I love the look of wood moulding and how it makes mirrors look much more expensive than the standard unframed glass that came in our house, but I had hesitated to attempt to add it because I thought creating my own moulding was beyond my skill level. I decided to start small with a DIY frame for my bathroom mirror, and I surprised myself with how professional it ended up looking!
This project is totally doable, even if you’re a carpentry novice. Here is how I put together my simple but impactful DIY mirror frame. But first, get inspired by checking out these fifteen amazing and inspirational DIY bathroom mirror projects in the slideshow to decide on the look you want in your bathroom, then read on for the tutorial.
I am going to show you how to frame a bathroom mirror using a mitre saw, but if you don’t have access to one, don’t fret: you can totally get this project done without one (I’ll show you how to do that, too).
Below is a photo of my bathroom mirror before the project. It’s just a plain rectangular mirror (actually, it’s two placed together). The mirrors were originally hung with Mirror Mastic, which is a glue that won’t bleed through to the mirrored finish.
- MDF (primed) baseboard moulding with cap
- Mitre saw
- Liquid Nails and caulk gun
- Measuring tape
Step 1: I went to my local hardware shop with my mirror’s measurements. I needed three pieces of primed base with cap moulding that I found in the moulding aisle.
Step 2: I first had to measure the mirror and wall and cut four pieces of moulding to fit using a mitre saw. I set the mitre saw on a forty-five degree angle. Since my mirror is a big rectangle, I needed two long pieces for the top and bottom and two shorter pieces for the left and right side of the mirror.
Step 3: Once your moulding is cut, you need to paint the back of the moulding near the top edge so the unfinished back won’t be reflected in the mirror when the moulding is installed.
Step 4: Once that is dry, flip to the right side and paint one or two coats on all of your pieces.
Step 5: Frame the mirror. Starting with the bottom piece, apply Liquid Nails to the back. I had the counter top backsplash to automatically level the piece. If you don’t have a backsplash, use a bubble level and mark with tape or a pencil where to place the moulding to make sure it is level. Liquid Nails dries quickly, and you don’t have much time after you apply it to get it in place on the wall.
Step 6: Once the bottom piece is level and securely on the wall, add the side pieces in the same way and then the top piece last.
Step 7: If your mitred joints don’t match perfectly, caulk will be your best friend and make you look like a professional carpenter. Use a good quality caulk to get the best result.
Step 8: Add caulk to your caulking gun or, if it’s a container-style caulk, cut the nozzle on the tip of the caulk container on an angle, and then just run the tip of the can along the joint. Pretend it is a can of whipped cream and you have to add it to the joint. After the caulk is in the joint, run a wet finger over the line to smooth. If needed you can touch the area up with paint after the caulk is dry.
If you like the way the moulding transformed the look of the mirror but are thinking that you don’t have a mitre saw or the skills to do this yourself, READ ON about how easy no-mitre moulding is to work with.
No-mitre moulding is so easy to use and a bit more decorative then the plain moulding I used to frame my mirror. It eliminates difficult mitre cuts, waste, and carpentry skills. It is a DIYer’s dream.
It comes unfinished…
…or primed. I like using the primed as it’s one less step for me to complete.
It goes together like this—a block at each corner with baseboard or trim moulding on the top, bottom and sides of the mirror.
All you have to do is measure your mirror’s width and height and take those measurements to the home improvement centre. Pick your block and subtract the size of each block from the size of your mirror measurements. For example, say your mirror is 1.6 m long and you chose a 100 mm square block for the corners. You would subtract 100 mm times 2 to get the length of the board that will go between them. It would be 1.4 m long.
Have your baseboard/trim molding cut to that size. Now when you get home, all the pieces—four blocks and four pieces of baseboard/trim—just have to be nailed up to the wall using Liquid Nails. EASY!
Home improvement stores will make straight cuts on wood for you—some may charge you fifty cents a cut, but most will do it for you for no extra cost.
Once you are successful and see how easy it is to frame out a mirror, you will be looking at every room of your home to see where you can apply your new skills. The hardest part of using no-mitre moulding will be deciding what decorative pieces and corner blocks to use.
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