Mirror Re-Do: Fixing a Wooden Frame

It’s officially back to school season, which, for me, always evokes a sense of renewal. It’s like a fresh start and I’m always a sucker for a fresh start. It’s why I love cleaning the house so much. Anywho, this school year happens to be MY LAST YEAR OF GRAD SCHOOL (crazy!!), and I’m full-time interning, so those two things combined make me really want to start this year on the right foot. And for me, a big chunk of feeling good when starting something new is looking the part. That’s where this little project comes in. Hello large mirror that I purchased over a year ago at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, started working on, decided I hated and stuck it in the basement for 12 months:

I bought it for 25 big ones. A little steep, I know, especially for the cheese factor, but the thing had no price tag and when I asked the price they told me $25. I kind of froze and didn’t bargain because I suddenly felt like paying less would be directly taking away from the good cause of the company. I mean, I technically could afford to pay $25, so why get them down on the price only to take away from the people they are helping? Ahhh, over-thinker much? Anyway, I brought home my enormous $25 mirror and got to work. I pulled out the frills and painted it, but it looked SHODDY. That’s when other projects took over and I had Mike put it in the basement where it stayed until this back to school/renewal business. My previous mirror is hidden behind closet curtains so there’s no light and I can barely tell if my shoes match my outfit. THE HORROR. This mirror is the path to being able to dress appropriately every day. We hauled it to the daylight and realized she needed some help.

The flourishes left about a 1/4” dado running along the full length of two sides, and 8 inches of the other two sides (that’s the groove on one of the shorter sides in the photo above).  I was going to just fill them with putty and be done (knowing the finished project wasn’t going to be spectacular) until Mike came up with a genius idea. He routed out all the grooves with a 1/4” straight bit:

See how they’re all cleaned out and even? He did that so we could tap in some shims to fill the grooves. I put a nice thick bead (as they say on Ask This Old House) of glue in the groove,

And tapped in the shims. It just so happened that the 68 cent Home Depot yard sticks fit PERFECTLY into the hollowed out grooves. Kismet! We filled in all of the grooves and let ‘er set up over night.

Yeah, see all that ruler (it took 3 yard sticks total)? That’s the extent of the groovage. Ha, and I thought putty was gonna work!

Then I broke out the jig saw

and cut the rulers off fairly close to the edge.

And then Mike used the flush trim router bit to bring the ruler even closer to the plane of the frame.

I sanded everything down,

and it got the putty/sanding treatment so everything was smooth before paint.

A coat of primer and grey paint (True Value paint matched to Benjamin Moore ‘Flint’) later, it was ready for hanging hardware. After a little google session, Mike decided that these D-rings hanging on molly-bolt-secured screws would be our best/safest bet. He carefully measured and attached the D-rings,

and hung it up. I’m in outfit picking paradise! Oooo…


And you seriously can’t even tell there was a gaping groove there!

Smooth as butter! Cheapy yard sticks to the rescue!

Leave a comment


  1. Can you come over and do this to my curved kitchen cabinets? That looks awesome!

  2. Looks good! very creative way to resolve the grooves

  3. Mike

     /  August 30, 2012

    I can’t believe that glorious picture of you working on the mirror in your socks and crocs was left on the cutting room floor!! ;)

  1. From Trash to Treasure: Mirror Edition « Folksy Home

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