DIY Rustic Mirror (and a half bath update)

DIY Rustic Mirror (and a half bath update)

If you’re new to my blog there are two things you should know about me.

1) I love and I mean love the look of natural wood grain. So I do a lot of crafts with wood. Because of this I have a very hard time painting over wood. Including the everyday boring Pine wood whose wood grain is taken for granted.

2) I also love the look of old wood, salvaged and upcycled wood. Old furniture made with this, bring it on.

What I don’t like about the salvaged wood decor is the price tag that often comes with it. If I could afford it you’d better believe I’d buy it. Some of my favourites are from Restoration Hardware and Hudson Goods. But with prices reaching $895, it’s like do I buy groceries for a month or get a mirror. Maybe one day when Lotto Max calls it’ll be a different story.

So what do you do until that day? You make one.

We started “renovating” our half bathroom on the main floor this past year after doing absolutely nothing with it for 2 years. By renovating I mean we had a really, REALLY tight budget and that meant re-using things and splurging only on a new faucet.

It looked like this during the process. I’d like to tell you it was somehow different before, but honestly if you take away the ladder, it was pretty much the same room.

Actually the nail  holes in the walls were now covered so this was an improvement.

half bath update begins

half bath update begins (2)

First thing we did is paint it – by we I mean my husband – Twilight Grey by BEHR.

Then we took out this old faucet. Again by we, I mean my husband.

old faucet

And thanks to a great sale at Lowe’s, picked up the Jaida faucet by Pfister.

We love this one so much I am trying to find a comparable kitchen version.

Jaida Faucet Pfister

Oh wait, what’s that nice warm brown thing above the faucet?

That’s the idea I got into my head and said “Hey James want to make me a mirror frame?”

This bathroom is an extremely tall, narrow bathroom with 11 foot ceilings. It needed something to draw the attention away from the wasted space overhead. A good mirror could do that.

So after my husband finally got himself a nice Father’s Day treat at Lowe’s – aka the DEWALT 12″ Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (they also had a seriously good sale on this one that weekend and this was something that we really needed for the basement renovation) –  it was time to build the frame for it.

DeWalt Mitre saw

We started with this, our sexy old bathroom mirror.

Yes this was on our wall. Don’t be jealous.

building a rustic mirror (2)

I had this vision of a rustic, farmhouse style mirror that looked like it had come off of a steamship because you know, boats and farms are the same thing. I had fallen in love with the nautical porthole mirror look. Except I needed it in a rectangular shape.

In which case we picked up some cedar wood and carriage bolts to add to that look.

building a rustic mirror (3)

Started with a simple frame with straight cuts and tried to use LePage premium construction glue to glue the two boards together.

building a rustic mirror (4)

building a rustic mirror (6)

Let’s file that under it seemed like a great idea at the time.

Normally LePage works really well and we’ve used it countless times before, but for whatever reason (most likely the slight wavy shape of the wood mixed in with the humidity going on outside) it would just not glue together, even after we sat our kettle bells on the wood to weigh it down.

building a rustic mirror (5)

So we went back to securing it together the old school way on the backside of the frame with screws.

building a rustic mirror (9)

Then it was flipped over to the front side and a smaller piece of wood was glued to the center. That held no problem.

building a rustic mirror (7)

Notched out some holes for the carriage bolts and put the pieces of wood together.

building a rustic mirror (10)

building a rustic mirror (11)

building a wood mirror frame

building a rustic mirror (12)

We went back and forth on whether or not to whitewash the wood frame or do a dark aged look.

It’s one of those things that when you’re standing in the bathroom and looking at the paint colour, you realize that it needed a warm piece of wood. Had the frame been done in white within that room, it would have looked all kinds of wrong. And felt very cold.

So we used Minwax Dark Walnut to stain it.

This was 10 mins left on and then wiped off.

Minwax Walnut (2)

Minwax Walnut (3)

Minwax  Dark Walnut

Then we used a coat of Minwax Polyurethane to seal and protect it.

It took almost 3 days to dry in our basement.

minwax dark walnut

For hanging a mirror/frame that now weighed a lot, we used the Hangman 200lb French Cleat picture hanger and then basic mirror hooks to attach the mirror to the frame.

hanging a mirror (3)

hanging a mirror (2)

And welcomed it to its new home…

DIY Rustic Mirror

DIY rustic mirror (2)

DIY Farmhouse Mirror

Next up in the bathroom reno, filling this empty wall space with some decor and storage.


And oh yeah. This light needs a hell of a makeover. I’m thinking cages…

bar light that needs to go

41 Responses

  1. Alex - Hydrangea Girl
    Alex - Hydrangea Girl at · Reply

    When I first saw the stained wood, I let out an audible gasp. That looks so hot stained that deep. It picks up on the grains so well and really does give it an old shippy type feel.

