How to glue wood moulding to a mirror to create a faux frame

So this is the first in a series of "how-to's" that I've been working on around the house.
Our bathrooms have HUGE mirrors but weren't framed out and I have been wanting to get them framed for that polished look. After getting an estimate for a carpenter to do it Michael and I decided we'd just do it ourselves. I searched high and low online for a proper tutorial on how to attach moulding to a mirror and was VERY disappointed in what I could find. We couldn't remove the mirror, there was no room to nail the frame into the wall around the mirror b/c it abuted the counter top tile, so we needed to simply glue the wood onto the mirror itself. Finding out what glue to use was a whole other issue. So here's a break down of what we did with some tips along the way.

So here's what you'll need:
- Liquid Nails - Mirrors (regular liquid nails is NOT the same thing)
- caulking gun
- wood or foam moulding
- table saw
- paint/stain of your choice
- sand paper

The first step is to measure the length of your mirror and then cut a piece of molding straight cross at that length:

Then using our table saw, Michael turned the setting to a 45 degree angle and made 2 cuts into each board accordingly.

Any "soft" wood needs to be preconditioned before staining. Believe me... I tried it without pre-conditioning it and I could definitly tell the difference. If you're not sure if you have a "soft wood" simply try to press your fingernail into the wood and if there's an indention left then you need to condition it. It only takes minutes and is well worth it.

After the top side of your moulding has dried you HAVE to paint the underside of the moulding at least along the side that will be seen in the mirror. See the photo below:

The stain/paint needs several days to dry or you're at risk of the glue (liquid nails) not adhering properly. Also before you apply the glue to the back of any painted/stained portion of the wood you'll need to sand it lightly, then wipe it clean.

When applying glue to the wood that will potentially be seen in the mirror take care to apply the glue on the side away from the reflective edge so as not to see the glue in the mirror or get spill over.

You need to glue the bottom portion of the frame to the mirror first. I'd recommend placing the glue onto the mouding in a zig zag pattern and let it sit for about 8 minutes or so before applying it to the mirror to let it get sticky. We held our bottom portion onto the mirror for 20 minutes and it still wanted to come right off, so we set it up against the mirror with buckets full of water.

After about 2 hours or so it had stuck to the mirror really nicely and we were able to put the sides on. The sides stuck really easily since we now had a base. We just used duck tape to attach the wood to the mirror by attaching a piece to the back side of the mirror and pulling it tightly across the moulding covered with papertowel to protect the stained portion.

Once the sides had set for about an hour we went ahead and attached the top and the inner decorative moulding strips. We left everything taped up for 24 hours to ensure there wouldn't be any slipping.



Close up of the finished frame:

*Next up on the how-to series: How to create an organized bin for fabric ribbon*


Anonymous said…
Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [07 Aug 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria
Christie said…
Oooo!!! My husband and I have been wanting to do this with our bathroom mirror! Yours turned out GREAT! Thanks for the how-to and extra tips!
Anonymous said…
This looks great! My only question you have a chandelier hanging above your toilet nook??? Classy ;)
Your frame looks great. Since you used real wood moulding did you have any problem with warping or bowing of the wood? Also, how did you fill the slight gaps that usually occur where the corners meet? With painted wood I use caulking, but what worked with the stain?
soccermomma9 said…
Love it! Great job! Thanks for sharing. I will be doing this to all our bathroom mirrors!
Leslie F said…
I am so relieved I found your post about attaching wood moulding to a mirror! I was mid-project myself when I realized my boards were simply not going to stick to the wall without some kind of reinforcement, and a Google search led me to your page, where I was able to see that you used duct tape and heavy buckets/objects to keep it in place. Thank goodness for your great advice! The bottom piece of moulding is attaching as we speak...
Joanne Turner said…
I found that expandable shower curtain rods work we'll for holding the sides in place while the glue dries too.

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