Thursday, July 23, 2015

Framed Mirror Fail

I didn't quite get this post finished and scheduled before Ocean decided to make his appearance, but here's the project fail I promised on Monday.

We've had one of those cheap mirrors floating around the house for years. You know the kind, that cost $5 at wally world and have a plastic frame? The frame broke in one of our moves, but the mirror survived intact. A while ago Sunshine mentioned that she wanted a mirror in her room so she could check her outfits, and I realized the cheap mirror was just the answer.

I finally got around to doing something with it when I was working on my smaller building projects the last couple weeks.

I knew I'd need to make a frame for it to strengthen it and to make it cuter. There's lots of variations for framing mirrors, but the method I went with ended up coming down to what we had available in the shed. I wanted to use wood we had and purchase as little as possible.

Being creative with some plywood from our stash allowed me to make the backing for the mirror.
the hole in the center will be covered by the mirror

the wood was a bit rough, so I spent some time sanding it all down

I used scrap 1x2s on the back to hold the plywood strips in place

I framed out the edge of the backing with cap trim

I originally planned to use some rectangular trim around the mirror, but worried about the mirror staying in place

so I ended up using more of the cap trim. You have to mitre the corners, but the lip on the outside edge covers ugly edges and helps hold things in place better.

all framed out

I got to the last corner of the mirror and managed to crack the mirror- so disgusting!
Luckily it was a small break and I decided to leave it as-is and creatively hide it once I was finished.

the middle sections of plywood are slightly thicker than the outer strips, but it's not super noticeable

I painted everything white, then put gray on top. Before sanding down some of the gray for a weathered look I started scraping the paint off the mirror. 

I didn't tape off the mirror because I figured it would be easy to scrape off the paint. It was easy to scrape, but remember that hole in the plywood behind the mirror? It caused a problem. Can you see it?

How about now?

Part way through scraping the paint off I put pressure on the metal scraper at just the wrong spot on the mirror (one that was unsupported by plywood) and the mirror cracked across. So frustrating!

At that point, I cleaned up my mess and took the mirror out to the shed. I could get another mirror, remove the trim framing the mirror, remove the broken mirror, put a new mirror in, and replace the trim around the frame, but that defeats the purpose of using materials we have on hand and will take longer than I'd like for a project that wasn't supposed to cost much. We had some of the cap trim, but I had to buy two more pieces to have enough. This project cost less than $15, so if I hadn't broken the mirror it would have been a good use of what we had on hand.


That was last Friday and I still haven't quite decided what to do with this project. With Ocean here my project days are severely limited, so I think this will stay on the back burner for awhile. Sunshine still wants a mirror in her room and as frustrating as it is for this to not work out on the first try, it won't be that difficult to fix- just a pain. So eventually I'll just suck it up and do it.

Have you had any project fails lately?

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