Builder grade mirror transformation

Last year, our first home project Ryan and I tackled together was the second bathroom. Sorry I don’t have a picture for you, but I am going to try and give you an idea.

There was a fuax finish gone wrong. VERY VERY WRONG!

Sort of like this one, but cream and burnt orange.

Builder grade mirror and 90s glass block faucets (even though our house was built in 2004). Why Mr. Builder, why?! Actually, the picture above is more attractive than the faucets we had.

Top it off with vinyl flooring and a orangey-builder grade cabinet vanity with cultered marble top. Doesn’t that sound pretty?

Yea… it wasn’t. So, since we both decided that the bathroom was pretty darn ugly, we would tackle it first. I would call it a bathroom make-over as opposed to bathroom remodel, since it only involved fresh paint, new fixtures, and accessories, but it all made a HUGE difference. Our makeover included changing out the boring, builder grade mirror for a more decorative oil-rubbed bronze mirror (free from my grandma – thank you!!). When we took down the original mirror, we were able to remove it without breaking it. Hurray! So for about 16 months, the mirror collected dust in the garage. Then, one day I finally had an idea!

Why not revamp the mirror and use it in our bedroom? I had been wanting a BIG mirror for above the dresser, but it was far from the top of my “to purchase” list (anyone else have  mental “to purchase” list?). Inspiration came from numerous pictures and tutorials on pinterest.

So, just like all of our other projects, I have to prepare to pitch it to Ryan, kind of like a sales pitch. Actually, it is a sales pitch. I research cost of materials, estimate time, whip up a finished drawing and compare the cost to going to purchase something new (ex. DIYing a mirror will cost $45 while buying a new one would rang $150-300. Which one do you want to do honey??). Now, my husband is an engineer. They are a very special breed. Very analytical. Need to know the details of how things work. For…like…everything….and they are also cheap. Being aware of all of these things, I try to work WITH these characteristics as opposed to against. 99% of the time my sales pitch works! Yay!

Off to work we went. We needed a back for the frame, so we used a piece of 3/4″ MDF board, cut to size. We had this laying in our garage, so it was a little thick for this project. You would be fine with 1/2″ MDF board! Because the board was so thick, it was heavy!

To help with the weight issue, we removed a section out of the MDF board.

With the portion removed, we attached the mirror to the MDF with mirror glue. This glue was recommended by Young House Love from one of their mirror projects. It is VERY important you follow the directions EXACTLY for the glue. It will not work if you cheat! Lesson learned from Young House Love (their projects are 95% success! I just learned from this one minor hiccup!).

So we applied the glue to the back off the mirror (per glue instructions) and then put the mirror in place.

Per instructions, we applied pressure and let it dry while laying flat…for SEVEN DAYS. The directions said 3 days, but I wanted to be sure it was completely set.

While waiting for it to dry FOR SEVEN DAYS I went ahead and painted the exposed MDF board surrounding the mirror. I picked up a Valspar sample from the “reject paint” area. Poor rejected paint! No one to love it *sigh*. Well, my rejected paint was the perfect linen color! Paint, you are rejected no more. Whoever had this paint color mixed and didn’t like it really missed out because it is P-R-E-T-T-Y. After letting the mirror hang out in the guest bedroom for a week, we surrounded the mirror with nails to help support the mirror (the glue cannot be the only thing holding the mirror in place – per instructions). Don’t worry, the nails will be covered with molding!

I can’t remember what size nails we used (BLOGGER FAIL), but they were small. We spaced them around the mirror, one nail about every six inches. With the nails in place, we moved onto molding.

Isn’t that pretty? We splurged for fancy molding! I like my molding nice and chunky meaty, just like my thighs. I can thank grandma again for that one…

We used a miter saw to cut the molding to size and attached it with small finishing nails. You can see we used two moldings, with an inch spaced between the two.

With the molding in place, we caulked the corners and creases and then touched up the nails and caulk with paint. Let the bad boy dry. Hang it. Boom! Project complete.

*Keep in mind when hanging a heavy mirror, or any heave object, you need to secure it into a stud to support the weight load*

What do you think? We are pretty darn happy with our DIY mirror project! If you are now regretting throwing out your old builder grade mirror, not to worry. You can pick them up at a Habitat Restore (or any salvage store) for a few bucks. Have you DIYed anything lately? Got an old mirror in need of some rehab?

Ryan and I are counting down the days until we close on the “New Old House!” April 25th can’t get here fast enough 🙂

Have a great day, thanks for stopping by!



6 thoughts on “Builder grade mirror transformation

  1. I’m doing something similar right now! I took an old big picture that had an ugly gold frame, painted it with oil rubbed bronze spray paint (my new BFF) and I am getting the old builder grade mirror cut and installed at K&M glass. All for $12! it is for our half bath. Great minds think alike when a cheap engineer is involved 😉

  2. If you need more practice I have one you can practice on in the guest bathroom. 🙂
    What is Oil Rubbed bronze spray paint ? What have I missed?

    • Our mirrors were held in by clips. The clips held the mirror in place and screwed into the wall. We just had to remove the screws and the mirror came right down. Sometimes people do use glue to install mirror, but we didn’t have that issue.

  3. Pingback: New Bathroom Faucet | Little House Design

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