Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Framing Bathroom Mirrors


We had the best time on our Valentine's weekend getaway! It started with the fabulous Bon Jovi and included dinner and movies and snow flurries (a must in State College) and just hanging out with my favorite guy in my favorite place. But we also managed to fit in a project that has long been on my to do list.



The bathrooms in our townhouse all came with those big (gigantic), not so pretty (pretty awful), unframed mirrors.




I know there are companies that sell mirror frames pre-cut to your specifications in a wide variety of styles. But I knew we could do the job for much less and have the satisfaction of having done it ourselves.




So we headed off to find some pretty molding. I really love molding and would have gone for more detail, but we had two things to keep in mind for our particular situation. First of all, the mirrors in all three bathrooms are so big that they go up under the lights at the top so there's not much space for a thick decorative molding.





And at the bottom, they come all the way down to rest on the backsplash, so again, we really couldn't go too thick.





We found some lightweight FRD tileboard moulding (cellular vinyl) that fit the bill perfectly. It was even preprimed. The little description said that it "accepts paint and stain, cuts easily, won't crack or split and is superior to wood and MDF" - perfect!





You'll need a miter box to cut the molding. These things always confuse me. Just take a minute and think it through carefully before you cut.




We used Liquid Nails Mirror Adhesive to attach the molding directly to the mirrors.




Kevin suggested we do a little test to figure out just how much adhesive to use. We used a scrap piece of molding, applied some adhesive and pressed it down on a sheet of newspaper. Then we flipped it back over.





We wanted to be sure we had plenty of good contact, but it was important that we didn't have adhesive oozing out on the mirror because that just wouldn't be pretty.





Then I gave all the molding two coats of paint, front and back. There will be an ever so slight reflection of the back of the molding in your mirror, so just go ahead and paint both sides.




I used the same white paint (Sherwin Williams Pure White) that's on all the trim in the house. You could also stain the trim to match your cabinets, but I have a bit of a cottage look going throughout the house, so the white was perfect. I loved that big bucket of paint! And there's a reason I normally paint outside. I had speckles of paint all over the kitchen!


When we measured, we allowed for the molding to overlap the edge of the mirrors ever so slightly. And then we started by adhering the bottom piece first.




The next three pieces went up all at once. We stood on stools and each of us took a top corner. We each lightly adhered our corner along with a side piece, then I held both top corners in place while Kevin hopped down and set the bottom corners just right. Thanks to some careful measuring and cutting (thanks dear!) all the pieces fit perfectly. It would have been easier with a third person to set the bottom corners and a fourth person to take pictures, but we made it work with just the two of us, no problem



Here you can see how the molding fits up under the lights ...



and rests nicely on the backsplash. And with the slight overlap we allowed, you can't even see the edge of the mirror.




I put a just a bit of caulk (notice the pink) in the corners for a smooth finish. Just apply and smooth out the caulk with a finger and paint when dry.




Since none of our bathrooms have windows, it was a little hard to get a good picture. But here's the downstairs powder room.




The finished upstairs guest bathroom.




And the finished master bathroom. ... Big difference, don't you think?





I am absolutely thrilled with the results! I think this is one of those simple projects that can have a huge impact on the look of a room. If you have one of these big, unframed mirrors in your bathroom, frame it out. You won't believe the difference it makes!


And this project is super economical too. We bought 6 strips of molding at $5.57 each, 2 cans of liquid nails at $4.97 each and 1 tube of caulk (the one thing we forgot to take with us) at $3.77. Our total was $49.48 with tax. That comes out to just $16.50 per mirror!!! Talk about getting a big bang for your buck!


Thanks to my sweet husband for indulging me with yet another project, especially on our getaway weekend! We are most definitely a good team!


***Be sure to read the follow-up post here!


79 comments:

American in Bath said...

I like it. Do you have any hints for cleaning the dust out of the crevices? I ask because I'm lucky enough to live in a Victorian, but am always making mud puddles in the molding;)

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

that looks fabulouc! what an improvement!

