Mirrors are an important part of a bathroom. Besides providing a good look at yourself, there are other advantages to placing a plain mirror above a bathroom sink. Mirrors create more light, add a spacious feel, attract natural light, and brighten corners. Smaller mirrors scattered around this room will add a defined and pleasing touch.
While basic mirrors achieve goals in changing the dynamics of a room, a DIY framed bathroom mirror can highlight your room’s design for a simple bathroom makeover. Follow these DIY mirror frame ideas for an easy way to make a big impact on your bathroom appearance, with little cost involved.
Table of Contents
- Start with Builder Grade Mirrors
- Materials for Building a Mirror Frame
- Constructing a Wood Mirror Frame
- DIY Mirror Frame Ideas
Start with Builder Grade Mirrors
There is nothing wrong with using frameless mirrors in your home decor. However, adding a new mirror frame gives character and aesthetics to a boring builder-grade mirror. Building a wooden frame to accent your simple mirror can be a great option for spending little money and landing awesome results.
Begin by visiting hardware stores, like Home Depot, to examine custom mirror frames. Have in mind the exact placement of your new mirror with measurements. Chose a frameless builder grade bathroom mirror to begin your new project. The height of your mirror depends on vanity height and is usually several inches above the top of the vanity. For example, the mirror should be above the bathroom sink and anywhere from 3 inches to 10 inches.
It is possible to buy a plain old mirror and cut it to size yourself. Cutting DIY mirrors requires more than a basic woodworking skill. Leave this part to an expert for the best results. $25-$75 can be worth the professional results. Once you have your wall mirror cut and shaped to size, building your own mirror frame with wood pieces is an easy DIY project.
Think of your builder-grade bathroom mirror as a bare picture being placed inside a picture frame. Instead of placing a picture inside the wood frame, you will build a frame around the picture. It is definitely easier to fit a frame around an existing mirror.
Materials for Building a Mirror Frame
Wood is the most popular material in framing pictures and mirrors. Softwoods, like basswood, pine, redwood, and mahogany, are favorites for cutting and sanding pieces of wood. Hardwoods, like oak, ash, cherry, and walnut, can make a dramatic statement with lovely grain patterns but are tough to work with. Vertical pieces and horizontal pieces should be precisely cut and placed against the edge of the mirror before gluing in place. Finding that you have gaps in your edges after gluing is a hard way to learn that this is a mistake.
Wood stain is available to mimic the look of a particular type of wood. Finishes provide a glossy or satin sheen. MDF boards are not suitable for use for a mirror frame as they do not hold a finish well.
Supplies needed for your ideal project include:
- Wood glue or construction adhesive
- Tape measure and degree angle ruler
- Saw and sandpaper
- Painter tape
- Paint roller and angled brush
- Paint or finish
- Wood pieces
Aluminum is the metal of choice in creating an elegant master bathroom makeover. Make sure that your metal is anodized or powder-coated for durability. Without this process, aluminum is susceptible to corrosion. Because this material is lightweight and inexpensive, it can become an easy project by ordering a kit and putting the pieces together. I can use command strips for lightweight frames in the place of glue.
Constructing a Wood Mirror Frame
Allow yourself at least 2 hours for the entire process. Rushing can make a huge impact on the professional look of your great plan. The back of the frame will also require drying time.
The first things to consider are the style of your frame and the type of wood to use. If you are dealing with a small space and a frameless mirror is already in place above the vanity, ask yourself if there is enough room for the sides of the frame to clear adjoining walls. You may have to visit your local hardware store in order to have a new mirror cut to size.
The next step is to examine the size and style of the light fixture. Placing a light fixture along the top of the mirror, as opposed to the side edges of the mirror, can make a big difference in the appearance and increase the feeling of space. The height of your mirror can also limit you to the frame size. Make sure the bottom piece of wood will clear the lip of your vanity and the side pieces are equally sized.
DIY Mirror Frame Ideas
Different sizes in the wood’s width make a huge impact on your chosen style. For example, the farmhouse style delivers a rustic feel when the sides of the wood are rough and thick. Old barn siding or rugged unfinished natural wood brings a touch of the outdoors to your space. Leave the edge of the frame squared with straight cuts as it sits along the edge of the mirror. A 2 to 3-inch width of the wood frame will announce your country style with boldness.
Traditional and contemporary room settings will look sophisticated when your mirror frame gets made of walnut, maple, or oak. You can also use a wood stain on pine wood for a more inexpensive project. Keep the width of the wood skinny (under 2 inches) to add a pleasing outline to your mirror. Miter the corners at a 45-degree angle. Take your time, so there are no gaps in the wood.
Metallic spray paint on thin wooden strips will deliver a look of sophistication on a round or square frame. Add depth by first spreading wood glue over the surface of the frame and making indentations with the back of a spoon. Once the glue has dried, use metallic silver or gold spray paint to cover the surface. Get creative with the look you desire.
Chic, modern industrial, or transitional bathrooms let you become more creative with your mirror frame. Paint your frame a shiny black, a pastel aqua, or sunshine yellow to add a touch of color. Balance your new mirror with new vanity lights or sink fixtures. Your project will take little time and leave you with a fresh, inviting look.
Not all bathroom mirrors have to be square or rectangular. The look of luxury is becoming popular with lots of glass, gold, and mirrors that dazzle. A round beveled mirror with a gemstone frame will look like you spent a ton of money. A row of bare bulbs will add glamour to the top of the vanity.
Start with a piece of plywood as large as your mirror, or cut-and-paste sections and use a staple gun to piece them together. Place the mirror on the wood and draw the outline. Measure out the desired width of your frame and carefully draw a second line for the width. Remove the mirror and use a saw to cut your circular frame.
Make the outside edge as perfect as you can. Sand to remove the rough edges. Purchase several clear gems at a dollar store and glue them on your frame outline. Spray paint the frame before adding the stones for a more striking look. The last step is to glue the frame around your mirror.
I can use different materials to bring life to a boring mirror. For example, I can glue seashells to a frame to create a beachfront feel or wrapping rope around the circular frame will add a sea-weathered appearance. Driftwood is another option for staying with an ocean motto.
These simple steps can apply throughout the entire house. Whether a small hallway mirror or a floor mirror, adding style and color around a plain mirror can enhance your decor with a simple trim. Shop for wood pieces or ornate strips and get amazed at the great job you’ve done in a short amount of time.
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Karen Gillan, Senior Writer
Experienced Writer with 20+ years. Demonstrated writing experience includes technical writing, magazines, story writing, and journalist projects. Karen has a powerful media and communication background with academic training from LaSalle University (architecture, interior design) and business college courses. She loves editing novels and contributed to a national art journal.