Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Easy DIY Reclaimed Wood Frame on a Builders Grade Mirror

I would love to tell you all a romantic story of how we were taking a lazy Sunday afternoon drive through the country to see the beautiful autumn foliage and just happened upon a farm having a barn sale with country treasures galore including the most awesome, rustic, chippy barn wood ever.

But that's not the case.

For this post on the continuation of my toddler son's/guest bath renovation I'm going to show you all how I framed out the builders grade mirror, for free, with fence pickets.

Yes, that's right. Fence pickets. Beat up, old fence pickets that were headed straight to the garbage or quite possibly a bonfire...

Lately we've been over at the apartments sprucing up the lower unit of the grey building. Oddly enough the tenants put in their notice about a week after I posted A Before and After Tour of the Lower Unit in the Grey Apartment Building. So Cory decided some minor painting and renovations should be done to freshen the place up. 

While we were there I couldn't help but notice the fence in the backyard. The fence is a project Cory has been meaning to do for a while but fences are kind of pricey so it has been put on the back burner while other more important projects get done first. The poor fence has more pickets missing every time we stop over. Quite a few were laying on the ground just begging me to take them and repurpose them into something great :).

So that's just what I did. I took a few home just to see if I could use them for something. The more I looked at them, the more I loved them. They looked like old rustic barn wood. The fence had been painted dark red at one time and was completely worn and chippy. 

I had been throwing around using some cedar wood (that the dogs had chewed on) from Jackson's playset as a frame for the bathroom mirror. I also wanted to whitewash it so it would flow in the bathroom. I was just waiting for Cory to tear off a couple more long pieces that needed to also be replaced. But now that I had these awesome fence pickets I need not wait anymore.

I brought up a short piece and held it up to the mirror. It looked to be a good size for the job and was even more worn and rustic looking than the wood from the playset. Yay! So I immediately got to work planning my mirror frame.

Before I could do anything with the frame I had to clean the dirty wood since I didn't want any dirt, pieces of wood or paint chips anywhere in the bathroom (or my home, for that matter). I took a bunch of pickets outside to the patio table. I used a tupperware container of warm water with dawn dish soap and a scrub brush to scrub the boards clean of all the dirt and loose wood and paint. After scrubbing I rinsed the pickets with a bucket of water and laid them out flat to dry in the sun.

Now that I had clean pickets I started measuring and planning out my mirror frame. Since I'm such a novice at woodworking of any kind, I drew out my plans :).

I decided to go with a butt joint since not only is it the easiest to do (beginner logic at it's best here ;) but I thought it would look the most rustic of all the different joints. I cut two pickets down to 37" and two down to 35 1/2". I'm proud to say I used the miter saw all by my lonesome while Cory was at work and didn't mess up at all on any measurements or cutting, and I still have all my fingers (totally  joking, safety first guys)!

I did a dry fit and taped the pickets up on the mirror to see how it would look. They looked pretty darn good just the way they were. And yes, that is my son playing in the sink with about 25 owl cups (the things you'll let your kids do to get some work done ;).

I white washed a small sample piece of wood along with trying a couple of new techniques out, but in the end I decided to just go with the chippy red barn wood look that the pickets already had (someday I'll show you all the techniques I tried ;). The barn wood look flowed quite nice since I have cherry picture frames and a cherry wood etagere type shelving unit in the bathroom. I used the clear coat from my cabinet transformations kit to seal the wood and prevent any pieces of wood from coming off that I might have missed while scouring the pickets clean.

I then debated on how to attach the wood to the mirror. I thought about gluing them but I had no idea which glue was the best for this project and some of the pickets were slightly warped. Then Cory suggested velcro. Of course!! I can't believe I didn't think of that! That completely solved all my "attachment" problems plus I still had a bunch left over from my DIY storage ottoman from a thrifted end table

I gathered up my supplies: pickets, velcro and scissors and got to work putting the velcro on the mirror and then matching it with the pickets. This part of the project couldn't have been any easier! The pickets were very lightweight so I have no fear of them falling off the mirror.

I simply pressed the board to the mirror to attach and if need be I can pull it off at any time. Easy peasy.

After I was done, I decided that one of the boards didn't look quite right, it was really warped and stuck out in all the wrong places. So thankfully (since I used velcro, woo hoo!) I was able to just pull it off, re use the velcro from the bad piece and put up a replacement piece.

Here's the finished look. I just love the mixture of rustic and traditional. 

Here's a couple of close ups to show the awesome chippy, rustic, barn wood look of the fence pickets.

Obviously my mirror cleaning skills leave a tad bit to be desired...But ignore that and check out the fabulous wood grain!!

For this project I spent a grand total of $0. I used reclaimed fence pickets, velcro I had stashed for projects such as this and poly that I already had to seal the wood. I think my fave thing about this wood frame is that it's removable. If we decide we want to change up the look to be more traditional we can just pull the wood off, no harm, no foul.

I still have another project up my sleeve for this bathroom before she's finished so look for that soon!!

Up next, a crafty Thanksgiving, or well pretty much anytime, decor project ;)



  1. The work done with reclaimed wood gives the prefect touch up to your mirror. I have some Reclaimed Pine Floorboards with me left over from the house renovation and will make some enchanting creation like the one you did. Thanks for sharing. Keep exploring.

  2. Thanks so much Carol :). Good luck with your creations! I will keep exploring, until my dying day!

  3. Thanks so much for your sweet words Lynne! I too love the look of old wood and traditional together :)

  4. This is genius! Velcro..what a great idea!! Just found your blog today.

  5. I love this idea! What makes Velcro a safer bet than glue?


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