How to Frame a Mirror With Wood

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This is How to Frame a Mirror With Wood. In this guide, I’ll show you how to frame an existing mirror right on the wall with wood, giving it an upgraded look. Enjoy.

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Framing a Mirror With Wood

How-to-Frame-a-Mirror-With-WoodThere are a lot of reasons to frame a mirror with wood. First, most houses have very plain looking mirrors in the bathrooms. They are attached to the wall with little clips, and they really don’t look that appealing.

When you add a wooden frame to a mirror like this, you elevate the look significantly without spending very much money or time. That’s the attraction to framing the mirrors in your house. You get a lot of bang out spending a little time.

The process for framing a mirror and adding a decorative look to your home is very simple and straightforward. All you’re really doing is creating a wooden rectangle that matches the outside border of your mirrors.

Coming up, I’ll show you everything you need to know to do the process yourself. I’ll also show you some tips and tricks, and a surefire method of attaching it to the wall.

See Also: How to Make Mirror Frames the Easy Way

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Decide on Your Look

The first thing you need to do when you’re deciding on how to frame your mirror is to pick out a look. Even with a simple frame, there are a lot of different looks that you can go for. Each one is different, and you’re sure to find something that matches your style.

One of the best places to do this is on Pinterest, and you can browse through tons of different mirror frame ideas to get the juices flowing. When you find some that you like, save them, and you can look at all the good ones in the end.

Once you decide on your style, you have to make it. That being said, make sure that you select a style that you can actually accomplish. This means pay attention to the skills involved, be they woodworking skills or wood finishing skills required to achieve the look.

See Also: 23 Easy Ways to Age Wood and Make Wood Look Old

Create a Rabbet Behind the Wood

The big secret to creating a frame that can go around your existing mirrors is to create a recess behind that frame that allows the wood to sit flush against the wall. This is a huge part of look, and you don’t want to skip this.

It really looks bizarre to see a wooden frame hanging a quarter inch or more off of the wall in your house. Whether this is a bathroom, or a dining room, the frame needs to sit flush against the wall for this to make sense and look good.

So, using a router table or a table saw, create a rabbit along the length of the sticks that you use to create your frame. This needs to be on the back side, and it’s basically a notch that overlaps the mirror by about half an inch, that is deep enough to sit flush against the wall.

Do this on the back of all four pieces before you start working on cutting miters and adding your look with different woodworking tools and wood finishing techniques. Test fit the rabbit on your mirror, and when you sit flush, you’re in good shape.

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See Also: Photo Booth Picture Frame

Miter Your Frame Pieces

The next step is mitering your frame pieces. This is very straightforward, and all you need to do is measure your mirror in order to accomplish it. Also, don’t think that a miter joint is the only one you can use.

Though you may have to adjust your rabbits a little bit, you can use different types of joinery at your corners and still get a good look. Whatever you do, get all of this cut out and ready before you move onto the next step.

Test fit all of your pieces around the existing mirror that you are planning on adding the frame, just to make sure it fits. Once everything is lined up well, and everything fits well, the rest of the process will go very smoothly.

See Also: Rustic Picture Frame

Finish Your Mirror Frame First

Now that everything fits well, and your rabbits are in place, and your boards fit flush against the wall, it’s time to finish your frame. This is all details, staining, clearcoat, and color work. 

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This is actually going to work out really well for you, because you have all the pieces separated instead of in a giant rectangle on the wall. You get a lot more access to each one of the pieces, and you can run them through the different woodworking and wood finishing operations independently.

I recommend doing each thing to each piece of wood one at a time before moving onto the next. That way you know all of your pieces will be evenly treated and finished, and you’ll have a consistent look throughout.

See Also: How to Support a Long Wooden Shelf

Attach The Frame to the Wall

The absolute easiest way to attach your finish frame to the wall is to use construction adhesive, which is inexpensive, and you can find it nearly anywhere. There’s only one disadvantage to this method, but if you can deal with it, then it will work well.

Construction adhesive is permanent. When you glue these pieces of frame to the wall on the mirror, it is going to take destroying the surface and quite possibly the mirror as well to remove them. So, if that’s not your thing, don’t use this method.

However, you can minimize the damage by simply using the adhesive only on the wooden sections where they touch the wall, and keep it off the mirror. This will allow you to break off the pieces in the future, with just some repairs to the wall board left behind.

See Also: A Beginners Guide to Woodworking

Non-Permanent Hanging Option

If you’re looking for a way to hang your mirror frame that isn’t permanent, there are a number of different methods available. These range from removable adhesive strips, to more solid methods like screws and nails.

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Quite possibly the easiest way is to find your stud locations, and use long brad nails fired directly through the frame elements to secure them in place. On the vertical pieces, you’ll have to get a little bit more creative because there may not be a stud behind them.

In this case, use wall anchors and screws that you can sink below the surface of the vertical pieces of your mirror frame. This will secure them really well, but also in a way that allows you to remove them in the future.

See Also: 19 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Woodworking

Touch Up the Holes

No matter which way you hang your mirror frame, it’s a good idea to touch up the holes so that way they’re less visible. Depending on how much you want to go through to remove this later on, vary your touch up method.

For example, if you feel like you might change your mind in six months, just use a marker or a crayon to color the heads of the screws and the nails so they are less visible. To the naked eye, nobody will notice them, even though you’ll be able to see them.

The only reason you can see them is because you know exactly where they are. Someone that’s using the bathroom as a guest will probably never see them, and if they do they probably won’t know what they are.

If you don’t mind a little bit more work on tear down in the future, then fill the screw and nail holes with a more permanent product, and then color it to match the rest of the frame. However, at this point you might as well just use the construction adhesive.

See Also: The Best Wood Crack Filler

Tips and Tricks for Framing a Mirror

Here are a few different tips and tricks that you can use for framing a mirror in your home using this method:

  • Make sure that your rabbits are done really well, so your wood can sit flush against the wall.
  • When you use construction adhesive, follow the directions, and don’t put on so much that it squeezes out all over the place.
  • Finish your frame completely before you attach it to the wall, this includes all sprays and clear coat.
  • You can use brad nails as mini clamps to hold your mirror frame elements against the wall while your adhesive dries.
  • This is a very inexpensive way to elevate any mirror in your home.

Your Action Assignment

Now that you know how to frame a mirror with pieces of wood, it’s time to get out into your shop and take action on what you’ve learned. Measure a mirror that looks kind of plain in your house, and make that your starting point.

Get online, and look at examples of great looking mirror frames. Find some that make you happy, and some that match the existing decor in the room. Select the look that you like, and that you can accomplish.

Make your mirror frame, and install it following the directions in the post. Once you’re done with your first mirror, you’ll be very excited about doing others just the same.

If You Like My Posts, You'll Love My Books

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If you have any questions about how to frame a mirror in word, please post a question and I’ll be glad to answer them. Happy building.

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  • More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
  • 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
  • Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
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