After some teasing on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I am FINALLY finished with my oversize floor mirror. This bad boy weighs in at super heavy and measures 7 feet tall by 3 feet wide. I love how it ended up but did make a few errors along the way. I’ve explained them below and hope this helps you if you attempt this project!
This was my inspiration. I saw it on Pinterest and instantly loved the size and gilded frame. I have been looking for a floor mirror that is a decent size with a cheap price but with those expectations, was coming up short on options. When I saw this, I put together my plan and went to town!
I started with an 8′ x 4′ piece of MDF from Home Depot that I had cut down to 7′ x 3′ before I left the store. I painted the back of the wood first (probably the first time I’ve painted the back/inside of any project!) and then painted the border of the front since the mirror would attach to the middle of the wood.
My dad helped me use my box cutter to cut the trim pieces I also purchased at Home Depot to make the large outside frame. The trim I used was flat on the back and round on the top. This was SO much easier than the crown molding we installed in the dining room. Having it completely flat on the back and even on both sides made this process go quickly and smoothly.
Luckily the trim pieces were so long, we only had to make the 45 degree cuts for the corners. We are both visual people so to anyone watching us cut this, we must have looked like loons. “Okay, so we cut it this way (insert angled hand motion) so now we’ll cut it this way to match up (insert opposite angled hand motion).”
We used my mom’s air compressed nail gun so the pieces of trim were attached to the MDF in no time! When you attempt this on your own (and you will because it is that easy), don’t worry about a small gap on the corners – those are very easy to fill in with wood putty or caulk.
Once we finished the outside frame, we used mirror adhesive and attached the mirror I had cut at my local glass shop. I don’t have pictures of this step because it took my dad, Conner and me to get the mirror glued, attached and as straight as possible. One tip – before we started to attach the mirror, we measured it out and marked where the mirror should line up on the wood. This was a huge help!
We moved the project to our dining table so more of it was supported and the wood didn’t bow on the ends. To make sure the mirror was securely attached, we weighed down the top with random objects we found in the dining and living room. Our table looked like this for four days – what a sight!
Once I felt more than safe that the mirror was attached and the glue was dry, we used the same trim to make the inside frame that sits on top of the mirror. Conner helped me cut the pieces and attach them to the mirror with more mirror adhesive. This sat for two days before I moved on to the next step.
Wood putty is very easy to work with if you haven’t used it before. I am lazy so I just use my fingers, not a putty knife, to layer in the putty and smooth it. Make sure you use a wood putty or caulk that is sandable/paintable – it will make your life much easier!
Once the putty was dry, it was time to silver leaf! This was so time-consuming and such a hassle but the end result was well worth it. It would have been much easier to just paint the trim but I wanted the metallic, reflective surface that silver leaf gives. It would have also been MUCH easier to do this before the trim was attached but I wasn’t thinking about that when I started this whole project.
Start by brushing on the metal leaf adhesive. This small bottle is in the same aisle as the metal leaf sheets I found at Hobby Lobby. This adhesive is super strong and stays tacky for a very long time, several days in fact! They aren’t lying when they say to wait at least 45 minutes before applying the silver leaf sheets. If the glue is too wet, the process gets very sloppy.
I started by applying the whole sheet to the trim. That was a mistake – it got everywhere! I ended up tearing off small pieces from the large sheet and applying them to the trim. This process for a piece of furniture (like this tutorial here) would be so much easier because you could use a whole sheet instead of breaking them up. I would love to do this for a side table in our guest room and may end up doing it now that I’ve had this trial run on silver leafing.
I used my fingers to attach the sheets and then ran a foam brush over the area to really attach it. This will get messy and little pieces of silver will go flying so make sure you do this in an area or on a surface you don’t mind getting dirty.
Notice the painters tape in the picture above? This is why! SO messy with my first attempt. The glue and silver were everywhere. Way to NOT think through this process, Laura. I don’t blame myself though. No, I blame the red carpet coverage of the Oscars. That’s a legitimate reason to be distracted, right?
After 6 hours, spread out over several days, I was finally finished with the silver leaf. What a time investment, right? Once I pulled all of the tape off, I used Goo Gone to erase the glue that was on the mirror, a piece of sand paper to smooth out the silver leaf on the MDF and then applied one quick coat of paint to the border. So pretty!
The floor lamp was a purchase from Target last year and the garden stool was one I got on clearance from Garden Ridge and spray painted navy. It is a perfect resting spot for my phone, clothes and will eventually see a glass (or two) of wine!
The silver leaf is so reflective and gives off a nice shine. While it was a pain in the rear to do this while the trim was attached, it was totally worth it! The final white coat I used is the same as our living room fireplace – Moon Rise by Behr.
In an attempt to keep it real, here is what this area looked like before I took the pictures and I’m sure what it will look like most of the time: shoes kicked off, shirt draped on the stool and one or both dogs in the way. Typical!
The total size of this mirror is 7′ x 3′. The mirror I had cut at my local glass shop was supposed to just be 6″ shorter than the MDF on all sides but I’m not sure where my math went wrong. The larger border at the top and bottom bothered me at first but now I don’t mind it so I will now claim I meant to do that.
Total cost for this project? $152! It might sound like a lot to you but it is so much cheaper than the $500-700 I kept seeing when shopping for a mirror this size. The time was the biggest factor in this project but well worth it for the end result! SO happy to finally see what my whole outfit looks like before I walk out the door.