How to Frame a Bathroom Mirror

I’ve been such a blog slacker, friends! My hiatus wasn’t planned, but sometimes that’s just how life goes. Y’all know what I mean. At any rate, I have made some great strides on the hall bathroom in our house that I’m so excited to share and, in fact, only have the flooring and shelves left to do before it’s finished! {Well, we still have to have the tub reglazed, but other than that it’ll be done.} Over the past couple of weeks, I finished the vanity, painted the walls, hung the light fixture {which is just gorgeous} and framed the bathroom mirror.

I have to be completely honest here. I’ve never, like ever in the history of living in our house, all 12 years of it, liked this bathroom. It’s dark. It’s outdated. It has tile ev.ery.where. It’s just always been blah. I did a little bit to it over time like getting rid of the hideous carpet and wallpaper that was in there {why I didn’t take a picture of that I’ll never know}, but it’s never been pretty or even just okay. Now? I absolutely LOVE it! It’s always so much fun when a project turns out better than you expect and you just keep going back in that room to take a look at it one more time. Seriously, every time I turn the light on and it’s immediately bright in there my heart is happy all over again.

I spilled some of the details here about my inspiration for the bathroom and shared the before photos, so hop on over if you haven’t seen all of that. I knew I loved this light fixture when I first saw it — partially because of the $39.99 price tag and partially because it was glass which would allow so much light through. I always have moments where I second-guess my vision for a space, though, and I thought it might be too small, too shiny, etc. Y’all. It’s perfection. This bathroom has a lot of 1960s charm to it thanks to the tile and the vanity. I didn’t want to completely get rid of that character, but I did want to update the overall look and feel of it. That can get kind of tricky, but it somehow all came together in the little details, like the vintage-esque knobs and the pendant light, so the bathroom feels like we put that tile in on purpose to add some character instead of the other way around!

We also had a giant mirror in that bathroom {it’s a small bathroom, so the big mirror makes sense} with the old-school flower covered screws that held the mirror up along with tons of glue. Those had to go, and really the mirror looked unfinished because of the edges anyway. We considered buying new screws with heads that were more modern, but ultimately, I wanted a chunky white frame to go around the mirror. So this DIY was born! I have to tell you, after the six-hour debacle that was hanging the light fixture thanks to some ill-fitting screws and bracket, framing the mirror was a breeze! Except for the giant oops I made…

Before I show you that {which is actually part of our Instagram story, so be sure you follow us on there to get more behind the scenes footage of our DIYs}, let me give you some context. Finding screws that would go through the quarter-inch holes that had been drilled in the mirrors proved to be pretty much impossible mostly because the drywall behind the mirror was so stripped out. The hole in the wall was actually bigger than the one in the mirror, and there were no studs {of course} behind the mirror where the screw holes were to use longer screws on. So I got the bright idea to use wall anchors, the expandable ones like this. It was a great idea and actually worked really well… after I screwed up. Here’s what happened.

Yeah… so that was fun. Anyway, I got the piece put back on and all the anchors through the mirror and into the drywall with screws.

Next, I had to cut my frame pieces. I opted to cut the four sides and attach them to the mirror separately rather than build the entire frame and hope my mirror was straight and level. {Nothing in this house has been so far, so I didn’t want to test my luck.} I bought this primed 1 x 6 board from Lowes. Because we wanted the 36″ x 36″ mirror to look rectangular when framed, I cut the top and bottom at 36″ long and cut the sides at 41″ using my miter saw. All four angles were cut at 45 degrees. Before I started attaching the pieces, I laid it out to double check the corners met just right and were square.

To attach the frame to the mirror, I bought LocTite adhesive for mirrors. It’s amazing. These primed boards are not lightweight, and once I put them on, they didn’t slide around at all thanks to that adhesive! I had to add a small board above the mirror to give the top piece of the frame something to adhere to since the sides were cut longer than the tops.

I also had to drill pockets in the back of my side pieces so the screw heads would fit inside them rather than making the frame stand off the mirror. Of course, I didn’t take a photo of that… But all I did was drill halfway into the back of each piece with a 1/2″ drill bit. The screw heads fit right inside these holes to conceal them.

After that, all I did was put LocTite on the back of each piece starting with the top and, using a level, glued them on, lining them up with the mirror and ensuring the corners met. I used blue painters tape to hold them in place on the off chance any of them were to slip, but I honestly don’t know if that was necessary. The LocTite held almost immediately. Better to be safe, though, right?

I let the frame set overnight once it was framed and then took latex paintable caulk and filled the corner seams of the frame. Once that had dried, I gave the entire frame two good coats of Behr Bit of Sugar enamel paint. Then I just stared because between the mirror frame and the light fixture, not to mention the updated vanity and super white, sparkly tile thanks to Rustoleum, I was in awe of the transformation.

It has completely exceeded my expectations so far, and it has all been done DIY and on a budget! Framing the entire mirror only cost $20 {I did already have the paint, so that might cost more depending} and it added such a huge, modern element to the bathroom. At this point, the entire bathroom reno has cost approximately $100. I still have to build the shelves and buy the flooring and grout for the floor, so all in, we’re looking at less than $200 {probably closer to $150} to upgrade our entire bathroom! It looks like a total overhaul, but is actually just paint and refacing for the most part!

What’s your favorite part of this project so far? Hope you’re having a great week, friends!


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