Make a Decorative Framed Mirror

I finally got round to making up the large framed mirror for the wall above the vanity basins. The new vanity replaces a pedestal sink with a dinky bathroom cabinet above. There is now plenty of space in the vanity for all our bathroom essentials and I can now replace the cabinet with a large, framed mirror.
The mirror was sprayed with Rust-Oleum Universal - titanium silver - which ties in beautifully with the new whisper grey walls. The new colour makes the bathroom look so much brighter, and using matt paint disguises the horrible plaster finish on the walls.
The metallic silver mirror also has a small shelf at the bottom that will come in handy for everyday items. The frame and shelf were made separately and then the shelf screwed to the base of the frame.
20 x 94mm wide PAR pine cut to length
20 x 67mm wide PAR pine for French cleat and 30mm screws
Mirror, cut to size at your local Builders
4 of mirror brackets and 16mm screws
Biscuits, #20
Ponal wood glue
Wood filler
Rust-Oleum Universal spray paint in your choice of finish
Fischer wall plugs and suitable masonry bit
Drill / Driver plus assorted bits
Mitre saw, jigsaw or table saw
Biscuit joiner
Orbital sander plus 120- and 240-grit sanding pads
Electronic detector
1. Measure up the area in order to cut the required lengths for the top, bottom, sides and shelf for your picture frame. Cut the frame pieces with a 45-degree angle at the ends. Find tips here for cutting angled ends.
2. Using a biscuit joiner is the easiest and fastest way to make picture frames, but you could simply join the sections at the back using steel angle braces and screws.
Set the cutting depth for #20 biscuits and dry fit the biscuits to make sure they fit half way into the cut slot.
3. Apply Ponal wood glue into the slots and along the edges and join the sections together to create the frame. Work on a flat, level surface so as not to disturb the frame once is has been glued together. Leave undisturbed overnight.
4. Should there be any gaps at the corners, use wood filler to cover up. Let this dry before sanding.
5. Start off sanding with 120-grit sanding pads to remove the roughness left by the cutting blade and then sand again with 240-grit for a smooth finish.
6. Wipe clean to remove any dust before spraying the entire frame with Rust-Oleum Universal spray paint. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying a further coat. A little trick I have is to spray one side, let it dry and then wipe down with Mr Min furniture polish. This prevents any tackiness when I turn the project over to spray the other side.
The frame was placed on small pieces of foam around the edges to make it easier to turn over without damaging the finish.
7. To mount the heavy frame onto the wall I am using the French cleat system. This involves two block of wood on either side, each block cut in half with a 45-degree angle. For this you will need a compound mitre saw or jigsaw with adjustable plate. Make the angled cuts first and then cut the blocks to size. In this way you don't have to worry about having your hands too close to the blade when making the angled cuts.
8. One part of the French cleat is mounted to the back of the frame using wood glue and screws. Note the angle of this section and how it will slot in the lower section once mounted.
Before drilling into walls - any walls - use an electronic detector to check that it will be safe. Green and you are good to go!
Now all that you need to do is lift up the mirror and slot the two French cleat brackets together to securely hold the frame in place.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Val
    on Nov 5, 2015

    Wow! How did you achieve this brushed look? Or is it the wood texture showing through the paint?

    • Catherine Todd
      on Dec 23, 2018

      Val, I imagine the wood is left unsanded and the silver paint reflects the dimensional look of the wood along with brushstrokes. Good question.

  • Lisa
    on Nov 5, 2015

    What tool was used to cut slits for the biscut pieces?

Join the conversation

2 of 22 comments
  • There's nothing wrong with your comment Val. It was probably an accident as suggested above.

  • Krafty Mrs.K
    on Apr 3, 2019

    The use of a French cleat was brilliant. with a frame larger than the mirror this could be done without moving the mirror at all.

    I love those Rustoleum metallic spray paint. I should own stock in the company LOL.

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