So if you’ve been following lately, you know that we’ve really been trying to improve our Guest Bathroom and take it from something very builder’s blah…
…to something a little more polished and “complete”. We have already tackled painting the room as well as some uber-easy and cheap free art, but that wasn’t all that was up our sleeves for this standard builder’s grade bath. It’s kind of the elephant in *any* new construction home – those ugly builder’s grade vanity mirrors! C’mon, we all have them and, admit it, none of them look good! So why not remove it and exchange it for smaller framed mirrors to give it a more designer high-end look? It’s all the rage nowadays and it’s certainly something Dr. J and I wanted to tackle in our house. However, if removing your mirror just isn’t in the cards, you can also buy framing kits that go over top of your existing mirror. Hey, even Martha Stewart has some tips on how to tackle that project. However, at nearly 7 feet long and a full 3 feet tall, our monstrosity of a mirror truly overwhelms the space, so we felt that emphasizing its large size by framing it out just simply wasn’t going to make it look any better! So we were off to a fun start when the mirror started to look like this before we painted…
It may be hard to see, but we actually taped the mirror so that when we went to remove the mirror it wouldn’t shatter all over us and leave shards everywhere. Yup, that grody builder’s-grade mirror is gone-skie! We lucked out, though because the mirror was super easy to remove, but I’ve heard horror stories online that removing one of these behemoths resulted in mirror shards everywhere and/or so much glue being utilized that the back of the wall required patching, new drywall, etc, etc. Here are a few tips if you are going to remove a huge mirror like this and how we got ours down:
- Tape the mirror – this is just a precaution in case it does break so that all of the pieces will stay relatively “together”.
- Wear long sleeves, shoes, glasses, gloves, etc – Fortunately, we didn’t end up needing these, but you might not be so lucky with yours!
- Remove the screws from the top – Ideally, your mirror should have a couple of “Screw clips”at the top that need to be removed before attempting anything. Then the mirror will either have a metal channel at the bottom that it just sits in that you can just lift it up and out of or if you are a little more unlucky, then it will be completely held up with glue, caulking, or some other adhesive agent, in which case, you may need to get out some crowbars and/or hammers (this is where the glasses, gloves, long sleeves, etc. comes in handy!). Fortunately, ours only had three dollops of glue (thanks for the extra safety, stupid homebuilders – did I mention they have gone out of business?), so we had just a small bit of “prying” and then we tipped it towards us and then up out of the little stand and out of the bathroom.
- Be prepared for damage….or not – Again, we got *really* lucky in the sense that there were only three little dollops of glue and they hardly ripped off any of the drywall. The mirror was mostly supported by a small metal channel on top of the backsplash, which we had to remove and then patch as well. After that, we patched the glue holes and then painted right over it!
…but ya do have to admit that not having a mirror in a bathroom is a little depressing, so we needed to replace the large mirror with two smaller ones but we didn’t want to spend a ton of money on it! So we went to our favorite mirror shopping haunts (Target, HomeGoods, BB&B, etc) and settled on two damaged mirrors from Target at $39.99 apiece! They were originally a silvery color and had damaged edges and deep scratches on the frames, so painting was definitely in the plans. We decided to go for white because it’s crisp, clean, and since we already had several white items in the room (the counters as well as a few accessories), we decided to just keep that whole theme going for a soothing spa-like feel. Any other color would have felt a wee bit out of place.
One little tip I’ve picked up, though is that if you have mitered edges to a frame and you want to paint it, then you don’t want to ignore those edges because then it’ll just look like a frame that you painted! So when you do go to paint, you should tape off the edges like this:
So that when you paint and remove the tape, it will look intentional as though it is a wooden mirror that’s been painted prior to construction as opposed to a metal mirror that needed repairing.
This process does take a little bit more time (because you have to tape, paint, let dry, remove tape, tape other side, paint, let dry, remove tape…). But the completed product looks much nicer in the end!
So that’s the tale of how we removed our mirror and gave the room a little bit more life! Stay tuned tomorrow when we give the “big reveal” on our mini bathroom makeover as well as our overall budget breakdown. It’s a lot cheaper than you might think!
If you want to see a little bit more info on why we’ve decided to makeover this room, then take a look at our first post here and if you’d like to see the awesome paint job we did and how we picked out the colors, there’s a sneak peak over here as well! And if you’re a cheap-o-zoid like me and want to make cheap art for a bathroom, then take a look over at this link here!