Knock-off Metallic Mirror Frame




About: Easy and affordable DIY projects and ideas.

Megan at 'the homes I have made' transformed her bedroom with painted furniture and new accessories. What I found striking in this room setting is the metallic silver mirror. Bought for over $120 (R1000), you can easily make this beautiful mirror at a fraction of the cost with a few materials and supplies that can be found at your local hardware store


2 of 2400mm lengths of 10 x 94mm PAR pine*

Exterior wood glue

Exterior crack filler

Rust-Oleum Metallic Silver or gold spray paint

2 eye hooks and picture frame hanging wire

Mirror - cut to size once frame is complete

10 glass clips and 10mm screws

Paint scraper

Wooden spoon

Container of water

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Step 1: Make the Frame

1. The first step is the make the frame. There are various methods for making your own frames and I have explained several different frame options on the website. For this project I am making a very simple frame using 10mm thick PAR pine, but feel free to make a frame of your choice. To fasten the frame together I used my Bosch Tacker and staples at the front and back of each join. Since the entire front will be covered you won't see the staples.

2. To mount the mirror you can cut a rebate at the back using a router and cutting bit. However, if you are using 10mm thick pine this is not thick enough to cut out a rebate and you will need to mount the mirror differently. You can use brass corner brackets to secure the mirror onto the back of the board, or add some glass pins around the mirror.

Step 2: Apply Plaster

3. Mix up a thick paste using crack filler and wood glue. Start by adding the crack filler to a bucket and then add a small amount of water to wet. Now you can slowly add the wood filler to make a paste of thick consistency. You want a paste that is the consistency of whisked meringue. If the paste starts to thicken as you work, add a little more wood glue to loosen up.
4. Spread a thin layer of paste over the entire front of the frame and let this dry. Once the first coat is dry you can pile on a second layer. This is the layer that will add the finished effect.

5. Working in small sections at a time, apply the paste with the paint scraper and then quickly dip the wooden spoon in water and use to press and smooth to create ripples in the paste.

6. Continue adding paste and creating ripples with the spoon.

GOOD TO KNOW: It's important that the spoon always be wet to prevent the paste from sticking to the spoon and also to have a nice smooth depression.

Step 3: Paint and Finish

7. Let the plaster dry for a couple of hours but before it sets too hard, use a sharp craft knife to cut away any mess on the inside and outside edges. Sand this smooth with 120-grit sandpaper.

GOOD TO KNOW: After finishing the entire frame let this dry overnight. It isn't recommended that you do this on a hot day - you don't want the plaster to dry too fast and crack.

8. Unfortunately my local hardware store didn't have the Rust-Oleum Metallic silver spray in stock, so I had to use Rust-Oleum Universal Satin Nickel. It didn't come out as shiny as the original, but I will re-spray once stock comes in and add the new pic to this page. Although to be honest, it does look stunning in real life - the photo doesn't do justice to the finished frame!

I also sprayed the same frame with two coats of Rust-Oleum Speciality Metallic gold - much better and definitely a far shinier effect.

To finish off secure your mirror to the back of the frame. Screw in a couple of eye hooks and add the wire to hang onto the wall.

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    11 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 3

    i wonder if I can use this to secure sea shells to a frame.


    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    I'm ready to do this to an old mirrored door. But can't find anything in the hardware store called crack filler? Can I use wood filler?


    3 years ago

    very simple, very clever.. like the idea of mixing the plaster and wood glue.. novel idea (wood primer is usually super expensive to even consider).

    p.s. love your site too.. viva South Africa, and nice to see a South African on instructables as well :)

    p.p.s. any future ideas on a custom greek key mirror?


    3 years ago

    Hi, I would like to try this plaster, but I feel I need more help with the amounts to mix (like baking a cake). How much crack filler to glue and how much water? Thank you.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    The mix needs to be like cake batter - not too runny.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    hi can u plz tell more abt materials used to ake ripples?? crack filer n wood glue??? cant i use a ready to use filer n mix it with wood glue??? has it 2 b a crack filer or any alternatives????

    ve really beautiful oval mirror already in frame bought from a loppis (swedish for 2nhand shops) n want to give it a new look.......plz help as im trying to upcycle stuff n ve 0 experience wid such things

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    You could also use Plaster of Paris instead of crack filler. The wood glue gives it more flexibility and extends the drying time, as well as making it easier to work with to add the ripple effect.

    Gorgeous project, and looks quite easy to make. Although, is it just me, or the paint looks kinda strange? Missing the shine that metal have.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Would be extremely expensive to achieve the same finish with metal. I suppose you could apply a silver leaf over the top for a super-shiny finish.


    4 years ago

    This looks fantastic! Awesome idea... Thanks for the great ible