Sunday, October 20, 2013

Framing a Bathroom Mirror

Okay, so it's been a few months since the bathroom mini-makeover, and I still haven't posted about the details. I said I would, and I like to keep my word, so here it is. Hey, I never said when I would post about the details, I just said that I would do it. And I am. So there.

Our bathroom makeover was easy. A little sand paper, elbow grease, and paint and just about anyone could pull it off. I mean, this project was MY brain child and if I can do it, so can you. That being said, building a mirror frame is going to be difficult for the average Joe to do if he doesn't have (or know someone who can lend him) the right tools. Namely some sort of electric saw, like a miter saw or, as we used, a radial arm saw. It is also helpful to have a corner clamp to hold the corners together while the wood glue is drying.

Here's what else you need:
  • Trim
  • Wood glue (paintable)
  • Liquid nails
  • Paint
  • Corner clamp (not necessary, but helpful)
That's it!

About the trim: You can use whatever kind you like. Just pick what will give you the look you're going for. We used chair rail, but you could use window casing or whatever. I would recommend MDF, which stands for medium density fiberboard. It's still wood (not that cheap foam crap), but it's like composite. It's lighter than the solid stuff, so it will work better for this type of project. Also, I like to get my MDF pre-primed. It lets me skip the priming step, so it's less work later.

Here's how you do it.

Step 1: This is the hardest part (and it's not even really that hard). You have to measure the height and width of your mirror and decide how big you want your frame to be. We made it so the frame is slightly bigger than the mirror, so it hangs off the sides and top just a little bit. You don't want too much overhang or you won't have enough mirror to attach the frame to. Use your best judgement. Then you need to cut the trim to fit. Make sure you have 45 degree angles on all the ends, so they will fit together.

Step 2: Use the wood glue to put the pieces of the trim together to form the frame. This is where the corner clamp will come in handy. Use it to clamp the corners together and let it sit overnight.

Step 3: Once the wood glue is dry, remove the clamps. Put some wood putty to fill any gaps you may have in the corners. You could also use caulk for this, but whatever you use, make sure it's paintable.

Step 4: Once the putty is dry, it's painting time! We went with a deep, rich brown - Black Bean by Sherwin Williams. I wanted an I'm-not-sure-if-this-is-black-or-brown type of color, and this certainly fits the bill! I only needed to do two coats. Once the front is dry, flip it over and paint about 1/3 of the way from the edge on each side (the inside and the outside). When you put the frame up, the mirror is going to reflect a little of the back side of the frame, so you want it to be the same color as the front or it will look funny. (I forgot to take a picture of it after it was painted. My bad.)

Step 5: It's time to put this baby up! We have a pretty big mirror, so we used a whole tube of Liquid Nails. Just apply it to the back where the frame will touch the mirror.

Now you will need to either tape it to the wall for 30 minutes, or sit and hold it yourself. We chose to do the latter, because we had just painted the bathroom walls and the frame, and I didn't want to risk the tape pulling any paint off when we removed it. We stood there, holding it up for 30 minutes. The entire time, we were admiring our handy work.

What a huge difference! In my opinion, this project made the single biggest change in the bathroom.


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