Sarah AKA The Thriftress said...

I should totally do this! So much cheaper than the kits you can buy or even new mirrors.

Thanks for the tutorial!
Sarah

House On Beach Street said...

Beautiful. I have a huge mirror in my bath this would work perfectly on. Thanks for the great idea.

NanaDiana said...

Nice job and HUG difference. Love it~ Diana

Pattie said...

I love it....I have to do something to mine but it's a three door and I'm at a loss. Yours is great. Thanks for sharing and I now follow you!
8>)

Tracy said...

Awesome! I asked my husband about doing this one year ago so now I just sent him the link to this post as a reminder. It makes such a huge difference!

Heather at Dragonfly Designs said...

Looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing ~ stop by and say HI sometime! Have a great day!

Leslie @ goodbye, house! HELLO, HOME! said...

Sharon,
This is an excellent tutorial!
I too, didn't want to pay for the Mirror-Mate kit.
There are two mirrors that need this in my home!
Do you mind if I put the link to this tutorial in on my Resources page on my blog?
Thank you and your hubby for taking the time to document and photograph the process!
Blessings to you as you make your home!
~Leslie

Sam @ The Junk House said...

Wow! Such a simple project, but it made a huge impact in those rooms. I'm going to have to try that on my mirrors! Thanks for the tutorial!

Allison {A Glimpse Inside} said...

Looks fabulous! I think all mirrors should have this done. Thanks for linking up!

Restoration House said...

This looks great Sharon, was about to do this with my mirrors when I saw your post! I was going to use MDF, I've never heard of this FRD! Will have to check it out. So glad I seen your post first. Great work!
Kim:)

Ashley said...

The mirrors look great! Thanks for the tutorial. I am your newest follower... I saw your link on The Shabby Chic Cottage. :)

Ann said...

Looks amazing. I need to do this but my mirrors have clips and I just haven't thought that one out yet! Great job.

A Vintage Vine said...

Great job! I agree, I always have to think twice before I cut with the miter box....I like the new look for the mirrors!

Cindy said...

Sharon,
Those are gorgeous! You guys did a super job on them! Good for you, you should be proud of yourselves.
Hugs, Cindy

Tiffany Steers, Sylacauga, AL said...

I love a guy with skills...great job and a big improvement...Liked the step-by-step directions. Visit me at thecrankyqueen.blogspot.com Tiff

Michelle @Shellsshabbyshack said...

What a difference a frame makes! Well worth the time and effort! Looks beautiful, Sharon!
xo,
Michelle

Katie said...

It looks so good! I've had this same idea for similar mirrors in my house, and I'm glad to see it was fairly easy!

Life In The Thrifty Lane said...

Looks great! We are about to do the same in our guest bathroom too

Sherry said...

That is beautiful. Great job on the makeover. Looks very nice.
Sherry

SavannahGranny said...

Love what you did on the mirrors. I keep checking out all the mirror framing posts. I will eventually get the nerve to do it. Yours look awesome and so thrifty. I like that. Hugs, Ginger

Heather said...

Great Job! I've been wanting to do this for awhile too. We did a mirror in my parent's house using large dark bamboo and slicing it in half vertically and then making a frame out of it. It was fun and easy to do.

Ethnic Girl Fun said...

This is so awesome. This looks great!

SHERRY HART said...

That is a great way to finish off a mirror. And for so little $$$. It really updates the bath.

Cannary Family said...

You made this look so easy - I really want to do this in both of our bathrooms - just need to get started! Thanks for the nudge!

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

Looks great, I need to do this! Thanks for linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence.

bliss bloom {blog} said...

I've been wanting to frame-out the kid's bathroom mirrors for a while... just need to convince the hub. I'm going to try and convince him with your great tutorial! Thanks.

Mel said...

All of your mirrors now look high end. For a little money and a little work, it was well worth it. Great job.

