Dec 26, 2012

We've Been Framed!

I am so excited to write this post because it means that we have reached a milestone in this house.  Another room has been finished!

The last project on our list for the guest bathroom was to frame out the builder-grade mirror.  We already had some MDF trim pieces from redoing the base trim in both the bathrooms.  It's nice and lightweight and pretty inexpensive, but we have learned the hard way that the stuff does not paint well.  So we thought we'd give ourselves a leg up on things down the road by priming the MDF before we did anything else with it.

Magic potion.

I rigged up a painting station in our garage.  We put two coats of Kilz on each side of the MDF before we did anything else.

High-tech paint station.

After everything was dry,  Steve got to do all of the extra-manly technical stuff (measuring and power tool operating).

Marking off mitered corners.

Action shot!

Checking the measurements.

Checking the angle of the cuts.

Ready for assembling!

We used some liquid nails and a stapler to assemble the frame and used some more liquid nails to adhere the frame to the mirror (they actually make liquid nails for mirrors and glass!).


The fit was perfect!  We used some painter's tape to hold the mirror in place while the liquid nails cured.

Mirror augmentation.

Once everything was nice and dry and sturdy, we removed the tape.  At this point, I started to get excited.  It looked so much more polished than it had before!

Don't mind the oddly draped towels.

But there was still some finishing work to be done.  The joints in the corners were pretty raw looking and the process of cutting and stapling the MDF had left some small imperfections that needed to be spackled.

Lookin' rough.

So that frame got three passes with spackle and then sanding.  I tried to make everything super-smooth because not only was this frame at eye-level, it had lights shining directly on it, and if you're using the mirror, you're gonna see the frame.  Imperfections would easily draw your attention.

Spackle drying, before sanding.

After the third coat was as smooth as I could get it, I applied three coats of off-the-shelf semi-gloss white.  It's the same color we used for all of our trim in our house as well as the bead board in the bathroom.  The paint really cleaned the frame up and made it look better.  I can still tell where my spackle and sanding job was excellent and where it was still not quite smooth, but I'm quite pleased that it came out as well as it did.

Looks pretty good!

Looks a little less good.

Overall though, I'm very pleased with how this turned out.  The bathroom looks much more polished and the total cost for this project rang in at $7 (we had everything we needed except the liquid nails).

So much better!


Just for fun, let's do a little before and after, shall we?

August 2011

December 2012

So much better!  So we are sticking a fork in this room.  We are done, finito, put a bow on it because that's a wrap.  WHOOP!

Wanna see what we did in that bathroom from start to finish?  I'm weird like that too.  Here's the projects we tackled to transform that bathroom from sad cabin to cottage spa.

Paint, beadboard, towel storage, lights, and corralling soaps with a cake stand.

Spray painting picture frames to match and Etsy art.

Concealing a plunger (and keeping it off the floor!).

Prepping the vanity for paint.

Painting the vanity white.

More painting the vanity white.

More progress on the vanity and selecting knobs.

Vanity reveal!

Framing the mirror.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Colleen and Steve!

    My name is Katy and I am the social media coordinator for Masterchem Brands, a manufacture of KILZ brand products. We loved your mirror framing with MDF blog post and we wanted to feature the posting along with a picture on our facebook page. Please let me know if we have permission to do so. You can reach me at