Bath Time: Stay In Frame


“I have a full-wall vanity mirror in my master bathroom that I’d rather revamp than swap out. Is there anything I can do myself to make it look more customized so I don’t have to replace it?” ~ Patrick Shaw, Phoenix, Arizona

In most spec homes, the wall-consuming vanity mirror is pretty standard. It reflects a ton of light, it adds depth to cramped bathrooms, but let’s face it, it’s, well…pretty boring. Instead of tearing it down in place of something new, though, there’s an easy fix to turn your run-of-the-mill mirror into a tailor-made frame, like the crisp border around the mirror of this bathroom from HGTV. All you need is some standard supplies from your local hardware store, a few hours and a little creative vision.

Try this at home:

Step 1: Choose your molding. You have a range of options for your new framed-in mirror, from ornate hand-carved wood to curved window casing. Or tap into your inner designer and use a favorite decorative mirror as your muse, like this bamboo version from Horchow.

Step 2: Measure twice, cut once. Like with any other project that involves the cutting of wood, always double check your measurements before taking to the saw to avoid frustrating inaccuracies (which always add up to more dollar signs!) For crisp corners, a 45-degree angle should do the trick.

Step 3: Paint or stain. To get a custom-made look, paint or stain your frame to match your vanity. Or, for some funky, edgy contrast, try a something metallic like gold, copper, or silver leaf.

Step 4: Make it stick. Nailing your wood molding onto your mirror isn’t really an option (for obvious reasons), so you’ll need a mirror adhesive, such as Liquid Nails. Make sure to purchase a glue that is steam- and heat- resistant for a long lasting bond.

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