I did this project because the mirror in my powder room was the frameless kind that was permanently glued (I swear, if you try to rip it off, half the wall comes off with it) onto the wall by the home builder, and it had visible damage near the edges. I revamped the whole washroom with new wall paint and brand new vanity (read about that project here), but that ugly mirror was just an eye sore. That’s when I decided to frame around that mirror with a DIY faux bamboo frame.
Materials you will need:
- Wood Rods (I used 3/4″ diameter from Home Depot)
- Wood Glue
- Small Screws (1″-1.25″ length)
- Wood Filler
- Sanding Paper (150 grit)
- Mounting brackets
- Spray Paint
The first step is choosing a design and cutting your wood rods to the necessary length. My design called for an outer frame, an inner frame, and small connecting pieces.
Next step is assembly. After laying out your design on the floor, use the wood glue to attach all the pieces together. Apply the glue liberally and leave to set overnight.
Make sure your corners are perfectly perpendicular at 90 degrees, otherwise your frame will turn out crooked.
After you allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours, use those small screws to reinforce the attachments. Pre-drill small holes prior to attaching screws, otherwise your wood might crack.
How to create the faux bamboo texture on your DIY frame
What’s so special about bamboo? Other than it’s a super strong material. Well it’s got those characteristic nodes along its stem at certain intervals, which give it that signature look. To recreate those nodes you will need wood filler paste and kindergarden-level sculpting skills. I advise to do 2-3 nodes at a time, that way you have a chance to make the right shape before the filler dries out.
Step 1: Use a small spatula or palette knife to put a blob of wood filler on your wood rod and use your fingers (wear rubber gloves) to smooth it out.
Step 2: While the blobs from step 1 are still pliable, use the dull side of a knife (or any other thin rounded tool) to make ridges across the middle of each node. Don’t push all the way through – just a little indent is enough. Work each “half” of the ridge with your knife to round it out. It’s okay if they don’t look perfect!
Step 3: After making as many nodes as you like, let them dry for a couple of hours. Then sand lightly to remove any imperfections or excess wood filler. Be sure to also use wood filler anywhere you have major gaps, like where the glue lines are (I actually hid all my connections with wood filler), and where the screw heads are showing.
How is your DIY bamboo frame going to attach to the washroom mirror?
Since I wasn’t able to remove the mirror from the wall (otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this frame at all – haha – I guess the best creations come out of need to invent something), I had to figure out a way of attaching it in front of the existing mirror. Gluing is not an option, and neither is screwing it into the wall. I ended up using these u-shape metal brackets (they are actually pipe clamps), which I attached to the back of my faux bamboo frame: two at the top, and one on each side at the bottom. This way I was able to slide the frame over the mirror and hook it on. I’m sure there is plenty of specialized mounting hardware that you could use, but I already had these and they did the trick!
Final Step: Painting!
And the fun part! If you’re spray painting, make sure to wear a mask and spray outdoors. I protected the ground from turning gold by lining it with a clean garbage bag.
My favourite gold spray paint is the Rustoleum Metallic Spray in Gold. It has the right amount of shine, and such a nice medium gold shade, not too red, not too green – just perfect! It can be purchased at most hardware stores, or online on Amazon.