Are you looking for an inexpensive way to spruce up your builder-grade mirror? Well, friends, look no further! If you’ve been following the blog, you’re well aware that we purchased a foreclosure that needed A LOT of love before we could even move in. After getting most of the larger projects out of the way, we had some small details to handle. The entire house was built with builder-grade, outdated materials. So, it’s no surprise that our bathroom mirrors were just plain ole’ mirrors. No borders, nothing fancy, no thrills. We wanted a way to update them, but not kill our bathroom budget.
If you’ve checked out mirrors anywhere, even your big-box home improvement stores, you’ve noticed that large ones can get pretty pricey. If your original mirrors are in great condition, then why not just add a little upgrade to them? I’m here to show you how we updated our bathroom mirrors WITHOUT buying new mirrors and spending less than $40 for THREE bathrooms. Yes, THREE! If you’re interested, I’m sharing exactly what I did below. (Also, see here to find out how we upgraded our bathroom cabinets for less than $60 total!)
Before you begin, here are the tools you will need:
-Paint brush or sponge (size depending on what trim you choose!)
Measure the perimeter of your mirror. I mean, you want to make sure you purchase enough material, right? You’ll need enough to cover the mirror’s edges, so get AT LEAST that. If you don’t trust yourself, you might want to get a little extra. Fun fact: most home improvement stores will at least do straight cuts for you!
2. Choose and purchase materials
So, for our mirrors, I actually used window mouldings. They came bare, so I needed to stain them (the photo shows my choice in stain). I spent less than $25! You can likely use floor mouldings as well, but the window mouldings seemed lightweight, which is what I was looking for.
3. Cut your wood to appropriate measurements, check your work!
Since you have your measurements, you can make your cuts. Now, don’t forget, you’ll need to cut the edges at 45 degree angles. This is where the miter saw comes in handy. You can set your saw to 45 degrees, to be sure you get it right, and trust me, you’ll want to get it right! In case this wasn’t obvious, you’ll end up for 4 pieces of wood. Each sharp end will marry to another, to form a 90 degree angle, and these will be your corners (see below).
After making your cuts, you might want to do a dry run. What I mean by this, is lay all of the pieces out in the shape of a frame. Make sure all of the ends meet together smoothly. This way, if you have any corrections to make, you’ll be able to do so before having the wood attached to the mirror. If you have a helper, you can also hold your pieces up to the mirror, to make sure you’re spot on! You won’t want to see the edges of the actual mirror peaking through after your project is complete.
4. Stain, add topcoat if preffered
After you make your cuts, add your stain. You’ll see what we used in the photo. I’m in love with it! But obviously, there are worlds of options! You can even use paint instead. We didn’t use any sort of finishing coat, or anything to add any shine. Shiny wasn’t the look we were going for over here! Also, we used a sponge to apply our stain, as opposed to a brush, and it worked out perfect! To prop the wood up, I just set the pieces on an empty box that I had laying around. You could do the same, or use disposable cups!
5. Apply liquid nails
So, we were generous with this, but not TOO generous. You’ll apply it onto the backside of each piece of wood. If you apply too much, it’ll squirt out the sides and edges when you press the wood onto the mirror. We started with the piece that would be on the bottom of the mirror first. If you don’t know about liquid nails, or products like it, it’s basically a strong adhesive that you can find in most home improvement stores!
6. Attach wood to mirrors
You’ll find that liquid nails is…liquid! So, your wood might slide for a second once you press it onto the mirror. Because of this, you’ll want to apply pressure for a minute or so to the wood, just to make sure it sticks. The product is actually strongest after a few days, so if you want to use some sort of clips (nothing too hefty that will cause damage), to hold the mirror and trim together, then go for it. I actually used extra large binder clips and then removed them the next day.
As I mentioned, we started with the piece for the bottom of the mirror first. Next, we did the sides, and last, we did the top piece. Make sure all of the corners are marrying together well! Once everything was in place and the binder clips were applied, the clips were removed about 24 hours later.
7. Admire your work:)
You’re done! You’ve saved yourself a significant amount of cash, especially if you already had some of the supplies lying around. Now, you can go work on other things! Because of the cash we saved with this, we were able to upgrade our faucets (not shown here), which helped pull together the look we were going for. You can also check out our cabinet upgrade if you have a minute!
If you’ve done anything similar, have any questions, or just want to leave a little love, feel free to do so in the comments!