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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Mirror mirror on my wall- for under $20

At our old house there were mirrors installed everywhere when we bought the place.
A full length mirror had been screwed into the back of each bedroom door, another full length one was hung at the bottom of the stairs and two long mirrors ran along the side of the main floor hallway. Since all the mirrors were there when we moved in we felt no need to buy any more in the three years we lived there.

Then we moved to this house and the only mirrors are the ones hanging in both bathrooms, and neither a full length one. So I had started browsing at IKEA for a mirror. And I saw a really nice one. It wasn't breathtaking or very special in any way, it was just nice.  It was a plain full length mirror with a thick black wooden frame around it. The black frame gave it some visual weight and it made it feel more like a piece of furniture.  They wanted $100 for it. Ha ha ha ha! That wasn't going to happen, gentle readers! Not in this lifetime! But of course it got me thinking about a DIY project to create my own furniture type mirror for our master bedroom.

First I reached out to all my local friends to alert them that I was looking for a full length mirror. Sure, I could have got one for $7 at Wal-Mart, but why buy new when I was certain someone would be getting rid of one eventually? Then the message came from a friend that her neighbour had put a full length mirror by the side of the road for garbage. But she didn't think it would work for me. It was likely just garbage, this mirror. There was no backing on it, and the cheap plastic frame had pulled away and was laying on the grass next to it. But I was sure this was the mirror I needed, so she offered to drop it off at my place. It was a mirror only a DIYer could love, and it was perfect!

Next, I packed the kids in the wagon and walked down to the hardware store.  There I picked up a can of oops paint (paint that was ordered by a past customer but had been mis tinted) for $9/gallon in flat black.  Since I had been looking for a dark grey colour anyways, I was pretty excited with my find. I also picked up some Liquid Nails $7 and sandpaper $3. Bringing my total cost for this project to $19.

Once at home I cut a piece of on hand plywood to the size I wanted, then sanded and painted it. I also painted the plastic frame for the mirror. I dug up an old piece of trim we had in the basement and a shelf that reminded me of a piece of crown molding and hadn't been used since our move. Those both got black paint baths too.
Sanding my ply wood
first coats of paint

That Guy helped me with the Liquid Nails, and we attached the mirror to the center of the wood and the plastic frame back onto the mirror where it belonged. Still using Liquid Nails we attached the shelf to the top, and the trim to the bottom.  Adding those really gave it the visual heft I was going for.
Yes, that is sawdust on the camera lens from my previous sanding step. 
Because I like all things glittery I decided I would attach some clear glass pebbles I had on hand from a project years (and years) ago around the mirror.  Using the Liquid Nails I ran a bead about 1 foot long beside the mirror frame and pressed in the pebbles one by one, then did the next 1 foot bead and continued until I was done.

I had to wait a while for the whole thing to dry because of the high humidity that day, but after a few hours it was good, and That Guy hung it in our bedroom for us.


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