Master Bedroom Redo: Hanging the Mirror

You might not guess it, but it took more than a nail and a hook to hang that vintage mirror you saw above our bed in our master bedroom reveal.

When we bought this mirror, the backing looked like this:

We originally thought we’d leave the mirror intact and just add another wire across the back so we could hang it horizontally, but decades of grime and dust on this vintage piece forced us to take it apart for a good cleaning.

We were so relieved that we took the mirror apart when we discovered that only half of the screws holding the frame and glass together were still holding tight!  Imagine if a few more screws had come loose in the middle of the night and 50 pounds of mirror had landed on our heads!

There’s the inside of the frame.  Can you see where the little pegs broke off inside the frame?  Both of the pegs you see here were broken.

Here’s the back we took off of the mirror.  You can see pieces of the plastic pegs still attached to the backing board.

Needless to say, we couldn’t just put the mirror back together and hang it up.  No no.  This was going to take some clever engineering.

One trip to Lowe’s later, and we came home with this:

Loctite 1 minute Epoxy
5 mirror hanging hooks (we only used 3)
1 package adhesive velcro tabs
1 2-in-1 NoStud 200lb art hanger
1 package 75 lb test mirror cord

While we were out, Tina admired her reflection:

(Insert “You’re so Vain” lyrics here…)

Starting with the bare mirror, our first step was to arrange the mirror hangers around the edge of the glass in such a way that they would support the mirror as it hung.  We settled on two hooks at the bottom – for strength and balance – and one hook on the top – to keep the mirror snug against the wall.  Then we connected the hooks with the mirror hanging wire.

The next step was to glue the mirror hooks down with the epoxy.  (Side note, if you use this epoxy, PLEASE do it in a ventilated area!  We had to practically leave the house for the rest of the day just to get the scent of this stuff out of our noses.)

You might notice in the above picture that we found a faint stamp on the back of the mirror after we’d detached it from the frame.  Here’s a closer look:

Guess now we know exactly what year our vintage find was made!  If you can’t make it out, the stamp reads “BASSETT AUG. 2 1971”

Moving on, after the glue dried, our mirror was ready to hang.

Here’s a look at the mirror hanger we used:

The neat thing about this hanger is that it can be used with or without a stud in the wall, so you have total freedom to hang items wherever you want.  Of course there wasn’t a stud exactly above the center of our headboard, so we went with the non-stud option (using different nail-holes in the hanger than if we’d found a stud).  We nailed up the hanger…

and then the mirror went up!

When the mirror was hung, we noticed that while the bottom of the mirror touched the wall, the top was pulling away from the wall by an inch or two.

Leaving the mirror like this would have been fine, but we both wanted to make the mirror as level and symmetrical from all angles as possible, so Stephen rooted around in the garage and found a little square of foam that was just the right thickness…

A little bit of tape on the back, and this baby was ready to get stuck to the back of the mirror to push the bottom of the mirror out from the wall.

Here’s a side shot of the mirror after we stuck the foam behind it.  Can you see the hook at the top and the foam at the bottom?

The next step was to attach the frame.  We were lucky the frame was a made of a light weight plastic/ resin because our solution to the broken screws on the back of the frame was to attach the frame directly to the mirror with velcro.

This is the part where we tell you we should have gotten black velcro instead of white.  You see, the inside of the frame was painted dark brown.  I didn’t think the color of the velcro would matter, but when we stuck a little strip of velcro on the glass of the mirror and it’s complementing strip on the inside of the frame, the mirror reflected the white velcro all over the place!

What to do, what to do?  Color it black with permanent marker, of course!  (No pic of that, folks.  Sorry!)

After a stupid velcro / finger cutting incident, we matched up the velcro strips on the frame and the mirror and ended up with this:

What do you think?  Are you as confident as we are that it’ll hold and not crash down on us in the middle of the night?

I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much I like the dimension we added with that little piece of foam propping up the bottom of the mirror.  Not to mention the dimension any mirror adds to a room.  Yep, we’re pretty happy with how that one turned out.  Craigslist saves the day yet again =)

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