Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to Add Molding to Mirrors

Hey guys! I don’t know about you, but I HATE the big slab mirrors builders always seem to put into new homes.  We’ve been here about 4 1/2 years now and I couldn’t take it anymore! I decided I had to do something to improve the look of the mirror in my boys bathroom.
This is a picture of my boy’s bathroom BEFORE:  .……………..
How to apply molding to mirrors
I’ve been working on giving it a little facelift and thought the mirror would be a great, quick project to help it along in it’s renovation.
I went to Lowes to find some molding. (have I mentioned that Lowes is my favorite store on planet earth?…guess I’ve said that a few times huh?!)  Well, while at my favorite store, I found this molding…….

how to use  a miter saw
I believe, in the store, it was called Howe and it was $18.80 for an 8 ft long section…I had to buy two, but I sure couldn’t buy a huge framed mirror for that price, so it was still economical, but you could do this with any molding. (so you could go cheaper if you’d like)

First I measured my mirror, it was 36” wide, by 42” tall…I actually cut my wood a little bigger so you wouldn’t be able to see the mirrors edge when I installed the wood.  I decided to make it 37” x 43”…..that gave me 1/2” all the way around to hide the edge of the mirror.

I set up my handy dandy miter saw………….
Kobalt miter saw

and put the setting to 45degrees, like this…
how to use a miter saw

Then, with the thickest part of the molding (that will be your outside edge) to the back of the saw, you make a 45 degree cut toward the middle, like this…….
how to make a frame
Then from the point of that cut, you measure the width (or height, depending on which piece you’re working on)  and mark the back edge and make another 45 degree cut in the opposite direction.
You’ll end up with four pieces that look like this….
how to build a frame for a mirror
Pay close attention to the fact that you cut the ends at a 45 degree angle slanted in, so each piece is in the shape of a trapezoid. :0)
It really is that easy….just measure twice and cut once! You can always make another cut, but you can’t add the wood back on once it’s been cut off. :0) (also make sure your measurement are from point to point..that will be the measurement of your width or height of your mirror)
Ok….now this is an important thing to know…when you paint your pieces of wood, make SURE you paint the back of the edges, because they WILL reflect in the mirror and will show if they’re not painted.  My wood came pre-primed, so all I had to do was give each piece a couple of coats of paint………including the backs!
To install the wood, use this……….
loctite power grab
If you’ve never used a caulk gun before, I’m including a vlog of myself at the end of this post that shows you exactly how to use the gun…I promise it’s not hard. :0)  (oh, and don’t make fun of my accent……I can’t help that I’m a southern girl!…and for some reason my lips look funny…ignore the lighting and just try to learn something! )  lol :0)
Apply the Loctite Power Grab to the back pieces of your wood like this….
how to frame a mirror
A squiggly line works better than a straight line, but make sure not to get too close to either edge so it doesn’t ooze out the edges when you install it on the mirror.
I started by installing the bottom piece of wood first, then added each side piece…and finally the top.  I made sure the cuts were lining up and everything was straight…
how to frame out a mirror

Then I used some painters tape to hold it in place while it dried….
how to make builders grade mirrors pretty
After it dried, I caulked any cracks where the mitered edges came together and just touched up the paint.

This pictures is the reflection of the back of the piece of the molding in the mirror….this is why I said you need to paint the back edges of the molding.  They REFLECT! :0)

Here’s the finished mirror!  I still have to put in all the new things I bought, but you can at least see the after pic of the mirror.
how to frame a slab mirror
MUCH better, don’t ya think?!
I’m going to be doing something with that vanity soon….I’m not sure whether to paint it,  just buy new knobs or what.  Any suggestions or ideas?’s my VLOG if you’d like to learn how to use a caulking gun.

How to use a caulking gun


Anonymous said...

Great job! The video was great & easy to understand.
I didn't hear any accent at all...of course my ears are tuned into the southern channel ;)

Katie Olthoff said...

Love it! And I have the same saw. I'll have tow atch the video when I'm no longer at work. :)

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Missy, that turned out fabulous!! Love those framed mirrors & hey, your accent sounds normal to me. :)

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

This looks SO great, Missy! Can you believe I've been wanting to do this on our mirror for 25 years? Ridiculous! We have a similar vanity, just a little larger- I primed and painted it white and added knobs- even made our countertop look good!

