Make a mirror with a classy frame in one weekend

  • 1. Preparing the mirror panel for the frame surrounds
  • 2. Working and fitting the suspension rails
  • 3. Finishing the mirror rear panel and gluing on the mirror
  • 4. Fastening the frame surrounds to the mirror panel
  • 6. Sanding the wood surfaces
  • 7. Staining the surfaces
Date:21 September 2013 Tags:, ,

Set aside next weekend to make this mirror with a classy wooden frame for your bedroom

This is a simple assembly project: the mirror is glued to a slightly larger board and then framed with elegant solid wood strips, which are fastened to the board with screws. An unusual hanging mechanism gives the illusion that the mirror is  hovering above the wall.

Download plans for building a mirror with a wooden frame

The following assembly instructions apply to 20 mm-thick laminated beechwood. If you opt for other materials, or wood with a different thickness, you should adapt the measurements and materials accordingly.

Materials:

Ask your DIY store or a friendly carpenter to cut the required boards to size

pcs Designation Length Width Thickness Material
1 Mirror panel 580 mm 580 mm 19 mm MDF
3 Suspension rails 500 mm 60 mm 19 mm MDF
4 Frame surrounds 550 mm 50 mm 20 mm Beech glued laminated timber
1 Mirror 498 mm 498 mm 4 mm
1 Mirror adhesive tape 500 mm 19 mm
26 Flat head screws, 4 x 35 mm

 
Required power tools:
* Multi-sander
* Cordless drill/driver
* Cordless screwdriver
* Table saw
* Fine spray system

Other accessories:
Set of wood drill bits, set of masonry drill bits and fixings to match the wall construction, countersink bit, sanding paper with grits of 120–240, folding rule, soft pencil, rubber, pencil sharpener, double-sided tape, silicone, spirit level

Required materials:
Beech (or similar) glued laminated board, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), mirror, mirror adhesive tape, flat head screws, wood stain and paint

1.    Preparing the mirror panel for the frame surrounds

Place the mirror panel on your work surface with the rear facing downwards. Now use a folding rule to position the mirror centrally on the board so that the surrounding border is the same size on all sides of the mirror. Trace the outline of the mirror in pencil on the mirror panel and place the mirror to one side again.

Next, use the drill and 4 mm wood drill bit to pre-drill the holes required to fix the frame surrounds with the mirror panel. Make three holes for each strip in the centre of the surface area between the pencil line and the outer edge of the mirror panel. Countersink the holes from the rear.

2. Working and fitting the suspension rails and spacer bar

Cut the two suspension rails from a board measuring 500 mm in length and 120 mm in width. To do this, adjust the saw blade of the circular saw to 45° and split the suspension rail board in lengths. To achieve a cut that is exactly straight, you should use clamps to clamp a rail as a parallel guide.

Pre-drill the suspension rails using a drill and 4 mm wood drill bit, and countersink the boreholes on the broader side of the rails. You should also pre-drill the spacer bar so that it can be screwed to the rear panel as described; countersink the holes as required.

You must fit the suspension rails accurately on the mirror panel and on the room wall for the mirror to hang straight and securely (a spirit level would be useful for hanging it).

To fasten the suspension rails to the mirror panel, place the panel face downwards on trestles, then position the suspension rail on the back in accordance with the height specifications in the illustration and fasten the rail using the pre-drilled holes with a cordless screwdriver and screws (4 x 35 mm). Follow the same procedure for the spacer bar.

 3. Finishing the mirror rear panel and gluing on the mirror

To ensure the mirror adhesive tape adheres properly, paint the surface that you marked with a pencil in step 1. For this purpose, sand the area with 180-grit sanding paper in the direction of the grain. Apply a thin layer of primer (clear spraypaint). Once the paint has dried, sand the area again and apply a slightly thicker coat. You can attach the mirror to the painted surface with mirror adhesive tape once it has dried completely.

