A few years ago I created this floor mirror from a mirror scrap, plywood, a few extra pieces of wood and a paint-stain combo. I loved it when I first built it; I had further plans to add a few more details- so when I finally got around to it, I was ready for brand new look. This tutorial covers all the steps needed to create a DIY oversized floor mirror. There are several large pieces of wood needed for this project. If you do not know where to look for wood materials check my suggestions below the supply list.
For this project I used:
1/2 inch plywood sheet (cut down to 85×26)
Mirror scrap (or oversized length mirror, 70×20)
1 inch x ¾ inch (or 1 inch) wood pieces (two 8 foot pieces and two 2 foot pieces)
Two styles of decorative wooden trim (small quantity needed- just the width of your board)
Metal or Wood embellishment (optional)
Nail gun or staple (air) gun + nails to fit (check the list of options here)
Foil or Plastic Wrap
Protective Gloves (optional)
Heavy, flat items (phone book, wooden board etc)
Where do I get plywood and how do I cut it down to size: You can purchase plywood at any wood supply hardware store and they can typically cut it down to size for you with little to no cost. If you have a friend with a table saw they can help you out!
Where do I get 1 inch boards: A large hardware and wood supply store should have “white wood” pieces in varying lengths and widths. Otherwise, I suggest buying an 8 foot pine board (1×12) and have the wood supply store cut it down to 1 inch strips. Or, if you have a friend with a table saw they can rip down any piece of wood to size.
Where do I get decorative wooden trim: I’ve found that arts and crafts stores have smaller heights of decorative trim. You can look here at the options Michael’s Arts and Crafts store supplies. The trim I purchased there is 36 inches long so it was a more economical purchase, as I did not need 7 feet. The other trim was purchased from a local hardware store, ask if they sell scrap pieces at smaller sizes- it’s worth your time to ask!
Measuring Mirror + Wood + Cut to Size
To begin, measure the size of your mirror and determine how much larger you want the wood “frame.” The mirror I used is 20 inches x 70 inches and the plywood measures 26 inches x 85 inches. Plywood sheets are 8 feet x 8 feet; the height of my board is 10 inches short of the entire board. I cut it down to just over 7 feet because I have really low ceilings in my house. If you need to get your mirror cut down to size a window supply store can easily assist. I believe it cost me around $8 to get the mirror cut to a preferred size.
Moving forward, let’s start on the frame that fits directly around the mirror and the trim at the top of the wooden board. I purchased rope-molding trim here from Michael’s Arts and Crafts and standard K pattern molding from a hardware store. Measure the length you wish the trim to be, mine is 26 inches (same width as the plywood board). Put those pieces aside, we will paint them shortly.
Grab your 1 inch wooden pieces. Before you measure for cutting, determine if you want a mitered edge (45 degree angles meeting to make a nice 90 degree corner) or a square corner (straight cuts where the wood meets). I cut my pieces for mitered edges. If you need help cutting a mitered edge follow the instructions found here.
Prepping + Painting
To begin, prep the plywood board for painting or stain. Although this project began as a distressed paint/stain combo I am going to provide steps for the current appearance.
Please note that plywood has layers (ply) and the sides do not look like a pretty solid piece of wood- the layers are visible. If you want to create a more robust looking mirror, covering the sides with a band (wood band can be purchased here) or wooden frame (use same size material that is used to “frame” the actual mirror) will make it sturdier and cover the raw edges.
A second note, if your mirror is not directly attached to a wall it may bow over time, to prevent bowing adding a frame around the edges will help. I did not band or frame out my plywood board.
Create an even surface by sanding rough patches and imperfections in your wood. There is usually an obvious front and back side to plywood, simply pick the side that has a better quality appearance as the front. Once sanded and clean, apply the first coat of paint with a synthetic bristled paintbrush or small paint roller. Country Chic Paint applies very well with a roller. I opted for a paint rush because I love how the strokes stand out after applying a natural wax topcoat. As always, paint with (in the same direction) the grain.
Plywood will likely soak up a lot of paint, if you need to apply a second coat I recommend lightly sanding between paint coats. This will smooth out brush strokes and allow the second coat to apply more evenly and dry quicker. I did not want an overly distressed mirror. If you would like to add distressing or additional product to your board, now is the time to do it.
Moving forward to painting the trim. I used the same color paint for the wooden frame on the outsides of the mirror and decorative trim at the top. I applied two paint coats and lightly sanded between each layer. Quick Tip: grab foil or plastic wrap and cover the bristles of the paintbrush so the paint does not dry. You can keep your brush and paint wet and ready to use between coats. I only recommend doing this if the window between paint layers is short- an hour or so max.
Attaching the Mirror
Once the board is dry, lay your mirror down (use protective gloves here if necessary) on top of the wood to determine the preferred placement. I suggest placing your mirror at least 3 inches from the bottom. Framing the bottom of the mirror with 1inch wood will leave 2 inches of space between the bottom of the wooden board and the bottom of the mirror frame. Play around with it and see what looks best to your eye. With a pencil make a few small marks around the mirror. Remove the mirror (sorry, easier said than done- those mirrors are heavy, have sharp edges and are so fragile—be careful!). Apply mirror adhesive within your marked areas. You will likely need to use a caulking gun. Apply in a somewhat even fashion with decent coverage. Don’t get too close to the edges, as the adhesive will expand and squish out from the mirror’s pressure. Place the mirror back in the marked spot. If the first placement is not perfect, you have some time to adjust.. Place a few heavy items on top of the mirror if you’d like, allow the adhesive to dry overnight (the adhesive I suggested states it dries completely within 24 hours).
Assembling Frame + Decorative Trim
Now that the mirror glue is dry, grab your air tool. Wondering how to use a nail gun? Click here. Place one piece of trim around your frame and slowly nail in place, firmly holding the trim against the mirror. Focus on the area you are nailing at the moment. Wood warps and turns, if your board is not straight it’s okay you. The nails will keep the wood in place exactly as you wish it to be. Once the frame is attached, place the decorative wooden pieces at the top of your mirror and attach with the nail gun. Once everything is attached, grab your nail filler. Take a small amount of putty between your thumb and middle finger; roll it into a small short snake shape. Insert the tip of the thin roll into the hole, and swipe with your pointer finger. Run the putty snake ball back over the hole to remove any excess putty. Continue this step until all holes are filled. It is likely you will need to paint over the putty holes; you can lightly sand the dried putty before and/or after painting. Make sure the putty is dry before sanding. It will make a mess of your pristine paint job if it’s not dry and sanded on.
To finish up, I did a small amount of distressing on the trim areas. I wanted a fairly clean look, but I didn’t want it to look perfect. By exposing a small amount of wood I think this adds a slight aged finish. Technically your mirror is ready to hang or stand. If you want to finish your piece off with a wax polish, I love Daddy Van’s Furniture Polish. It smells so amazing and is, of course, eco friendly. Want to buy some? Send me an email!
Happy painting and building!