How to Frame a Builder Grade Mirror

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We live in a cookie-cutter home. There I said it.

No, it's not my dream home or neighborhood, but it's a home and a great starter one at that! We pay less owning a home than we payed renting an apartment so I'm not complaining! I'm very thankful, actually.

But one of the down sides of living in this type of home is what I like to call the builder-grade blah syndrome.

You know... the oak cabinets, laminate counter-tops, brass lighting, linoleum flooring, plain mirrors in the bathrooms....I can go on, but I think you get the point: I'm not fond of these features. Not even a little bit.

Sure, one day I would love to find an older home with charm and character in the perfect neighborhood and update it with my family's personality (or build our dream home).

But for now, finding ways to mask and change the builder-grade blah syndrome is how we are turning this house into our home and rocking it with personality!

And we don't spend a fortune making our updates- again, this is NOT my dream home so I'm not pouring in the dough on this one!!

A great example of a quick AND inexpensive update would be this one!


For only $11 we were able to change the look of our guest bathroom mirror! made a HUGE difference! Check out the before and after:


I think we kicked builder-grade syndrome in the butt with this one, don't you?

And boy, did it feel good!

What is a Builder Grade Mirror?

A builder grade mirror is a type of mirror commonly used in residential construction or remodeling projects. It is typically a basic, standard-size mirror that is installed in bathrooms or other areas of the home. These mirrors are often produced in large quantities, with a focus on affordability and durability, rather than design or aesthetic appeal.

Builder grade mirrors are usually made of simple materials such as glass and a metal frame, and they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are designed to be functional and practical, rather than decorative. Although builder grade mirrors are generally less expensive than custom-made or high-end mirrors, they can still provide a clean and functional look to a room.

You can check out this tutorial on framing bathroom mirrors. Below is my own tutorial but I wanted to provide several options, just in case.

DIY Homemade Framed Builder Grade Mirror

Here's a basic tutorial on how to add a frame to a builder grade mirror. Feel free to customize or add any personal preference to the materials used for the decoration process.

Materials you'll need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Frame material (e.g. wood, metal, etc.)
  • Miter saw or miter box and saw
  • Wood glue or adhesive
  • Clamps or heavy objects
  • Sandpaper or a sander
  • Paint or finish (optional)
  • Mirror clips or other mounting hardware

Step-by-Step Process

Step 1: Measure the Mirror

Start by first measuring the dimensions of your mirror, so you can determine how much material for the frame you will need.

Make sure to measure well the length and the width of the mirror, as well as the thickness of the mirror, if applicable.

Step 2: Cut the Frame Material

Using a miter saw or miter box and a saw, try to cut the material you are using for the frame to the appropriate length and angle to fit around the mirror.

Make sure to cut the angles as correctly as possible, so that the corners will fit together snugly.

Step 3: Sand and Finish the Frame Material

Use sandpaper or a sander to smooth any rough edges on the frame. If you want, you can go extra and also paint or stain the frame to match your personal choice or room decoration.

Step 4: Glue the Frame to the Mirror

Apply a small amount of wood glue or adhesive, evenly, to the back of the frame, then carefully position it around the mirror. Use clamps or heavy objects to hold the frame in place while the glue dries.

Step 5: Attach Mirror Clips

Once you make sure that the glue is dry, you can attach mirror clips or other mounting hardware to secure the mirror and frame to the wall. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the specific hardware you are using.

That's it! With these steps, you can easily add a frame to your builder grade mirror and give it a more polished and customized look.

For my example and tutorial, the $11 spent was on the molding trim. We used the same paint we used for this bathroom's cabinets and our master's cabinets! This paint is lasting FOREVER!

And my number 1 tip: paint the back of your trim/molding! It reflects off the mirror! I'm glad I followed this tip or it would not have been too pretty.


If your home also suffers from the builder-grade syndrome, how do you cope? What easy updates made a big difference for you?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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