Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday in Suburbia: Transforming a Mirror for Under 20 Bucks

Last week I shared the hall bath nearly complete.  It was just missing the mirror frame as I had the need to revise the design...again.  But this project is now DONE.  Now onto the 1853 more!

Transforming a Mirror for Under $20
To recreate this frame and shelf you can use MDF or wood.  I used wood, mainly because after three different visits to Home Depot and each time the line for wood cutting was forever long.  I've mastered the miter saw, but I'm still a little afraid of my circular saw, and unfortunately I do not have a big table saw for making long rips.  However, I would recommend MDF unless you want to do a stained look rather than the painted I have done here.  If you go with wood, be sure to use flat, un-warped boards.  The quick way is to place the boards on the floor at the store and see if they lay flat or turn up.

I used three 1x4 boards of white oak that were about $3.50 each per 8'-0" long board from Home Depot.  For the center panel I used a precut 18"x36" white oak paint grade board that was about $7 from Lowes {again, didn't want to wait in line for a cut}.  I took the overall height measurements from the top of the backsplash to the top of the mirror, and then the width measurement of wall to wall and mirror edge to mirror edge.  I went 2" taller than the existing mirror in order to attach it to the studs in the wall above.  I used my work program, AutoCAD, to draw it up, but you can sketch it.  I'm just a sucker for precision...but that fell to the wayside half way through.  After cutting each piece I labeled them as they were all very similar in size and difficult to tell apart without measuring.  While I wanted to miter each corner, the ceiling on the left side slants inward, and creates a 45 degree angle at the top corner of the mirror.
Label Boards
If you miter each corner then you can use long screws to join the two pieces of wood discretely rather than using a bracket.  The brackets caused a little headache floating against the mirror, so try to avoid them if they will be up against the mirror like mine.  On the tops where I did not do a miter cut I used Liquid Nails and held it together with small clamps while it bonded.
Liquid Nails and Clamps
For the center shelf, I cut two shelves and equally spaced them on the back panel being sure the lowest shelf was high enough for my towel stand to sit below.

If you have ever had a crooked screw, or trouble aligning the pilot holes you
accurately measured then you probably are not holding your drill level.

After installing the frame as I installed the shelf, I caulked at the countersunk screws, wood seams, and where the wood meets the mirror.  This helped create a much more "finished" look.  You can also install the whole unit as one piece using a cleat which eliminates the exposed screws.  Most of the mirrors and headboards installed at the hotels I design are installed using cleats.  You can use metal french cleat or create a wood one yourself if your semi-handy.  I went the easy and cheap route for this bathroom.

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  1. This looks like a totally different bathroom! Great job! I hope you will link up with me here:

    1. Thanks for the compliment and the invite - just linked up!

  2. That is darling. I love the big divide between the sinks.. makes it much more like a "his and hers" vanity. Nice job and great pricetag!

    1. Thanks! I just hate those big blank mirror walls, and this turned out pretty good for that price!

  3. Well, how lovely! Well done. Thank you for sharing. Visiting from DIY Showoff. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    1. Thank you, Kathryn. Just linked up :) Thx!