Reader Question: Mirrors

Today I will be answering a question from Glenda, a good friend of my Mom’s. She writes:

“I love your blog and recently reviewed the posts about the lamp-making —- so fun! I’m wondering if you have any tips for your online readers regarding mirrors. I need a full-length (or large-ish) vertical mirror for a wall in my guest bath and don’t want to spend a gazillion dollars on one. (My bathroom just may be the same color as your master bath…from the photos on Flickr, coincidentally.)”

I love mirrors! They can add so much to a room and finding the perfect mirror is like a treasure hunt :) I will start by saying that thrift stores can be a great resource. I’m always on the lookout for frames that can be painted or refinished if you find something wood. You can also just buy a thrifted frame and have a mirror cut for you at a glass shop. Just check into prices of mirrors from the glass shop before you go thrifting to make sure you don’t go over your budget. Of course, getting a beveled mirror at a glass shop is going to cost you more than unbeveled. If you are willing to wait a bit and check at thrift stores often, you would probably come across something you would like. At least I do! But patience and a little elbow grease is key here.

If you don’t want to take the time to thrift, the next place I always check for mirrors is Ross or TJ Maxx. They almost always have good deals on mirrors and again, I always look at them thinking I could paint the frame if I wanted to. If I buy one knowing I have to do work on it, I only get it if it’s either a) perfect, or b) cheap! I found a large mirror at Ross for $40 once and it was perfect for what I needed. You can see it in this really old post here

A side note about painting a mirror. It’s best to lay the mirror down flat when you paint it. There might be a tendency to paint it while it’s still on the wall but if you do that drips can actually run down the backside of the frame which normally wouldn’t be a problem but when the mirror is in, it reflects the drips and it will drive you crazy! I always lay my mirror flat and tape it off with newspaper or plastic covering the mirror and then spray paint or brush paint it. I have also been known to not tape the mirror and then just scrape the paint off the mirror once it’s dry with a straight edge and it seems to work just fine and actually can save me time sometimes. I’m all about taking the easy way!

Next option, Ikea. Some of you may love Ikea and some of you may hate it but they do have good prices and sometimes you just can’t beat them anywhere else. Here are a few full length mirrors that I found in my research.

mirror 1

At $50 this is a great deal. I have never seen it in person so you might want to take a look to make sure the quality is okay. Here’s the link

mirror 2

This price isn’t too shabby either at $80. Link here

mirror 3

This mirror is my favorite. I have seen it at Ikea and have loved it. I wouldn’t mind putting this baby in my house somewhere :) It’s $100 and it comes in 3 colors. Link here

mirror 4

And lastly, I also found this mirror. It’s $90 and I really like the simplicity of it and that it would have a bit of a shelf. I would probably paint the frame just because I like to paint everything I get my paws on but I think it has potential. Link here

I also asked my Mom for advice and she said that she has been thinking about doing a project with a bunch of square beveled mirrors put together to make one large mirror. I think it sounds really cool. Here are her thoughts:

“I have thought about buying the square, beveled mirrors from Home Depot or the craft store and gluing them on a plywood back. A wooden frame could be made with moldings or a used frame that you find. I think the many squares together would fancy it up a bit and be much less expensive than a huge mirror.”

You can find 4” beveled mirrors “here“ or 8” beveled mirrors “here“

This same principal could apply to buying a cheap frameless mirror and adding your own wooden frame if you have the time and skills.

So there you have it, our (very long winded) take on mirrors. Any questions about anything we discussed? Ask us in the comments!

Also, I’m open for more decor questions or theoretical diy questions. Just fire away!