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