How to Frame a Builder Grade Bathroom Mirror

A bathroom with a framed mirror and white cabinet.
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Putty or wood filler
Paint brushes
Plastic sheeting or fabric
Miter saw or hand saw
Brad gun (optional)

Your bathroom is boring. Sorry, but it’s likely true. If you have a builder grade basic square or rectangular glass mirror above your countertop, you’re one of tens of thousands with the exact same look. But there is a quick and easy fix that even beginner do-it-yourselfers can tackle. You can jazz up that boring mirror by framing it in and add pizzazz, depth, and visual interest to the room. Here’s how to frame a builder grade bathroom mirror.

Step 1 - Collect Supplies

Framed bathroom mirror

As with any home improvement project, the process starts with planning and collecting supplies. For this project, you will need to measure all sides of your mirror. Be sure to allow a few extra inches on each side so you don’t end up short after making your angled corner cuts. Choose a trim that appeals to you and matches the vibe of your bathroom. If you have a Victorian home, pick a detailed design. For a stately look go with a wider trim.

Consider the size of your mirror. A small trim will not properly accentuate a huge mirror. In contrast, large trim can overtake a modest-sized mirror. After measuring the sides and deciding on a trim, decide where to buy it. Your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and home improvement stores should have options. You may have to special order ultra-stylized designs.

You will also want some adhesive, putty or wood filler, paint, paint brushes, plastic sheeting or fabric to protect surfaces, a miter saw or hand saw and miter box, and an optional brad gun.

Step 2 - Prepare

Framed bathroom mirror

Start by painting your trim unless you are going with a stained option. Apply two coats of paint and allow time for the paint to completely dry between coats and when you’re done. Be sure to cover all sides of the trim and not just the front. Some of the edges will be visible in your final product. The back of the trim may partially reflect in the mirror so you will want the back and front colors to match.

Once the trim pieces are dry, start at the bottom of the mirror and measure corner to corner. You want the edges of your trim to overhang the edge of the mirror so you can’t see the mirror peeking out beneath the trim. Walls, doorways, and other obstacles may affect the layout of your trim.

Cut your trim board 45 degrees on both ends, with the narrow cut facing towards the center of the mirror on each side. The outside of the board will be longer than the inside. Next, make the cuts for each side and the top board. Dry fit all of the pieces together to ensure they line up correctly and the lengths are accurate.

Step 3 - Install

You may want help holding the pieces in place during installation. Alternately, use support beams and/or clamps.

Place adhesive on the back of each trim piece. Glue them into place, matching up the corners as you work. You will likely not have a perfect seam at every corner due to imperfections in the wood and nearby walls. Don’t worry about small gaps. If your trim overlaps your mirror’s edge enough, drive a brad nail through the edge of the trim piece and into the wall behind it. Do not nail into the mirror. Ensure that all pieces are in place and supported while the glue dries. You don’t want the trim to slip out of alignment.

Step 4 - Add Finishing Touches

Framed bathroom mirror

With your trim in place, dry, and secure, it’s time for a bit of touch up. Fill any nail holes with wood filler or putty. Fill your corner seams with putty too. Be sure to wipe off all excess putty. Sand lightly after it dries if necessary and touch it up with some paint.

Turning a boring, construction-grade mirror into a framed, eye-catching centerpiece for your bathroom is a relatively easy and very rewarding project. Let the weekend warrior in you tackle it and see for yourself.