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Missy I love your Vlog! Nice to hear your voice and see you in a video! I thought you looked great and sounded great....didn't notice anything strange about your lips either! lol You did a great job framing out that mirror. We had that problem in our last house but the mirror was much bigger. It looked like something out of a public bathroom. Wwe eventually took it down and went with a ready made white cabinet with mirror(wood). Great tip about painting the inside lip of the wood frame. I did the same thing on a mirror I picked up at a garage sale and had to take it apart when I noticed the reflection. Great job girl!~Hugs, Patti

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

And I forgot to say...LOVED the video! Your Southern accent is charming! Having lived in the South for 6 years as a girl, if we were visiting, I'd probably be talkin' the same way in minutes! XO

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Your frame looks fabulous. My problem is the builder also put a medecine cabinet on the side wall where you have a towel ring and it is really close to the corner and the mirror. Havn't figured that one out yet. Hugs, Marty

stefanie said...

what a huge!!!! difference...its gorgoeus!

Ikealady said...

Really nice.
Makes all the difference.

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

Love your new molding! Great vlog!!! I knew who was behind the camera before you told :)
Great tips about caulk. I LOVE caulk!
fyi newer caulk guns actually have a pointy thing on them to break the seal. I have two, one does and the other doesn't, can you guess which one I use?
lowes? bah! I'm a home depot girl! hahaha

Cindy said...

That looks soooo much better. I have one of those awful mirrors, and i've been giving it the evil eye too... Thanks for the lesson. I love women who use power tools!


Marilyn said...

Nice vlog (is this a new word?-It is for me!) Your mirror looks wonderful. I just read about a kit from Rustoleum that is for cabinets. I want to try it out next summer as my bathrooms and kitchen are looking weary...30 years old.♥♫

Mrs. Jones from the Circus said...

I love this idea! I saw it around the internet before and wanted to try it in our old house...I didn't get around to it before we sold. Now, our new house has plenty of slab mirrors and I am itching to make some magic!!

I know you are dying to see the inside and I will show decor, boxes everywhere and all!

I have the pictures, we got our internet today and I need to get a move on!!

Thanks again for the great inspiration!!!

❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ said...

Oh yes, much better! I'm not a huge fan of black, but I think black would make a bold statement against the reflection of the mirror...just a thought :)

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Missy, what a transformation! I think I'll do this to my powder room mirror which needs some jazzing up.

Unfortunately I couldn't access your vlog at all. :( I'll try again later.


Made In The South said...

Loved the Vlog! Carson did a great job helping you.
I still want to add little feet to my cabinets, just have not made it to the hardware store.
You have the best DIY ideas,

Melisa S. said...

Wish I we had seen this a few years ago...we did our guest bathroom and forgot to pain the back of the molding! It irks me every time I go in there and see it.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

That looks fantastic and I am eager to do my mirrors...hate them plain.

Thanks for the tutorial!


Karen I said...

It's meant to be! I've been wanting to put a frame on the slab mirror in my kids' bathroom after we redid it recently. I've been putting it off since school started (I teach). I woke up today with a desire to do get it done. Took a few minutes to read some blogs and there was your post. Inspiration to get it done today! Thanks!

Fairfield House said...


Love your camera man (complete with sound effects and commentary!) I think adding molding to plain vanilla mirrors is a great inexpensive option to replacing them.

Your Friend,

Jessica said...

That looks great! I've been thinking about adding molding to our bathroom, but we shall see if I ever get around it. Ha
Pretty blouse in the vlog, by the way. ;-)

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking said...

Missy, this post and all of your photos were so incredibly helpful. My husband and I accomplished this project on our guest bath mirror this weekend and were given so much insight from your helpful tips, photos and suggestions. Thank you so much for inspiring us to try something new!

Sara {House Bella} said...

Found your project on the Loctite Pinterest board - what a fantastic idea! I've done similar, but never using an adhesive. Very clever.

Ada (new york) said...

The after looks AMAZING!!! I agree, the before was just a tad zzzz, but wow you sure transformed the bathroom.

Tracy said...

I love your blog, I have just discovered it via twitter!

I have been wanting to take on this project in my bathrooms, however, I am not sure if it will work because there is a track on top and bottom of the mirrors. This makes the perimeter of my mirror is uneven. Do you have any suggestions on how to make this work? I am so tired of my plain old mirrors.... :-/
thank you

Unknown said...

I just watched this... and it made me feel so close!! :) I wish I could learn to use a miter saw... I should have taken lessons from you while I was living there! lol I have a mirror that I need to do this to...Thanks for this great video demonstration, I think I could definitely do this now!!.

Unknown said...

As an interior designer, I have many trades people do work for me for my clients. I've had my contractor build molding around existing plate glass mirrors and it always comes out so nice. If you have a really wide mirror, you can frame it out and put another piece of molding down the center vertically to give an illusion of 2 mirrors. Comes out great too. I love all do. Your completed work puts a smile on my face.

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