|I just found an old post that I saved. Unfortunately, I forgot to make a note of who wrote this. |
Okay, here goes.
You will need:
- a mitre saw or a mitre box w/saw
- a small hand saw or coping saw (a hacksaw will also work)
- Elmer's wood glue
- paint (I used acrylic latex, craft paint and spray lacquer for a gloss finish)
- small nails
- four corner clamps (Home Depot)
- a 1/2" wood chisel (Home Depot)
- four metal mirror clips (Home Depot)
- clear silicone caulk or silicone aquarium sealer
First, buy a set of metal mirror clips. You'll find these in Home Depot in the "Picture Framing" section. They come two to a package. I used 3/8" clips. The size of the clips is determined by the thickness of your mirror glass. Use the smallest you can get that will hold your mirror to the wall. This is the secret to "working around" the plastic clips, LOL.
Remove the plastic clips and replace them with the metal clips. No, wait -- actually, put the metal clips on FIRST and THEN remove the plastic clips, so the mirror doesn't fall off the wall, LOL.
Depending on the size of your mirror, you might want to use mollies with the clips. (My mirrors are resting on backsplashes, so I wasn't too worried about them falling.) If you use mollies, make sure you get the kind that are flush to the wall.
You're using metal clips because they have a much lower profile. This will be important later.
Two clips on the top and two on the bottom should suffice.
Next, measure the mirror and buy your trim. Give yourself about a foot extra on each side, because you'll have to cut it down for the mitered corners.
Make sure the trim you buy is not warped. You can do this by laying the pieces on the floor at the store. The pieces should lie flat on the floor.
NOTE: You are going to paint and assemble the frame BEFORE you put it up.
Paint the trim BEFORE you cut it. When painting long trim pieces, make sure you put a base coat on BOTH SIDES, front and back, even though you are only going to see one side. If you only paint one side, the wood will warp. (I found THAT out the hard way, LOL.) You can do this if you lay the trim on a couple of paint cans as you paint.
When you have the paint and finish the way you want it, carefully measure your mirror. (If you're new at this sort of thing, you might want to make a mockup of cardboard or craftpaper first, to get the measurements exact.) Remember, you want the edge of the glass to fall about halfway under the frame.
Measure and mark the wood, and carefully cut your four pieces, mitering the corners at 45 degrees.
Sand the cut edges till they're smooth. Don't worry about little chips in your paint, you'll touch these up later.
Before you glue the corners, drill small nail holes in the side corners of the two side pieces only. Drill all the way through. (You will put little nails here after the frame is assembled, for added strength and to prevent twisting.)
Lay the four pieces on a flat surface. (I use the floor) Put the corner clamps at each corner, adjusting them until you're satisfied with all four corners.
Now release the corners, one at a time, applying glue to the edges that will join, and return the corners to the clamp, tightening each corner, one at a time, wiping away excess glue as you go.
Leave the frame to dry over night.
In the morning, remove the corner clamps carefully.
Put four small nails into your four nailholes. Countersink the heads, and if they are going to show, fill them.
With fine sandpaper or steel wool, smooth off any flaws. Using an artist's brush, touch up any part of the corners that need to be touched up. Let this dry.
Try your frame onto the mirror. You will see that the frame still doesn't lie quite flat to the mirror because of the clips. Using a pencil, mark the back of the frame where the clips interfere with the frame.
Using a small handsaw and the wood chisel, chip away just enough wood from the back of the frame so that the frame will lie flat to the mirror. This is easier than it sounds... it's a very small bit of wood and you don't have to be too delicate about it because it's on the back of the frame and no one will ever see it.
When you've chipped out your four small bits of wood, the frame should now lie flat to the glass!
Clean the mirror and the back of the frame very well. Apply a bead of silicone adhesive to the back of the frame -- not too close to the inner edge, because you don't want the silicone to show in the mirror -- and press the frame to the glass.
Stand there and hold the frame to the mirror for twelve hours.
Okay, not really. This last bit is kind of hard to describe... I contrived several lengths of scrap wood and gallon paint cans as braces to hold the frame pressed to the wall until it cured.
I wish I had pictures of the process, sorry.
I hope I haven't scared anyone off. Let me know if I've been too obscure and I'll try and help.
Good luck and let me know how you do!
And when you apply the glue (or in my case, the silicone adhesive) you apply it along the center of the frame, not at the edges. And don't use too much glue, or it will smoosh to the edges, and if it does, you'll be able to see it.