    Spot on.

  2. Stephen Hughes
    Stephen Hughes at · Reply

    I feel a DIY Book coming on….
    Most of it’s written (in you blog)….
    ….. so what’s stopping you?

  3. Pfister Faucets
    Pfister Faucets at · Reply

    The DIY mirror looks fantastic with the Jaida – you did a great job. Glad you’re enjoying it. Hopefully we can find you a kitchen faucet you love just as much.

  4. Gilit @ Shoes Off Please
    Gilit @ Shoes Off Please at · Reply

    Love love love the faucet and what was that? You wanted to make me a wooden mirror for our bathroom? Okay, if it makes you happy I won’t say no.
    It’s gawjus!

  5. Victoria • Restoring our Victorian
    Victoria • Restoring our Victorian at · Reply

    LOVE! Especially the bolts!!
    p.s.- I think bathrooms so hard to photograph!

  6. jackie
    jackie at · Reply

    It’s beautiful! Love that chunky frame with the big ol’ bolts. Love that faucet too! We’ve had plans for a bathroom reno going on 4 years now. Toilet and vanity have been in the garage all this time. I’m sure when we finally do it the vanity will be so outdated I won’t even like it anymore!

  7. at · Reply

    Thanks for posting this! We’re currently working on our hall bath too. Everything’s painted, the shower door removed, and we just caulked certain areas today. We have a mirror in our garage for the hall bath. We were talking about what kind of frame we want around the mirror today. We know we want it to be a rustic look, but we’re still going back and forth. It’s nice seeing yours because it gives me a perspective of what ours would look like with a rustic stain. I’ll be showing this to my husband. Thanks again!

  8. Christy
    Christy at · Reply

    Wow, great project! I, too, am a lover of all things rustic, reclaimed, etc. and I love how “natural” this mirror looks. Now to get the inspiration to try something similar myself (because I definitely hear what you’re saying about the hefty price tags!)

  9. Neaten Your Nest
    Neaten Your Nest at · Reply

    It’s gorgeous! You all did a great job and thanks for the tutorial! I love the wood with the faucet, it brings rustic and contemporary together perfectly!

  10. Kelly (Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons)
    Kelly (Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons) at · Reply

    That came out great, Alex. I love how the stain looks next to the paint color you used..

  11. paula schuck
    paula schuck at · Reply

    Oh my gosh I am flipping. I love that stain. It’s my favourite shade ever!! I am so jealous of that faucet. Your pictures are gorgeous and you are super talented. Nice job!!

  12. Danielle
    Danielle at · Reply

    We have two vanity mirrors sitting in our garage that I have been wanting to frame in and hang in other parts of our home. I was leaning toward white trim molding, but i LOVE the rustic wood. Like LOOOOOVVVVVVEEE it!

  13. ScrapAndSalvage
    ScrapAndSalvage at · Reply

    love the nice, rich color! well done!

  14. Bewildered Bug
    Bewildered Bug at · Reply

    I am loving the Pfister faucet and the colour of that stain! Awesome job!

    1. Pfister Faucets
      Pfister Faucets at · Reply

      Thanks Serena!

  15. now at home mom
    now at home mom at · Reply

    Gorgeous! Gorgeous! I love it! you did a great job with this one! 🙂
    & wow! 3 days to dry but it was worth it!

  16. April
    April at · Reply

    love it!!!!!

  17. Lauren @ The Thinking Closet
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet at · Reply

    Ha ha. I chuckled throughout this post because I felt so similar writing up the IKEA hack. So many “we” sentences really were all about the hubster with the drill. 🙂 This frame turned out fantastically though, my friend. From the stain to the bolts to that freakin’ awesome faucet (I’ve never felt very enthusiastic about faucets in general, but THAT one brought out the enthusiasm in me). Brava, my friend!

  18. Because Everyone Has One of These Oversized Rulers

    […] she used the same system to hang a weight-bearing mirror in her bathroom (you can find that post here).  We grabbed the 6″ long system which was perfect for our […]

  19. Christina @The DIY Mommy
    Christina @The DIY Mommy at · Reply

    Love this mirror! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Alauna Anderson
    Alauna Anderson at · Reply

    Where did you get your light blue bedspread featured in your pinterest picture with the DIY rustic mirror? I love it!

  21. justaircompressor
    justaircompressor at · Reply

    Love the barn door. I am fascinated by the industrial look and then when you put it with a little country it really is awesome. Thank for sharing.

  22. dawn
    dawn at · Reply

    Hi there-

    That planter next to the mirror is amazing. Is that one of your DIY’s? Where could i find that???

  23. Allyson
    Allyson at · Reply

    Hey! I was just wondering where you got your actual ‘mirror glass’? I’ve never bought it separately so I don’t even know where to begin

I love your comments!