$20 Bathroom Mirror Makeover

6 Materials
$20
4 Hours
Easy

It’s possible to makeover a bathroom even when your budget is small! One of the changes with the most impact was framing the builder-installed mirror. The mirror in this bathroom extended from one wall to the other so we had to make some adjustments to how it was hung to install the framing.

Measure once, cuss twice...

We measured the mirror’s dimensions to figure out how much lumber we would need. We decided to use 1×3 lumber and one piece of decorative molding for the frame.


Because the mirror extended from one wall to the other and it rested on the back splash, we needed to also build an underlying frame to hold the mirror above the sink. We used 1×2 lumber for that.

Remove the mirror and clips

You need to be careful when you take down the mirror! If you're planning to use the same mirror, this is a two-person job. Have one person hold the mirror and the other removes the clamps.

Use a router to create inset frame on sides and top

Attach one 1x2 board along the back splash. This will be the ledge the mirror is sitting on. Use a router to remove a portion of the wood on the 1x2 boards that will form the side and top edges of the underlying frame. The mirror will sit into these boards, and the edges will be where you attach the actual frame.

Pull back of the underlying frame

This is the frame that will hold the mirror and you'll use to attach the actual decorative framing.

Set mirror into the underlying frame

The mirror fits perfectly inside the underlying frame. We used some scrap pieces of wood to hold the mirror in place while we primed and painted the wood we used for the frame.

Attach Outer Frame Over the Mirror.

Next, you'll attach the 1x3 lumber on the sides and the decorative trim on top.


Because of the decorative molding we used for the top, we decided to use straight cuts for the rest of the pieces of the frame instead of mitered cuts.


IMPORTANT!! We recommend using screws because hammers next to mirrors aren't always the best idea. Before you attach these pieces of wood, measure where the screws are for the underlying frame! You don't want to try to screw the top frame pieces in at the same spots!! Also, be careful to not nick the edge of the mirror with the screws attaching the frame.

Paint the frame pieces outside and you don't have to tape!

I thought we would just paint the frame once it was installed, but my husband decided it would be easier to take the pieces back off and paint them separately. It definitely saved us a lot of taping! (There are some other parts of the cabinets shown here.)


This is Benjamin Moore's Advanced Paint in a Semi-gloss finish in Kendall Charcoal. It is a great paint that hardens to a furniture-quality finish.

Fill the holes with wood putty

Once the frame pieces are dry, re-install them using the holes you already created. Use wood putty to fill the holes from the screws. Once it's dry, sand smooth, then touch up with your paint.

Just a Reminder: Here's the Before

And here's the After!

For instructions to make faux mercury glass globes for your lighting as shown here, visit this link.

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4 of 17 comments
  • Ruthie
    on Aug 26, 2020

    Thanks for the great instructions! I've hated my builder's mirror for years. Now I can finally make it like I want. :)

  • Eva
    on Sep 14, 2020

    Congratulations! This is really a very nice project

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