LowCountryLiving said...

Great post. We are about to frame an old bathroom mirror for our kitchen and this makes me want to get it done!

Sandy said...

Your instructions were a big eye opener for me.. I've been wanting to do this to my large mirror but could not figure out how to hang the molding.. duuuhhh! Thank you so much!
I'm off to get the molding and "mirror" liquid nails...
Sandy

Amanda @ Mamaslittleladybugs.blogspot.com said...

Oh My Gosh!!! This is so easy, inexpensive, and gorgeous! I am totally trying this. Great idea!

Kate @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating said...

What a difference! This has been on my to-do list for about a year... thanks for the great tutorial!

Thanks for linking my Flaunt it Friday party! Come back next week! :)

Kathy@DandelionsandDustBunnies said...

Looks great. I keep wanting to do mine but havent' gotten around to it yet. What a big impact for a somewhat simple job.

Chris said...

Well done. We have the same problem in our house...your solution would be perfect for us! Thank you for sharing.

Emily Love said...

This is beautiful!! Great job! I have been wanting to do this to our mirrors.

Visiting from Tater Tots and Jello Weekly Round Up.

Feel free to stop by www.madebyemilylove.blogspot.com

Jodie said...

Love this, what a difference molding makes! Beautiful transformation!

Nina @ Momma Go Round said...

Just brilliant! We are just about to put in an offer on a townhouse that has mirrors just like that that are soooo boring. Can't wait to show my hubby this!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Looks amazing- The moulding really makes a difference- well done!! Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

At The Picket Fence said...

I did this exact same thing in my guest bath! It really does change the look of your bathroom doesn't it? Great step by step tutorial!

Thank you for linking up to Inspiration Friday At The Picket Fence!

Heather @At The Picket Fence

Sherron said...

You might want to consider putting a layer of clear silicon caulk on the inside seams (where the mirror and the frame meet) to keep water from seeping behind the frame and growing mold.

stacey said...

It looks so good. Thanks for the ideas!

shabbylisaw said...

That makes a BIG difference. We have to try this technique on a few mirrors in our house. Thanks for the inspiration.

Claire said...

Wow-what a huge difference and all for under $5O bucks-fabulous!!

Mrs.D said...

Great job!! I love it. Definitely saving it for my bathroom projects.

Kirby said...

It did make a huge difference! Looks really good! :)

Katie said...

Awesome tutorial!! I've been wanting to do this to our mirrors for awhile now. Now I have some motivation :)

Candice said...

That looks really great! I'm planning on doing that in my bathroom too. Thank you for the great instructions!! I am linking to your project on my blog.

Sarah @ Cozy.Cottage.Cute. said...

Such a huge difference a little trim can make. It looks great!!! :)

Rene said...

The frame makes all the difference. You did a great job Elizabeth.

-Rene

The Other Me Is Sane said...

I've seen other tutorials, but your's was the best for me as it showed the steps of placing it on the mirror, which scares me the most. You've given me courage to do one myself. thanks!

LambAround said...

We've done this too! Doesn't it blow your mind how many people throw out those mirrors, when a little trim is all they need? :)

Marianne said...

Very nice. I really want to do this too, but I'm not sure my mirrors are glued to the wall or just attached with the clips and it they are too big to try to check. Oh well, maybe sometime in the future.
Thank you for sharing.

I♥naptime w/ Chocolate Sundaes said...

Looks great! I really need to make one of these. I'd love for you to link this up.

Tamara said...

Just what I was looking for I too have those lovely mirrors and what something better this is perfect thanks for sharing

burlapandlaceblog said...

Wonderful tutorial! This is the next step in my guest bathroom makeover, and I didn't even know that they made that type of molding! Thanks for sharing!

Feel free to visit my blog and check out my bathroom re-do!

burlapandlaceblog.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

beautiful!

Meg said...

