Upcycled Old Dresser Mirror to Faux Mantle

4 Materials
4 Hours

There is just something so cozy about a fireplace, especially during the cold winter months. Of course, the real thing is always the most comfy; but sometimes that just isn't feasible.

I decided, why not create the next best thing....a faux mantle! This project was so easy, and didn't require much work!

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The orginal framed mirror

I was so lucky to find this framed dresser mirror on a Facebook yardsale Pg for free! I knew I could work with the wood frame. It even had the look of a mantle!

Removing the backing

The mirrored glass was being held in with a piece of plywood. I had plans to replace the backing with something more sturdy; but decided to work with this.

It was being held on with small screws; which I unscrewed using a Philip's screwdriver. I made sure to keep the screws to replace the backing after complete.

Removing the mirror

Once the backing was removed, I was able to easily slip the mirror out. This is what the frame looked like, after it was removed.

This will be used as your faux mantle frame.

Painting the frame

Before painting, I cleaned the frame off with a wet cloth, to get any dust off. It's important to make sure your piece is clean, and free of dust and dirt, before applying paint.

I made sure to lay my frame on paper before starting the painting part of the project. You can always use a drop cloth as well. This will help protect your floor.

I decided to use Rustoleum chalk paint, in the color Linen, for this project. You can find this paint at Lowes. I absolutely love chalk paint, since it requires little prep work.

I applied two coats of paint for good coverage. Make sure each coat is dry before applying another.

applying a mantle top

this step is not necessary, I just decided to add this piece of wood to the top, since I had it sitting around in my garage. If I could do it over, I would probably consider a piece with more width, to create a wider "mantle top."

For my case, the only cutting required for this top piece of wood, was to cut it down to size, as it was too long for the top. I would suggest, if you decide to add a mantle top, decide how much width you would like before purchasing the wood.

Securing the top wood piece

if you decide to add an extra top piece, a couple nails should be sufficient. Of course, you may require more, depending on the size of your top wood. We just hammered the nail straight into the top wood, and through the frame.

Sealing your paint

Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the sealing process. Hopefully I can easily walk you through it.

First, and foremost, you need to decide how you want to seal your piece. When using chalk paint, you can use furniture wax (which is recommended for chalk paint) or a poly sealant. It really all depends on how you plan to use your piece.

If your piece will be more decorative, and see little use or interaction, I would suggest a wax sealant. Mainly because it is created for chalk paint.

If your piece will see more use, I would suggest a poly sealant. I always use polycrylic over polyurethane, as polyurethane can tend to yellow over time. Polycrylic seems to stay nice and clear. In my case, I chose a poly sealant, as I plan to use my mantle for decor.

When applying your sealant, you will only need a small amount on your rag or brush (however you plan to apply it.) Add a light coat of poly over your paint. Let the first coat dry, before adding a second coat for a more durable seal.

Peel and stick wallpaper

I decided I wanted a brick background; and the best way to achieve that was with peel and stick wallpaper. I chose to use a product I found at Target. This particular one has a slight texture to it; which gives it a more "real" look.

The roll of wallpaper was way more than I needed; and was the bulk of the expense of this project.

If you go this route, you will more than likely have plenty left over for other projects or maybe to sell or pass onto another DIYer. 😉

I would suggest shopping around to find what you are looking for. I know they also sell peel and stick wallpaper on Amazon as well.

Applying your wallpaper

This is why I decided to hold onto the plywood backing on my mirror. It was the perfect fit, and in decent enough shape, to keep and use.

I measured the width and length of my plywood before cutting my wallpaper to size. The wallpaper, on the roll is precut to 20" in width. My plywood was 35".

I ended up measuring the length of my plywood, and cutting two identical pieces of wallpaper from the roll. I basically overlapped the pieces in the middle, trying to line the pattern up as best I could (as shown in the picture.)

overlapping wallpaper

you may find some of your wallpaper just won't match up perfectly, while overlapping. That's OK! As you can see in my picture, mine didn't either. Honestly, just try your best, and it won't be super noticeable. 😉

I used a wood ruler to smooth out any air bubbles under my applied wallpaper. Just be easy and slowly run the ruler over the air pockets, pushing them out as you go.

I covered the entire front piece of the plywood in the wallpaper. After that, I just reattached the plywood to the frame, with the original screws that held it on.

Project complete!

After you have allowed your sealant to dry, and reattach your wallpaper backing, it's time to set up your faux mantle wherever your heart desires. You may choose to attach your mantle to the wall with brackets. I did not. Mine is free standing against the wall.

Resources for this project:
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3 of 5 questions
  • Monique Monique on Apr 21, 2022

    How cool is this??? 👍

  • Sherry Sherry on Apr 28, 2022


  • Gig69451122 Gig69451122 on Oct 09, 2023

    Could you please offer your pieces approximate lenght & height dimensions? I thought the older mirrors were, very thick with no backing? Mine fits atop a 9drawer dresser. Idtk it can be made into a faux fireplace? Idk? Again your dimensions would really help. Thank you. 😉

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2 of 56 comments
  • Laurie Laurie on Apr 19, 2023

    So cool!

  • Ladyphy2001 Ladyphy2001 on Apr 19, 2023

    Love this! What a great idea! No only to find the ideal dresser frame! I will, with patience and a lot of looking. I am sure I will find my piece when looking for items for another project! Thank u for posting the inspiration.