Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mirror Frame Take Two

Last week, I told you how I framed out the mirror in the master bathroom.  Well, I neglected to tell you how the mirror was installed in four pieces, with tiny gaps between the mitered corners, and adhered using double stick tape that began popping off the frame the next day.  Cry.  After much deliberation and driving around to five different stores looking at various kinds of adhesive, I finally found something that I think is a permanent solution!  Here’s the story…

Blogland was buzzing with before and after framed mirror makeovers; I became awe-stricken that my mirror was, as yet, naked.  Frameless.  Sad.  I had to have me one of those mirror frames!  Finally, the time had come for us to redo our master bathroom, and at last, I would have a framed mirror!  After a little research, off I went with my trusty Papa in tow (and Papa’s truck, too!) to pick up some molding.  I think what we bought is technically chair rail, but it was the right size and shape and had a flat back that I could adhere over the mirror.  Sold! 

We measured our mirror, keeping in mind that the new frame had to cover the thin metal clips at the top (We replaced our giant plastic rosette clips with 1/4” offest metal mirror clips that were low profile, so the frame would sit flush on top of them.) and also cover the gold J-channel that was holding our mirror at the bottom (basically it sits on the top of the backsplash).  So I added about 1/2” to the mirror dimensions on all sides (a little overlaps makes it harder to see the edge of the mirror behind the frame.  Then we cut our pieces and mitered the corners.  I stained the pieces, front and back (mirrors reflect about 3/8” of the back of the frame) but left the mitered corner cuts free of stain so I could later glue the corner joints together. 

Here is where the story goes all wrong.  I used thick double stick tape (of the vintage variety) to stick each of the four sides to the mirror.  This is why I had those gaps in my corners.  So, after the thing fell off the mirror (lol), I decided to buy corner braces to secure the corner joints and glue them together properly.  Glue + braces + weights to hold it all together + 24 hour drying time = frame. 



Then came the next hurdle… to double stick tape (again) or not to double stick tape.  I was still stuck on the tape (pun intended) for its quick stick ability, but I thought I would use liquid nails all over as the adhesive.  Tape in the corners and glue everywhere else, that way it wouldn’t fall off while the glue was drying.  What do I know, I’ve never even used liquid nails??  Thus began my search for the elusive double stick tape of yore.  All I found was mounting tape which wouldn’t stick to my finished wood.  Boo!  Back to the drawing board.  In all my adhesive hunting, I stumbled upon a product I hadn’t used in a while: adhesive velcro!  This is a perfect solution because when stuck together the two pieces of hook and loop make a thick strip with adhesive on both sides (just like double stick tape!).  See that channel in the middle of my molding?  That’s what was keeping the double stick tape from sticking (even though I used two pieces stacked on top of each other for double thickness).  The tape wasn’t thick enough to bond the mirror properly from inside the recessed channel.  I couldn’t put the tape on the inside edge because the mirror would reflect it back, and I couldn’t put it on the outer edge because my mirror edge is beveled.  So, it had to go in the middle recessed channel.  But, lucky for me the velcro fit perfectly and made up the thickness that I needed to clear the channel.  Finally, I cleaned off the old tape and put on a lot more velcro strips than before.  Then I stuck it on the mirror!



::Cue the angels::


Hallelujah, it worked!  It’s working! :)

And here is your secret glimpse at Mr. Adhesive Velcro.  This is what you see if you lay your face against the mirror and try to look behind the frame… a fuzzy white strip of Velcro.  Heaven help me if I find my guests in my master bathroom trying to look at my shoddy mirror frame adhesive.  You’ve been warned.


That’s it, that’s my secret.   No messy liquid nails.  No more tape.  ADHESIVE VELCRO! Hooray!  So, that brings us to the end of the lesson.  Hopefully if any of you attempt a similar project you have an easier time of it.  :) 

All-in-all, however frustrating it was, the ends justify the means:

IMG_4525  IMG_4613


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Master Bath Reveal!

A couple weeks ago I started this master bathroom makeover and I am finally back to reveal the finished product!  You may remember our old vanity cabinet—Builder grade plywood with an oak stain; it was dirty, scuffed, and lackluster.  Nothing that a little sanding and a million five coats of stain can’t solve.  :)  I used the same technique as before with my favorite Bombay Mahogany Polyshade.  Polyshade is stain + polyurethane all in one.  It goes on like thin paint rather than stain, so you have a lot more risk of runs, drips, and brush marks.  I had my fair share that I had to sand out, but after five coats, they are not so noticeable.  As it dries, the brush marks settle out and give a nice smooth finish (hopefully!).  Even with a few mistakes, it still looks way better than before.  And for the price of stain and hardware, you can’t beat this DIY cabinet makeover!  Throw in a new matching mirror frame and a few accessories and voila!

IMG_4362 IMG_4629

Goodbye Blah… Hello Fabulous!



It’s hard to tell in these photos, but there are highlights and lowlights in the finish.  It looks more like stained wood than painted wood in real life.  To finish off the new look, I added new brushed nickel knobs (eBay) and spray painted the old hinges and reused them.  I love the new look!  Especially the mirror frame!  It makes the mirror look huge, and reminds me of a fancy hotel.  :) 

For the frame, we bought simple molding, mitered the corners, stained it, and stuck it to the mirror.  Easy elegance.


Now, the vanity coordinates with our oil rubbed bronze shelf, shower curtain rod, and framed art. 


While I was at it with the polyshade, I slapped a couple coats on the butterfly frame so it has a fresh look, too.


  Now that my second foray into staining cabinetry is at an end, I think I can safely say this bathroom is DONE! :)

(for now) ;)

It has come a long way from back in 2008 when we moved in.  Here’s your parting glance:

IMG_8204  IMG_4633

So, comments are open, I want to hear, What do YOU think?