Huge difference! I just did this in my bathroom and I have to say--yours turned out much better! I didn't allow for much of an overlap so there are some large gaps between corners. Grrr. Live and learn! ;)

Brittany said...

Looks great, thanks for the idea!!

Aby said...

what a fab idea....how did u miter the corners? does the store do it?

Lil Mama Stuart said...

came from crazy domestic - great idea! my bathroom looks just like that last picture. minus the moulding of course :(

laura@imnotatrophywife.com said...

okay, I'm doing this. I can do this! Thanks for the photos. I'll be back to link to you when i finish this. Now i'm committed! laura@imnotatrophywife.com

http://imnotatrophywife.com

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

I just love molding around those standard mirror. It makes such a huge difference!

Marianne@Songbird said...

I love your mirror project. And the accuracy of that measuring and cutting is amazing, because I know from experience that is so hard to do! Wonderful job and how nice that it truly was a team effort, I love DIY-ing with My Love (to bad he refers to it as work ;-) ).
Thanks for linking up to Gitter Done! You sure Gotter Done!

Annalea said...

Wow. Looks great!

One idea for others: if you really want thick moulding, it's really easy to flip those fixtures upside down so the lights point upwards. You have to vacuum them out about once a year (bugs, dust, etc)., but the light is more gentle, and there's plenty o' room for chunky molding.

Thanks so much for the tutorial. I needed it! :o)

Michelle said...

I've been wanting to try this, thanks for the great tutorial! I'd love for you to come link this project and any other great ideas you have at DIY Thrifty Thursday @ www.thrifty101.blogspot.com
~Michelle

Vaibhav said...

That looks really great blog! I'm planning on doing that in my bathroom too. Thank you for the great instructions! I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! bathroom mirror

Kirsten said...

Thank you for sharing this! I have the same problem with my bathroom mirrors, but I couldn't think of a way to attach the molding to the mirror. Liquid nails -- perfect. The mirrors look fantastic!

Sarah said...

This is AWESOME!!! I've read SEVERAL "frame-the-bathroom-mirror-yourself" tutorials; this is by FAR the most economical & easy/best-looking!

I'm bookmarking this and will do this ASAP when I get back from vacation!

Thanks for sharing :)

Sunnyville said...

Loving this Idea! Do u know if it will damage the mirror? Will it come off easily?
MARIA

Lori said...

excellent, consider yourself pinned.

Jeanie said...

Since I have clips on my mirror, I think I will find some foam moulding and cut out a little where the clips are. Your mirror looks good!

Jeanie said...

Since I have clips on my mirror, I think I will find some foam moulding and cut out a little where the clips are. Your mirror looks good!

Tricia Hays said...

It's beautiful! You two did a wonderful job & I'm definitely going to give this some thought... I have a big unframed mirror in my bathroom, too, & haven't decided if I want to frame it or get a smaller framed mirror to hang there. Thanks so much for the tutorial, much appreciated! =)

Rosemary Negrin said...

This looks awesome!! Great job!! One question for you both. Is the molding easy to take off? I live in an apartment/townhouse and i want to do this however i only plan to be here for three more years and i don't want to leave a mess when I leave therefore I would need to make sure that the nail glue will be able to easily come off.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Hi Rosemary, I would definitely consider this a permanent change!

Colleen Vargas said...

A soft bristled toothbrush works well for me.

House Mix said...

I did this! And it turned out great! We have two bathrooms with the same horrible mirrors and one is GIANT. I've wanted to do this since we moved in, but couldn't figure out a way to avoid the edges of the mirror showing. When I read the part in your blog about letting the moulding hang over the edge a bit so as to avoid this, it was a light bulb moment. Duh! So simple, but it's all I needed to do it. Thanks for the great tutorial. I'm pleased as punch with my new mirrors! (I'm thinking about writing a blog post listing all the things to do with Liquid Nails, and this is at the top.)

mallory_castille said...

I love this is there a way to hang temp because i live in a rent house?