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  • Writer's pictureKay Still

Upgrading Your Bathroom Mirrors for Less Than $50

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

If you’re anything like me, some might call you “frugal.” And in my eyes, that’s never a bad thing! My fiancé and I recently moved into our new build home and immediately wanted to make some upgrades. Every week at work, people ask me what I did over the weekend and I tell them I just did “some DIY work around the house.” And people keep looking at me crazy because we literally just built this townhome from the ground up. But, I’m going to let you in on a few secrets. Sometimes it’s cheaper to do the work on your own than to pay the builder to do it. And, sometimes, you get a better, more custom result to do it on your own, as well!

So instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars for upgrades, we opted for some of the builder basics and agreed to take on some home DIY to make this place less cookie-cutter and more like our own little love nest!

For instance, we wanted to upgrade the basic look and feel of our bathroom but didn’t want to put a lot of cash down to jazz up the place. So, we decided to frame out our mirrors to give our bland, builder-grade bathrooms a lusher, spa-like feel. Below is a step-by-step guide to how we upgraded our bathrooms in just a few hours, with barely any budget.

Step 1

We measured out our mirrors and then headed to our local hardware store to purchase our wood. We decided to go with common board (specifically, three (3) ½” x 3” x 8’). Since the pros in the wood department are willing to cut the wood for free, we didn’t have to buy a saw!

Step 2

To match the dark, espresso wood cabinets in the bathrooms, we decided to go with a deep espresso stain that was close, but not an exact match to the existing cabinets (we wanted a little dimension). I stained the top, and sides of the boards. Then I wiped them down with a paper towel to lighten them up just a bit and achieve the coloring I was looking for.

WATCH OUT – when I first stained the boards, I only stained the top and sides, thinking the back would be glued against the mirror and, therefore, I didn’t have to waist paint on the back. I was SO wrong! Be sure to paint ALL FOUR SIDES of your wood! If you have double-paned mirrors, once you glue the wood to the glass, you’ll see the reflection of the backside of the wood. When my fiancé and I first attempted to glue the wood, we realized very quickly that you could see where my stain line stopped across the back in the reflection on the mirror. We had to scramble to pull the wood off the mirror, run and grab the stain and some paper towels, and quickly apply a light coating of stain to the back side of the mirror so we could re-apply the wood to the glass before the glue dried!

Learn from my mistakes – go ahead and paint all four sides of your wood before gluing to your mirror!

Step 3

After the wood dried, we applied a generous coat of glue to the back of the wood, placed the wood on the mirror and held it in place for a few minutes. IMPORTANT – make sure you buy a glue that adheres to glass/mirrors. We almost bought the wrong glue at the store!

Once the pieces were in place around the mirror, we taped them off with painter’s tape to hold them in place overnight.

Step 4

To add a unique flare, we also attached some L-brackets to give the frames some depth. We purchased these for a few dollars at the hardware store and spray painted them with a brushed oil finish to make the metal look like iron. I really liked the final look here! It just brought everything together, nicely!

Overall, we’re super happy with how this DIY project turned out! It’s amazing how such a small change can have the biggest of impact on a space!

Hope you love it as much as we do! Tell me what you think in the comments below. If you’ve done something similar or have other ways to go about getting this look, drop me a note below!

With Love, From Kay

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