It’s possible to makeover a bathroom even when your budget is small! For less than $200 and a weekend, we transformed our hallway bathroom. We started by painting the cabinets. One of the changes with the most impact was framing the builder-installed mirror.
You can see the rest of the posts about this bathroom makeover here:
Our hallway bathroom came with the standard, builder-grade mirror installed with some simple clamp brackets. It was functional. And with three kids sharing the bathroom, the size was good! But it lacked any style.
We debated replacing the large mirror with two smaller ones, but that was going to cost more than we wanted to spend. Plus two mirrors and three kids is a recipe for bickering! 😏
We measured the mirror’s dimensions to figure out how much lumber we would need. We decided to use 1×3 lumber and one piece of decorative molding for the frame. And we used some 1×2 lumber to create an underlying frame that holds the mirror.
True confession: when I say “we” and I’m talking about building stuff? I mean the he of we. 😁 We like to make the design decisions together, but he prefers the building and I prefer the finish work. We make a good team!
The first step was removing the mirror. You need to be careful when you take it down! This is a two-person job: one person to hold the mirror and another to remove the clamps.
My husband used a router to remove a portion of the wood and create a space in the two side pieces and the top piece for the mirror to sit. You need to raise the mirror up so that you have something to attach the bottom portion of the frame to the wall.
Here’s a close-up so you can see how it looks.
The mirror fits perfectly inside the underlying frame. We used some scrap pieces of wood to hold the mirror in place while we primed the wood we used for the frame.
Putting the frame around the mirror is another 2-person job: one to hold the mirror while the other attaches the pieces of 1×3 wood. Be SUPER CAREFUL when screwing in the wood frame to the underlying frame! If you nick the edge of the mirror with part of the screw, the mirror can crack… 🤦♀️ You can find replacement mirrors for a really great price at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. 😉
Because of the decorative molding we used for the top, we decided to use straight cuts for the rest of the pieces of the frame instead of mitered cuts.
I thought we would just paint the frame once it was installed, but my husband decided it would be easier to take the pieces back off and paint them separately. It definitely saved us a lot of taping!
We painted it with Benjamin Moore’s Advance Paint in Kendall Charcoal. This paint is amazing! It goes on so well and gives a great, furniture-quality finish.
We needed to use wood putty to fill the holes and cover the wood screws. After the wood putty dried I sanded it smooth and touched up the paint.
The wood cost us less than $20 and turned the bathroom into a much more custom-looking space. Let me know if you have any questions about how to frame your builder-grade mirror by e-mail or with a comment. We love to hear from you!
More posts about bathroom updates:
- Bye Bye Kiddie Bathroom, Hello Updated Teen Bathroom
- Farmhouse Master Bathroom Makeover
- Simple Powder Room Storage
- Plumbing Pipe Shelving | Easy DIY
- Bathroom Makeover on a Budget: How to Paint Cabinets
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