Update that Mirror

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Estimated Time: 
Working Time: 4 hours Drying Time: 24 hours
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...You're so Ugly I Could Bawl!

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Did you see the Janes on the Tony Danza Show and how they turned a bathroom from drab to fab for just a few hundred dollars? Well one transformation that you can do in a day is with your bathroom mirror.

Project Steps

Step 1

To begin, you'll want to buy a piece of 1/8" plywood that covers your mirror. This will serve as the "backing" for your frame. Mark on the plywood the size of the frame you would like to end up with and cut off any excess from the outer edges. You can use a jigsaw for this step.

In cutting the frame out, use a "C-Clamp" to hold the plywood in place while you're working. Also, make absolutely sure to wear protective eyewear while using the jigsaw as it tends to kick up a great deal of saw dust. You might also consider wearing a sanding mask as well to avoid breathing in any flying saw dust. Kimberly Clark makes a sanding mask that is made to protect you from inhaling sawdust.

JANE TIP: Before cutting the frame if you want to make your mirror appear larger than it actually is, purchase a board that is bigger than the mirror and let the frame extend the size of the mirror. Doing so will help create this effect. Just make sure to make it with enough wall space between it and any light fixture or sink backsplash that you may have.

Step 2

mirror2Next you'll need to cut a hole out of the center of the backing. Do this by first figuring out how much of a frame you'll want to end up with around your mirror and make those marks on your board. Using a jigsaw to cut off a piece of your plywood from an outside edge is easy, but if you are using it to cut out the center you'll need to add another step.

Start by drilling a hole with a ¼" drill bit in the middle of the board. This will allow the blade of your jigsaw to have a starting point. The reason you start in the middle as opposed to the edge is you're throwing that portion away, so if you make a mistake, you'll correct it before you start the real cut.

Once this is done insert the blade of the jigsaw into the hole and begin cutting. As the hole is probably not near the lines you need to cut, move the jigsaw toward the lines that indicate the inner edge of your frame and then follow them. When you come up to a corner, don't try to make a 90 degree angle in just one cut, it's not possible. Instead come from two different directions. Drilling one hole is more than enough to get all of your cuts done but you can make others if you feel it makes things easier. Don't forget to use your C-clamp; it really does make a big difference.

JANE TIP: If you chose to make the frame larger than the size the mirror is now, then you'll need to make sure the edge of your frame will still cover the edge of the mirror. You can do this by making sure the opening is smaller than your mirror and allows at least 1 1/2" of the frame to touch directly on to the mirror. This is important to ensure stability and staying power when you go to glue your frame on.

Step 3

Now that you've cut your hole and you have your frame, you will need to coat it with a primer. Remember, this is raw plywood and raw plywood doesn't like anything sticking to it, unless it's primed first. So, apply one to two coats of a good quality primer. The number of coats depends more on if any of the board will be showing through in the final reveal.

In our case, we chose to apply 2 coats because we had the board show through the clear glass tiles. You can also choose to do one coat of primer and then two coats of color, if you want the color to be a part of the finished result. If painting it a different color is part of your plan, now would be the time to do this step.

Now you'll want to apply the green glass tiles. Before you actually glue them in, you'll want to be sure to avoid any gaps. So, once your paint or primer has dried, lay them out to check the placement and sizing. The tiles we used came attached to a piece of film to keep them in place. Since they came in a block of 5 rows and we only used 2 rows of tiles in our design, we used a razor edge to cut the rows off as needed while keeping the tiles attached to the film for ease of placement.

Once you've determined your sizing and layout, then firmly attach the tiles with a clear adhesive. You'll want to be sure to use a "clear" adhesive if you use glass tiles due to the fact that the tiles themselves are clear and an adhesive with color or opacity would show through. Once you've attached the tiles, lay out the frame flat to dry.

Step 4

During the drying time, you can prepare the molding for your frame. When choosing molding there are a few different types: solid wood, MDF and foam. We chose foam due to how light it is as well as how easy it is to cut.

Before cutting it, we sprayed it lightly with silver spray paint. Apply it slightly uneven to soften the effect and make the frame look more expensive. Let the paint dry for at least 4-6 hours or as states on the label of the can.

