Monday, January 21, 2013

DIY Bathroom Mirror Frame for less than $20

I've mentioned before how ugly our upstairs guest bathroom was before we attacked it with paint. The previous owners had installed nice stone tile on the floors, tub surround, and vanity top and then ruined the pretty effect with bright white (I think of it as apartment white) paint on the walls and a horrible peachy orange paint on the cabinets. We could only stand that for about a month after move-in before we broke out the paint brushes and painted the walls a warm cream and the vanity a chocolate brown. That definitely made the bathroom better.

 All that was left was the enormous 3'x5' blank builder's mirror - which isn't ugly, just plain.

I found a whole bunch of links on Pinterest from bloggers who updated their plain mirrors with trim from the hardware store (check out what seems to be the most popular tutorial here) and I figured that was a fast, easy fix. 

And it was! We bought 20 feet worth of pre-primed wood composite door trim from Lowe's, my dear husband cut the angles on his shiny new miter saw (Also bought that same trip at Lowe's. New project, new tool, right? Although it's perfectly easy to do this small project with a miter box and hand saw.) Then he used our rotary tool to cut grooves in the back of the trim for the mirror's hanging brackets, so the frame would lay flat against the glass. I painted the trim with two coats of the left over chocolate brown semi-gloss paint from the cabinets, then we just glued it directly on top of the edges of the mirror with Liquid Nails adhesive for mirrors. Simple! And super easy and fast. The longest part of it was waiting for the first coat of paint to dry in our cold garage.

Here's the result:

Nice, huh? Definitely looks more polished than the previous huge blank expanse of mirror. And for only around $20!
  • Three 7 foot pieces of pre-primed composite door casing trim - $15. There were way too many options for moulding - if you wanted something more decorative, the real wood moulding, while more expensive, had prettier patterns. But we figured that we were going to paint the trim anyway, so we would go with the simpler, cheaper option. We could have also saved a few bucks by buying a 10 foot piece and a 7 foot piece, but it wouldn't fit in our little hatchback.
  • Liquid Nails adhesive for mirrors, marble and granite - $5. This stuff seems very solid. It stuck to the mirror right away, with just a little wiggle time - so work fast while placing the pieces or you'll have permanently off kilter angles.
  • Semi-gloss latex paint - free! I used leftover paint, but this project needs so little paint that you could probably buy one of those little $3 tester jars and have more than enough.
And if you don't have a miter box, cutting the 45 degree angles could still technically be free because Home Depot and Lowe's both have cutting stations with saws and miter boxes. Just as long as you have measured very carefully, you could cut everything in the store.

This was such a fun easy project that I wish our house had more mirrors to frame, but alas, that was the only one. What should we pick for the next project? So many choices!

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