If you love a cheap and easy DIY project, then you are going to freakin’ love the tutorial I am sharing today. For less than $10, I am sharing two simple ways to build a mirror frame to elevate your existing builder grade bathroom mirror…
It terms of bathroom design, it may seem like a minute detail, but you would truly be amazed at just how effectively a framed mirror over your vanity can completely elevate the room.
In fact, I am a firm believer in the transformational effect of stylish, modern mirror framing because I have personally transformed multiple bathrooms in my previous fixer upper home (master bathroom, guest bathroom and powder room) all using this simple hack I am going to share with you today.
Utilizing some construction adhesive and cheap trim pieces from Home Depot, I was able to build a DIY wood mirror frame and totally transform the look of not only my builder-grade mirror, but the entire aesthetic of the room.
Whether you like rich, chunky framing, modern minimalist vibes, or even glam metallics, I am going to show you how to create a huge impact on your bathroom by upgrading your boring, frameless mirror.
But before I get into the step-by-step tutorial, I wanted to give you some visual context with a “before” (photo above) of my builder-grade bathroom mirror back at my 1980’s rancher. Working with a very tight bathroom renovation budget, I was able to save a ton of money by keeping most of the original pieces in place (including vanity, countertops and yes..even the raggedy a$$ mirror).
Essentially, I resurfaced and hacked my way to a more updated washroom…
As demonstrated in the “after” photo above, you can see what a big difference framing the mirror, staining the vanity and painting the dingy countertops made.
This scrappy bathroom makeover brought the aesthetics of the room into the 21st century – despite the fact that all of the pieces you see (minus the tile floors and faucet) were original to 1986.
Now if this particular DIY frame style is not your vibe, I am also sharing how to do more of a modern take…
You see…the aesthetic of your frame can vary greatly depending on the wood pieces you choose for this project. If you want a traditional look you can use a detailed casing trim. If you want more of a minimalist vibe, you can use a thin, wood dowel or screen moulding.
Tip: Just keep in mind that the more thick and ornate pieces are a bit more expensive than the thinner cuts (like square dowels). At Home Depot, the casing molding I used in my hallway bathroom was $2.62 per foot, while the thin screen molding used for the modern powder room frame was only $ 0.85 per foot.
So now that you know how to select the wood frame materials for your vanity mirror, I am going to show you a few simple steps to actually build it.
DIY Bathroom Mirror Frame Tutorial:
- Wood Pieces of Choice
- Liquid Nails
- Clamps (spring or track saw clamps would be the best choice since they would be able to slide behind the mirror and would allow the mirror to stay connected to the wall.)
- Miter saw
- Stain or paint if desired
- Wood Glue (if uneven seam at frame corners)
- Paintable Caulk (if gap at frame corners)
(Step 1). Using a tape measure, determine the dimensions of your mirror frame.
(Step 2). Cut frame using a miter saw making 45 degree angles for the corners. If choosing a thin border, a fine tooth saw blade is preferred due to the chance of splintering thin framing material. If you are using a thin, square dowel you can simply use a straight cut (thick casing will require a 45-degree angle).
(Step 3). Once you have made your cuts, I suggest painting or staining the pieces of wood your preferred color before you adhere them. This is a whole lot easier than having to paint the frame on the mirror. You can use wood stain, paint or even gold rub and buff for your wood frame as demonstrated in the samples I labeled above.
(Step 4). This next step is totally optional. If desired, you can remove the mirror from the wall if it is mounted by mirror clips. The clip style mount is removed by unscrewing the plastic clips from the wall. If you have a large mirror, two people will be needed for this. If you don’t feel like fussing with the removal of your mirror, you can move right on to step 5.
(Step 5). Apply adhesive (we used Liquid Nails) to the back of the frame pieces and clamp to the edge of the mirror. Allow adhesive to dry according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Note: If your builder grade mirror is still attached to the wall, you will need to use either track saw clamps or spring clamps. These are the only clamps that will be able to get behind the mirror. Unfortunately, I did not take photos of this step in my 1980’s bathroom. Nonetheless, removing the mirror is not required!
(Step 6). Once the mirror glue has dried, now is the time to correct any imperfections at the frame corners. If there is any unevenness at the seams, you can make it appear flush with wood glue. If there is a noticeable gap at the corners of the frame, you can apply paintable caulk using a caulk gun.
There you have it, my friends…a fresh new look with a new mirror frame at a fraction of the cost of having to purchase an expensive framed mirror!
Who would have guessed such an easy project could make such a huge difference?!
Thank you so very much for taking time out of your busy day to hang out with me!
It would mean the world to me if you could share this post with a friend or on social media. Thanks for supporting this small business of mine.
Now get out there and design some good vibes along with a fabulous life!