (the 45-degree angle applies here too).
Step 6 – Paint the frame. You might want to consider using primer since bathrooms are humid, and remember – your mirror is reflective, so you won’t get away with painting just the front! Allow ample to time to dry, and then move on to…
Step 7 – Grab your Liquid Nails again; it’s time to hang your mirror. Make sure that you apply the adhesive far enough away from the inside edges of your trim so that the mirror won’t reflect it in your direction. Ask a partner to help you hold the frame in place while you use masking tape to help hold it while it dries.
Note: If your mirror is small, and you don’t want to reduce its size with these instructions, adjust so that the inside edge of the frame meets the mirror’s dimensions and glue it to the wall around your mirror.
Step 8 – Carefully remove the tape to protect your walls and your paint job. If you see any cracks or imperfections due to imperfect fit, fill in with paintable caulk and paint over it to match.
Depending on the drying time of your paint and adhesive, this project could take as little as a few hours. But even if you have to let it dry overnight, you can have your DIY, professional-looking frame built, painted and mounted in a weekend without a problem. If you’re scratching your head over new ways to improve your bathroom, this is an easy project that just about anyone can execute. Get started soon, and comment below to let us know how it went! Of course, if you’re not entirely sure you can create a frame for your mirror safely and properly using the steps above, it is always best to get the help from a professional.
DISCLAIMER: Readers should keep in mind that any accounts of renovation presented in this blog are written accounts of events taking place at individual homes, and are not necessarily endorsements of do-it-yourself home improvement. You proceed at your own risk if you attempt to replicate any activities described here.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com