DIY Bathroom Mirror Frame - Update your builder grade mirror in a few – Ellison Made

DIY Bathroom Mirror Frame - Update your builder grade mirror in a few simple steps

This project made me ask the question, "Why didn't I do this sooner?" It was such a cheap & easy way to update our builder grade mirror in a few simple steps... measure, cut, stain, glue!

This tutorial uses screen shots from my Instagram stories so if you're a visual person and want to watch the stories, here is the link to our guest bathroom highlight, which includes a bit about the mirror. 



Step 1
Determine the thickness you want your frame.

We opted for 3 inches thickness. This looked appropriate to the size of the mirror.  We used leftover 5mm underlayment strips from our DIY faux shiplap. I love this stuff because it's thin and flexible enough for a myriad of projects, but unlike MDF or some of the cheaper plywood, it has lovely wood grain that comes out when stain is applied. Since our leftover shiplap planks were already cut into 6" strips, we had to run them down the table saw into 3" strips instead. 

Here is the label and cost at our local Home Depot of the 5mm underlayment, it comes in a 4' x 8' sheet (at least that's what we used for the shiplap, it may come in other sizes if you don't need that much). 

It's the stack in the middle 

Step 2
Measure length and width of your mirror 

You should have 4 pieces:  top, bottom, right and left. I tried to draw up a diagram below to best explain how we did it. You will measure & cut your frame pieces from edge to edge for both length and width - the pieces should overlap in the corners initially. Then after you cut your 4 pieces of frame, you can make your 45 degree angle cuts so that they'll line up perfectly. Our builder grade mirror was about an inch or so shy of lining up with the countertop so I made sure we extended the frame enough to make it flush with the backsplash. 


Step 3
Stain your frame pieces.

After all of our pieces were cut to size, I stained the front of each piece and the sides (ours were scrap wood from shiplap which is why one side is already painted white - yours will likely be wood grain on both sides). I got asked quite a few times the color of my stain and for this underlayment, I found the perfect weathered warm/grey in three different stains: special walnut, weathered oak and classic grey. If you just want to buy one, I believe a few coats of weathered oak will give you a similar look but make sure it dries thoroughly in between coats. 

Step 4
Attach your frame to the mirror

Since our mirror was attached directly to the wall with what I am assuming was liquid nails or some other permanent compound, I didn't dare remove it from the wall. We also didn't have to bother with any mirror clips. If your mirror has clips holding it in place, you may have to use a thicker wood other than underlayment and route/notch out the areas for the clips in the back. 

Lay out your frame pieces like a puzzle to make sure you have everything cut, stained and ready to adhere to the mirror. You will need two people for this part since the frame pieces can slide or move about with only one set of hands. I ran a bead of liquid nails along the backside of each piece (be careful not to get too close to the edge because it can squeeze out when you apply pressure to it). I first attached the bottom piece, then the right, then the left and then the top, you have a few moments to wiggle it around to make sure everything is aligned properly. Once everything is where you want it, hold the pieces in place for a few minutes until it sets up.

I then applied painter's tape across the mirror, frame and to the wall as an additional form of pressure to hold it in place. I kept the tape in place overnight and removed it the next morning!

Voila! That's it. You now have a much more custom looking mirror! I kept it pretty simple, but you could add decorative trim to your frame to give more depth and dimension or you could paint it a bold color, whatever you want!

I hope you found this tutorial helpful and if you have any questions, as always, feel free to reach out!