Sooooo my lovely wife gave me another ‘honey-do’ DIY project, trimming our bathroom mirror. She thought our bathroom mirror was looking a little plain. My eyes couldn’t see it, but hey I’m a guy so….
But anyways, she found a bit of inspiration on Pinterest for adding some trim to our bathroom mirror. We decided to make this a simple project and use some cheap 1×4’s from home depot. I was able to find some with minimal cupping and warping a while back. You can read about my method for selecting lumber from the big box stores HERE. It is a pretty simple principle that involves sorting lumber, but goes a little deeper than just finding boards that are straight.
Since construction lumber can be a bit ‘rough’, I used one of my restored Stanley hand planes to flatten and smooth the boards out a bit. Using a hand plane is really a skill I’m thankful that I learned, as it is soooooo much faster then sanding. Next, just apply some stain, cut final dimensions. And assemble with 3M command strips. The boards and 3M products cost approximately $10, as we had plenty of stain and poly on hand already. So here is my simple illustrated guide to adding trim to a mirror for little money as a DIY!
- 2 – 1×4″ 8′ long
- Tape Measure
- Japanese Pull Saw
- MITER BOX
- 3M COMMAND STRIPS
- Water based Polyurethane, or your sealer of choice
- Chisel/hammer (optional)
Steps to add wooden trim to a mirror – do it yourself (DIY)
Note – I did make a YOUTUBE video of this build. It is a brief summary of the steps below, be sure to check it out. It is linked at the bottom of this article!
1 – Measure your mirror you wish to trim out. You need to get the overall length, but add 1/2 the width of the board on to the dimensions. This will eventually be mitered, so you want to make sure you have enough overlap to make sure it looks good. Adding half the board width you intend to use will set this overlap at 50%, which gives you enough, but not too much overlap. It also allows you to have the most margin for error.
2 – Get your boards. If you bought good boards that won’t move much, then you should be in a good starting point. Cut the boards to an appropriate length and then set them in your home to acclimate for about a week. You should place some stickers, or something between the boards so that they get good airflow. In this way they will dry to your environment and not move much after you have sealed them.
3 – Prepare the surface of the boards. After the boards are dry, sand or plane them down to give a good yet rustic finish. I prefer a hand plane because I can minimize any cupping or crooking. I’ve also found that I can plane a board smooth in a fraction of the time it takes to sand.
4 – Stain your boards. We my wife chose Puritan Pine for this project. It provides a nice subtle brown color and isn’t too overpowering like Walnut.
5 – Cut the miters on your boards. Just measure and cut. I’m using my cheap miter box for this, as it is quick and easy. This project was too small to bust out the big Dewalt miter saw.
6 – Seal the boards. I used a water based polyurethane for this project. It is perfectly fine to use water based poly on top of an oil-based stain. The stain will be soaked up by the boards and dry. Once the stain has had at least 24 hours to dry completely, it is no problem to apply the water based poly. It will sit right on top of the wood and prevent moisture ingress just fine.
7 – Optional – if you have mirror hangers that are in the way of the boards, you might need to complete the next step. I actually didn’t need to do this, as I found out later that the 3M Command Strips would offset the boards enough to clear the hangers. But if you choose a different method to attach the boards you might want to chisel out a cavity on the inside of the board to clear the hanger.
To do this, just hold your boards up to the mirror and use a piece of tape to mark the approximate location. Or, you can just roll a piece of masking tape and place it on the hanger. Then hold your board up to the mirror and press it firmly so the tape will stick to the board. When you bring the board back down, the tape will be stuck to it and mark the location where you need to chisel.
To chisel, I just marked out a square with the chisel. Then would take small cuts to remove the wood with a piece of scrap 2×4 as a hammer. It goes pretty fast.
8 – Place your command strips on the mirror per the instructions. Attach them firmly, then remove the backing of the tape. Now you can just set your boards up gently and make minor adjustments. Once you are fully satisfied by the final location, press them firmly against the mirror. This was secure enough to satisfy me. As long as nobody pulls on them hard they should stay up for a long time. Plus, I didn’t really want to glue the boards directly to the mirror, as I feared having to change them someday and the mess that would entail.
So, that’s it! We are very happy with the results. Comment below and tell us if you like it, or tell us what you’ve done, or would do differently to trim out a mirror! We hope to hear from you.
We still have more decor projects to complete for this bathroom that we will share as we get to them…you know that to-do list….it’s always a long one!
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Update – I made a short youtube video of the build. Have a look and tell us what you think. I hope you enjoy!
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