We’re back with another DIY as we get close to finishing up our Budget Bathroom Makeover! (See phase one here all about how we installed textured beadboard wallpaper!) Today I’m showing you how we added some farmhouse charm by DIYing a rustic wood frame around the existing bathroom mirror. Goodbye builder grade, hello character!
Like I mentioned in the beadboard wallpaper post, the goal for this bathroom makeover was to spend as little as possible. So instead of replacing the existing mirror with something new (mirrors can get a little pricey!), we grabbed a couple of boards and some stain and gave it an updated look – DIY style! Super simple and affordable. Check, check!
Here’s how we did it!
How to Frame a Bathroom Mirror
(Affiliate links are provided below for convenience. For more information see my disclosure, here.)
- 1″ x 4″ boards
- Wood stain (I used Early American by Minwax)
- Polyurethane with Clear Satin finish
- Foam paint brush
- Miter saw (or Miter Saw Box and Hand Saw would also work)
- Caulk gun
- Liquid Nails (or any construction adhesive)
Step 1: Measure and Cut the boards
To get the right dimensions for the frame, the inside edges of the boards needed to perfectly match the 24″ x 36″ mirror. So that means that the top and bottom pieces for our frame had an inside edge that measured 24″. The inside edges of the side pieces were 36″. We then used our miter saw to make 45 degree cuts at each of those measured marks. That way the boards would form a 90 degree angle at each of the corners when paired with another board.
Tip: Alder is a great choice of wood for this project – although it’s slightly more expensive than cheap pine boards, it tends to warp less and the wood is more uniform. Since the amount of wood needed is minimal, the extra cost doesn’t amount to very much.
Once all of the boards were cut, we did a trial run and placed each one around the mirror to make sure they fit perfectly. Don’t skip this part!
Step 2: Stain and Finish
After the stain and sealant dried overnight, it was time to put them up!
Step 3: Glue the boards to the wall
The goal for this DIY was to keep the project simple and easy, so we decided to use construction adhesive to mount the boards to the wall. The more traditional method would be to use trim nails. But gluing the boards right to the wall eliminated the need to find studs, and saved us from filling nail holes! Plus, the existing mirror was also glued directly to the wall so this option made the most sense.
This was the trickiest and least forgiving part. We needed to use enough adhesive to keep the boards held securely in place, but not so much that it would ooze out the sides and make a mess all over our newly wallpapered walls. We put small dollops along the back of each board and placed them on the wall, one at a time.
You can see in the photo above that the old trim piece from the vanity had been installed with construction adhesive as well. I wanted to point that out to show what it looks when you remove boards that are glued to the wall. Not too destructive and the glue spots can easily be sanded down and painted if you decide to switch things up down the road!
We also placed a small bead of adhesive along the edges where the boards came together…
The glue between the boards helped hold them together and made a finished looking seam. As we pushed the boards together, some of the glue oozed out but we were able to easily wipe it clean with a wet rag.
Once all of the boards were exactly where they needed to be, we held them in place for about 5 minutes allowing the adhesive to dry.
After 5 minutes was up, the hard part was over and our builder grade mirror was officially framed!
Checkout the tutorial on that cute mason jar light fixture here! Besides the Edison light bulbs, the entire thing cost me $0! Yup, FREE.99!
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