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The mirror saga has come to a happy end. If you are just joining us, see how I built a nice chunky frame for a vintage mirror and then how that mirror broke after mounting it on the frame. We have paid our respects to my grandparent’s mirror and moved on to another option.
I looked at a few home centers for a large beveled mirror to replace the vintage mirror, but there was no comparison. They were so thin compared to the vintage one. They also seemed to require silver or plastic clips to hold the mirror in place (like a bathroom mirror…which is what they sell them for). Visible clips are not as cool as the face screwed vintage mirror with starburst medallions. Sigh. The mirrors weren’t all that expensive, but I just could not get past the idea of hanging a mirror in the stairwell that looked like it belonged in a bathroom over a vanity.
But to get the exact size I wanted to replace the vintage mirror, which was 36″ x 48″, I was going to have to be flexible. I did not want a pre-framed mirror, since I had built out a frame directly on the wall for the mirror to mount to. Then, we noticed the mirror tiles. At 12″ x 12″ square it would be easy to tile them to fill the 36″ x 48″ space. We grabbed two boxes of mirror tiles, totaling 12 tiles. We also had to purchase mirror mastic and mirror mounting squares to hold them in place while the mastic cured. The total cost was about $50…not too bad for a big impact. We also had to purchase a sheet of wood to mount the tiles too and some wood trim to disguise the edge. We used a 1/4″ thick piece of plywood that Lowe’s cut to size for us. For the trim piece, I kept it very simple to not distract from the simple chunky frame.
- I screwed the plywood directly to the chunky frame, which was already mounted on the wall from the first mirror project. I used the same frog tape guides that were still there from the original mirror installation. The other tape on the wall is my son’s artwork.
- I measured all my trim pieces and cut mitered corners
- I used a small nail gun to attach the bottom and right-side trim pieces. This would allow me to start tiling from the bottom right corner and have some support directly under the tiles.
- Then following the directions on the back of the tile boxes, I mounted the mirror tiles to the plywood. I put up the first six and then I got very discouraged. They didn’t seem to be sticking. The corners would pop up and be uneven. I did not have enough hands, even with my husbands help to hold them all down. We did our best for the first few minutes and then we turned to frog tape.
- We put frog tape all over the place to help hold the mirrors flush with one another as they cured. Still nervous, and not wanting another entire project redo, we decided to break for dinner and see how the first six tiles held up when we got back. Yay…they did not fall off the wall!
- I mounted the last six tiles and used the frog tape to secure them. My taping method got a lot more organized and less frazzled for the second set. I taped perpendicular across each mirror seam to the adjacent mirror.
- After the tiles cured, I removed the tape.
- I nailed up the last two trim pieces to completely coverup the plywood edge under the mirror tiles.
- I painted out the new trim pieces in Divine White to match the chunky frame, and the rest of the trim in our house.
I really like how this turned out. Sentimentally, it is not as great as the vintage mirror, but it still accomplishes what I wanted. It brings a lot light into the stairwell. The extra bevels add extra sparkle and interest.