Mirror Frame

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who cuts straightest of them all?"

A stylish mirror frame can be purchased for gobs of money. Go to any framing store and see for yourself. Making one needn't be hard or require much more than an hour or two, some basic wood, a miter cut, and of course a decent piece of mirror. We've had a large mirror reflecting itself silly in the garage rafters for awhile and finally decided to frame it for hanging over the fireplace.

Our glass measures 32 x 40 inches and came from a bathroom wall after a remodeling project years ago. We used some 1 x 3-inch pine to form a loose fit around the glass perimeter then made a second wood rectangle about 1 inch shorter on all sides to cover the outside front edge of the mirror.

This process gives the mirror a place to ride. The corners were cut at 45 degrees and pocket hole screwed together. You can use frame connectors (those squiggly metal strips) or nails instead. All four corners are the same. The mirror is held in place by thin strips of wood attached to the backside of the frame.

We attached a decorative trim piece on the front edge of the top frame board. This gives it depth and some character. Some light sanding preceded a coat of black paint.

One key note on painting: put one coat of paint on the inside front of the frame. That would be the part between the mirror and the front wood, opposite the viewing side. The reason for this is that the edge of the mirror will reflect that otherwise hidden edge when fully assembled.

Use heavy duty molly screws or long screws driven into studs to hang a mirror. Some wire attached with screws and large washers will hold the mirror. These things are heavy and need support.

This method of creating a mirror frame also works for pictures or other art. You can get cut glass from the home center or use 1/8-inch plastic as the cover piece. Adjusting for dimensions is simple. Use layering of the wood to produce a unique, interesting product.

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