DIY Framed Mirror

We started renovating our master bath almost two years ago. I thought I would do this backwards and show you some of the small finishing projects first. First up, our diy framed mirror. We have the standard builder grade mirror in our master bathroom. Rather than buy a frame or a new mirror (both expensive options), I decided to frame the mirror using chair rail molding.


Mirror before DIY Framed Mirror | Plum Doodles


I needed hubby Richard to help me with this project. Here’s how we did it, and as usual, the lessons we learned on what not to do:

Measure each side of the mirror and mark the outside edges of the molding to this measurement. Cut each end at a 45 degree angle- you can  use a miter saw or a miter box & hand saw.  Like my Christmas present? Smile


Trimming molding for DIY Framed Mirror | Plum Doodles


The molding was pre-primed. I added a coat of pure white chalk paint, a coat of polycrylic, glaze, and finished with a couple more coats of polycrylic. Any white latex paint would do for the base coat and you wouldn’t need to add the polycrylic layer before glazing. I just used the chalk paint because it’s what I had on hand. I had to add a coat of paint to the back side for an inch or so from the inside edge- it will reflect in the mirror.


Paint trim for DIY Framed Mirror | Plum Doodles


My first thought was to glue each piece onto the mirror individually using Liquid Nails. When I glued the first piece on the mirror (taping into place to dry), I realized it wasn’t going to work because our mirror is attached to the wall with clips, which held the frame off the mirror in those spots. Phooey! It actually stayed in place, but I couldn’t handle the large gaps between the mirror and frame. This method would work great if your mirror is glued to the wall with no clips.

Richard decided to assemble the frame before hanging it to make it easier to get the corners square. He put it together using corner braces and glue. We still had the issue of the clips holding the frame off the mirror, so we needed to carve out those areas on the frame. In order to mark the position of the clips, I smeared them with lipstick so that when we pressed the frame onto the mirror, the lipstick would mark the spots. This worked perfectly, but guess what- the [metal] corner braces were covering the very areas we needed to carve. Another phooey!

Plan 2 (3?): Use heavy duty double sided mounting tape to attach the frame. The tape has a spongy center, but still not thick enough to compensate for the clips, so Richard used a double thickness of tape, cutting each piece 1- 2 inches long, placed probably about 6 or 8 inches apart. He used more at the corners. It worked- whew! Because of the increased distance from the mirror’s surface, more of the back side of the frame is reflected in the mirror than would be the case if it were lying flush. I may go back and glue another small strip of molding to minimize that.


DIY Framed Mirror detail | Plum Doodles


As you can see, my mitered corners were far from perfect.


DIY Framed Mirror detail | Plum Doodles


Nothing a little caulk couldn’t fix.


DIY Framed Mirror detail after caulking | Plum Doodles


DIY Framed Mirror detail after caulking | Plum Doodles


So much better, don’t you think?


DIY Framed Mirror | Plum Doodles


After this little lesson in what NOT to do, would you rather frame your mirror, or just buy a pretty one to hang?

Now, I need your help. Next project, hanging curtains over the tub. There are a lot of weird wall/ceiling heights and angles in the room, which make it hard to figure out what to do. As you can see below, the shower wall doesn’t go up to the ceiling. Also, the ceiling starts a slant just at the top of this picture. Can you give me some suggestions? What height would you hang the curtains?  I’m trying to decide if the curtain rod needs to be at the same height as the shower wall or higher. If higher, how much higher?




Thanks for any suggestions you can give me! And yes, I know my candles are crooked- the holders are crooked and I already broke one arm completely off trying to straighten it. It’s turned to the back….




Partying here:

   DIY Show Off Project Parade  


  1. Stumbled on your shower curtain dilemma. Here’s what I stumbled on…

  2. Marlina Kirby says:

    Hey there, I have an idea for your curtains. Putbyour curtains level with the showerwall it can surround the tub on all three sides and you can close them on the open side or use tie backs or hold backs …. whatever they are called. This would give you a cozy tub niche. Sheer curtains would give you extra light on the front too.

  3. Love your mirror revamp!

  4. Sheila,

    Great job with the mirror and thanks for linking this post to the Hometalk forum. I really appreciate all the great tips here on your site and will put them to good use on my project 🙂


  5. TracyWalker says:

    You might consider painting the back side of the frame with a black paint. It will still reflect in the glass, but it won’t draw the eye. It will not appear to be reflecting at all.

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Tracy. That would have been much smarter! If / When I decide to add another trim piece, I’ll definitely follow your suggestion and paint the back side black.

  6. diane hriczko says:

    Very clever

  7. Hi Sheila, I found you through the Buildhers Club FB page. I actually framed out our bathroom mirror just like you did but I did a couple of things differently that made it much easier. Our mirror was attached with clips so I took the mirror down, used gorilla glue on the back and glued the mirror to the wall. That eliminates the clip problem. Then rather than putting the frame on the mirror, I put the frame around the outside of the mirror which prevents you from seeing the back of the frame. It worked really well! Thoughts to keep in mind should you want to do it again. I know it makes the mirror more permanent but we are moving within a year so I was okay with the permanancy!

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Chantelle! I know it’s crazy, but our mirror was originally glued to the wall and we took it down when we were remodeling and put it back up with clips, thinking we would replace it eventually. I didn’t dare ask hubby to glue it back up (though yeah, that would have made it a whole lot easier)! 😀 Who knows, if we’re here long enough, we may still replace it with 2 oval mirrors, which is what I would have preferred.

  8. Love the new framed mirror! makes a huge difference. As far as the curtains, I really think you can getaway with any rod height if you’re using panel curtains because of all of the unusual angles/heights. If you’re opting for a swag or pelmet box(?) or something like that (might be kind of a cool feature), I’d hang at the shower wall height.

    Love that Christmas present!

  9. Sheila, framing out that mirror made such a huge difference! Great job!

  10. I loved your story! We have all had problem projects like this. Yesterday I put together a simple closet storage shelf, the second one. The first one went together like a charm. I almost destroyed this one!

    Your mirror looks very nice BTW!

  11. Framing the mirror was a great idea. I would go up to the ceiling for the window treatment. The height would be more pleasing to the eye.


  12. It looks great. Thank you so much for pointing that out. I will take the clips into consideration when I do my daughter’s mirror. We took ours out of the master rather than frame it because of the light fixtures.
    I think you should do the curtain even with the top of the shower.
    I love your blog. I’m your newest follower. I found you through project parade.

  13. Shelia,

    I love your mirror frame. I think this is an awesome solution to a simple mirror. Love the new bling 🙂

    Have a wonderful day!


  14. Another amazing Shelia transformation! You never tackle anything easy! I love the frame on the large mirror. I like your choice of framing it, rather than removing it and using smaller mirrors! Great job and nice Christmas present! I’m puzzled on the window covering! Hummmm-

  15. I’ve always wanted to see someone do a dramatic fabric draping that starts on the ceiling and goes over the tub. i’ve only seen this done in bedrooms (to mimic poster beds. If you hung a curtain rod on your ceiling and then another on the seem (where the ceiling meets the wall) and draped the fabric, it would be quite the statement.

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