Step 5

Once the molding is fully dry, measure the size of the frame created by the tiles you've adhered to your frame base. These measurements will help you create the "frame" part of the frame.

Step 6

Now using a miter box and saw or an electric miter saw cut the molding. If you are using foam, we suggest using a miter box as the foam is too supple for an electric saw.

You will be cutting 45 degree angles on each side of the molding so that when two pieces are put together they will create the 90 degree corners of your frame. If you are at all confused about this, stop and take a look at any frame or door frame in your home. You will be creating corners just like these.

Start by cutting the 45 degree angle on the end of one of the pieces of molding. Now for the second cut. The measurements you have are for the inside part of the frame so you will have to measure it from the shorter part of the cut on the opposite side, not the longer part. If you are wondering which direction to cut the second 45 degree angle, know that the angles should be shorter on the bottom and longer on the top.

Finish making all eight of the cuts (two on each of the four pieces.)

Step 7

Now to attach the molding. This process is just like making a frame. Turn the molding upside down and put all of the pieces together in a rectangle. You will probably want to do this on a padded area to protect the paint you've just

To attach these corners, apply a small amount of the same clear adhesive to the two edges that but up against one another. For our project, we simply removed the cotton from one end of a Q-Tip and used the now bare stick to apply the glue (Place a paper towel underneath to protect your carpet from getting glue on it.)

Hold the glued pieces together to make a perfect 90 degree angle with one hand and with the other use an electric staple gun to place 3-4 staples on the back side. This will help hold the corners together while the glue dries. Repeat this step with the rest of the corners and gently turn over the molding and place it on a flat surface to dry.

Step 8

If the molding doesn't butt up perfectly together, after it dries, apply a bit of spackle to the openings to fill them in. Remove any excess out of the detailed areas as it becomes more difficult to remove once it is dry. Let dry and sand if necessary with a fine grit sand paper. Just be cautious as it will remove the paint you've just applied. Go over the corners with a damp paper towel to remove any dust left behind. Touch up with the spray paint as needed.

Step 9

Once the paint is dry, it is time to apply the molding to the frame. Place the frame on a plastic tarp or something to protect the surface you are working on. We suggest attaching this with a caulking gun and Liquid Nails adhesive. Apply a wavy line of adhesive along the frame on all four sides. Next place the molding on to the frame and press down. Let it dry for the specified amount of time stated on the adhesive label.

Step 10

Now that your frame is complete and dry it's time to adhere it to the mirror. You will do the same thing you just did to the frame. Apply a wavy line of Liquid Nails quick drying adhesive all along the 4 edges of the mirror. Press the frame up against the mirror and then pull it away for 30 seconds to a minute. This will help the adhesive to become tackier (stickier) before sticking it on. Then place the frame back on the mirror. To keep it in place while it is drying, use blue masking tape to hold it tight against the mirror.

JANE TIP: If you find that your frame is just too heavy to stay up with only adhesive, then you will need to use screws that will be long enough to go through the molding and into the drywall. You will probably want to use dry wall screws unless you will be working over a stud (a wood beam in a wall). The way to tell if this is the case is by using a stud finder. If you are over a beam, you will want to use wood screws. Either way you will want to slightly go over the head of the screw with the same color spray paint as your mirror to keep them hidden. This is only an option if you made the frame larger than the mirror.

And now you finally have an accessory in your bathroom that makes a statement that you want people to hear!

Now who's the fairest of them all?

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4 comments

4
Sep

Glass tiles: can you use the glass tile around the mirror as the frame? or can you tile directly (adhere) onto the mirror?
24
Sep

A little bit of liquid nails or gorilla glue will hold tiles on a mirror, just make sure the mirror is clean. You won't get them off so be sure that's what you want to do.
12
Jan

Is there a video or a picture that I can see because I am confused about step 2 and 3. Once I make the hole, I run the cut from the hole to all 4 edges? I need a visual. Thanks
4
Sep

What's the best place to get glass tiles for the mirror? Home Depot? JoAnn Fabrics?