To do this, place the mirror panel with the front side facing up on trestles. The mirror outline from step 1 is still visible. To position the mirror precisely, use clamps to secure two strips at a right angle on one of the marked corners. These act as a stop while you are positioning the mirror. Attach several strips of mirror adhesive tape to the back of the mirror, remove the protective film, then stick the mirror inside the marked angle on the mirror panel.

4. Fastening the frame surrounds to the mirror panel

Using clamps, fasten each of the frame surrounds one by one to each side of the mirror panel as shown in our illustration. Mount the strips with the cordless screwdriver and screws (4 x 35 mm) through the holes you pre-drilled in step 1. Also refer to our tip on screwing together two pieces of wood (right).

5. Hanging the mirror

Depending on the wall construction, use fixings to fasten the second suspension rail to the wall. Mark the positions of the holes through the pre-drilled holes on the rail, which you should hold so that it is absolutely horizontal (use your spirit level).

6. Sanding the wood surfaces

Take time to prepare the surfaces so they are in the best working condition possible before starting assembly. First, chamfer all edges of the frame surrounds with sanding paper with a grit of 120 or 180 at a 45° angle to create a small bevel. Use your sander to sand all visible surfaces in the direction of the wood grain, fist with coarse sanding paper (grit of 120, 180) and then with fine sanding paper (grit of up to 240). Afterwards, rub the surfaces with a damp sponge to wipe off the dust. Some loose wood fibres may protrude while the wood is drying; you can remove these with 180-grit sanding paper. The wood is now ready for surface treatment. Little tip: make sure the sanding paper is sharp enough to remove the wood fibres properly, not just  flatten them.

Tips for screwing together two wooden parts

In the piece where you want to insert the screws first, always pre-drill a hole that is 0,5 to 1 mm larger than the screw diameter; the hole should be countersunk for the screw head. In the piece that you are going to drill second, pre-drill a hole that is always 1 mm smaller than the screw diameter.

Note on fixings

Nowadays, wall construction may consist of anything from dry lining walls to solid concrete walls. Therefore first check the construction of your walls. Depending on how the walls are constructed, different types of fixings will be required to fit the suspension rail. Depending on the properties of the walls, use a drill or rotary hammer and masonry drill bit to drill holes in the wall, extract the dust and insert the fixings. You can now mount the suspension rail using the cordless screwdriver and the appropriate screws and hang the mirror.

7. Staining the surfaces

Staining refers to the process used to colour the wood. The wood stain can be applied with a fine spray system. After the stain has been applied, the surface of the wood remains unprotected until wax or paint/varnish is applied. First, read the manufacturer’s safety and handling instructions thoroughly. Make sure the room you are working in is well ventilated and not used for smoking, eating or drinking. You should change the paint tank if you want to apply another material with your fine spray system in the next step.

Tips for staining

Always work on vertical surfaces, starting from the bottom and moving to the top. Otherwise, since wood stain has low viscosity and the wood surface absorbs it quickly, the wood stain could trickle down and form lap marks that cannot be removed.

8. Painting the frame surrounds

Pour the paint into the paint tank and dilute with water if necessary. Using a test board, adjust the spray jet at the nozzle and the paint flow at the setting wheel. The spray jet can be set to horizontal or vertical for surfaces and tapered for edges.

Now apply a thin first layer of paint. Start with the edges and then paint the surfaces using even, parallel strokes. During this process, wood fibres may protrude (as they may have during the rinsing phase). You can remove these after the paint has dried by using sanding paper with a grit of 220 or 240 in the direction of the grain.

For the second coat, use the same base as you did during the priming stage. This time, you can apply a slightly thicker coat of paint. Start again with the edges and then work on the surfaces using even, parallel strokes.

And that’s it! Enjoy the new addition to your home decor, and remember that mirrors generally reflect the truth…

Reproduced with permission from Bosch. Visit www.bosch.co.za