You can update your builder-grade mirror in less than an hour for about $20! This is one of those projects that was more difficult in my mind than in reality! It looks so much more polished and elegant with the frames. And the best part is there was no painting or nailing.
Here’s a look at some before and after shots. My dad did this project with me! We did both vanity mirrors in this bathroom. The photo below is a view of my vanity.
And below is the view of Marcello’s smaller vanity.
TIP: I put these two smaller beveled mirrors on either side of the larger mirror so I can see the back of my hair! I learned that trick from my mom.
I just wrote a huge post with exactly how I painted all the tile in my bathroom! This was my biggest paint transformation yet.
Ok, let’s get to it. Here’s how we did it!
- moulding (I used baseboard)
- measuring tape
- miter saw or miter box
- liquid nails
- caulk gun
- painter’s tape
Measure your mirror.
Measure it (and then measure it again;) so you know how much wood to buy.
Draw a sketch if it helps.
It might help to sketch on the board which ways your angles need to go and to know how many cuts you can get out of each board.
Select your boards.
I chose a waterproof composite baseboard because it was lightweight and I wouldn’t have to paint it! Lightweight is important because it will only stick to the existing mirror with glue.
Measure and mark your boards for cuts.
Mark where you need to cut your boards. It helped me to draw which way the angle would go and put an X on the piece that would be discarded.
Cut the boards at 45 degree angle.
Cut your boards at a 45 degree angle. I used a single-beveled miter saw for the first time! You could also use a hand held miter saw. Home Depot and Lowes will not cut angles. (I asked!)
I bought this Blue Hawk 7-1/4-in 9-Amp Single Bevel Bevel Compound Miter Saw at Lowes for a $38 (normally $128) during a closeout after Christmas. This is my first power tool! The red light you see shows you where to cut.
See section at the end for newbie tips and what I did wrong!
If I were going to buy a saw today, I would buy this RYOBI miter saw. The single-bevel is all I need. (A double-bevel also angles to the left and right.) This tool makes my DIY life so much easier and it’s seriously so simple to use!
If you don’t want to spend the money on a miter saw, you can get this $15 miter saw box! We used one of these up until now. The cuts aren’t as precise and you’ve got to put some sweat into it, but it gets the job done!
I made this diagram to help visual people like me. Each cut is a 45 degree angle.
I found it helpful to mark where the piece goes on the back. This has a “B” for “bottom.” (I obviously am a mom to boys 7 and 8 years old because that make me giggle!)
Apply Liquid Nails.
Apply Liquid Nails to the back of the board with caulk gun. Don’t get it too close to the edge so it won’t bleed onto the mirror when you put it up. The center of this moulding was hollow, so I applied a small amount to each side.
TIP: My Dad taught me that you can see a sliver of the moulding underside in the mirror reflection.
That’s important to know so you don’t apply glue too close to the edge or it will show. It also matters if you paint the moulding. You’ll need to paint that backside of the moulding too.
Put the board in place and tape.
Have someone help you put the board in the right spot as you apply painters tape tautly to keep it in place as it dries.
It’s a good idea to use a level during this process too.
Once it’s in the right place use painter’s tape to hold it in place. I put it on as taut as I could to ensure it wouldn’t slide.
Work fairly quickly to get all the boards in place as the glue dries quickly and you want to have time to adjust them.
TIP: I found it helpful to have the tape ready before applying glue. That way you can keep one one hand on the board while you grab a piece of tape.
Once the glue is dry (sets after 15 minutes, 7 days full cure time), remove tape. I did this the same day. Apply caulking to the corners once the glue dries. I used white silicone bathroom caulk and did not paint over it.
That’s it! What do you think? Would you ever try this DIY?
Here is a simplified version:
Watch my dad and I put the frame up in this video:
How to frame around mirror clips
If you have visible clips that hold the mirror up, you can do one of the following:
- Use a chisel set ($19) to notch out that spot.
- Use an electric dremel tool ($49) to drill the notch out.
- Replace the clips with thin washers, like Somewhat Simple did.
- Place the frame just inside the clips and use another piece of moulding to cover them, like Cherie’s Spare Time did.
And here is the part where I share what I did wrong! I’m not a blogger who wants to cover up what I did wrong because maybe you can learn from my mistakes too!
This is the ugliest corner on my mirror.
I made a beginner mistake assuming that the farthest setting to the right was 45 degrees. But it’s not! It’s 48 degrees. We all not what assuming does …
So my first cuts were slightly off.
I filled the gaps with this white plastic wood filler. But I didn’t do a great job smoothing it out. I sanded a little, but this is the case of “it is what it is.” Haha! I’m ok with it and now I know wood cutting is precise business!