framed builder grade mirror (with obstacle)…

i love the look of a framed mirror… it looks so finished… so much better than the plain builder grade mirrors…. i was so excited about this project because i knew it would be an easy one… just slap some wood around the mirror and be done with it… so here’s my before pic:

looks easy enough… but wait a minute… what is that?? now, i really do love my house… but sometimes i wonder what the builder was thinking… like… when they put this plug in the middle of the large bathroom mirror…

i mean, thanks for making the outlet cover all fancy with mirrors and stuff… but still… i would have rather had the plugs on either side of the mirror and not right in the middle…

well, this project just became a bit more of a pain… but whatever… moving forward… i weighed several options: building a cabinet or something in the middle to cover the outlet; splitting the bottom frame so it is on either side of the outlet; or taking the entire mirror down and replacing it with two smaller mirrors (and replacing the mirrored outlet cover with a normal one)… after a couple months of contemplation, i opted for the split frame option… (i figured i’d just put a large vase or something in front of the split section and cover the outlet)…

so… first i measured each side from the edge of the outlet cover to the end of the mirror… and you know what? they weren’t EVEN! so… the plug isn’t even in the middle!! are you serious right now?! but fine – still moving forward… i cut the wood and put it in place to make sure it fits… it does…

i used 1×4 select pine for these… normally i don’t care about knots and imperfections because i like the rustic look – but this is being attached to the house, so it needs to fit with the structure style more than the decor… so fancy wood, it is…

next, i used 1×2 trim pieces to add some interest to the boards… but these weren’t the same great quality, so i used wood filler to even out a bunch of the spots… then sanded them to make them less rustic… i cut the 1×2 pieces 1/2 inch longer than the two bottom boards to all for an overhang… (i cut the top piece 1 inch longer for the 1/2 inch on either side)… i lined it all up to make sure it would fit…

now i’m ready for the paint… initially i wanted to stain it the same color as the cabinets, but i wasn’t sure i’d be able to make it match exactly… and i surely didn’t want it to clash… and since i had the trim paint left over from the wainscoting project, i decided that was the way to go… so i painted all the boards and started attaching them…

now that it is starting to take shape, i’m even more irritated by the ugly outlet in the not-quite-the-middle of my mirror…. who does that?!

i let that set for a bit before adding the next pieces… i am not sure if it is necessary or not… but i wanted the bottom to be firmly set before i added more weight on it… i had these visions of the whole thing crashing down and giving me seven years of bad luck… so… i felt it best to let that bottom piece completely dry in place before adding more to it… but eventually, i added the sides…

that was my squee moment… that was when i could truly envision how nice this was going to look… and i was getting excited…

for the top piece, i did the same 1×4 with 1×2 trim piece, but also added a strip of crown moulding… this was my first time working with it, so the angles threw me off a little… okay, a lot… initially i wanted to square off the ends – but that was a LOT of angles… i probably could have figured it all out with the help of my son – who is really good with that stuff… (yeah, he is entering the 7th grade and has a better handle on that than i do)… but… luckily i realized that there wasn’t really enough space on the left side of the mirror for me to square it off… and it would look weird to have one side hanging and one side squared… *whew*  i got out of that one…

we attached the crown moulding to the top board before attaching it to the mirror… i wanted the wood glue to be solid before I tried to put it up there…. once the moulding was securely attached to the 1×4, i painted the whole thing and then attached it…

okay… so if you can not focus so much on the ugly outlet, it really looks nice… i like the way this came out and feel like it fits the quality of the house… now i need to go shopping and find some big vase to put in sorta the middle of my vanity…

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