Stick a fork in it. Frame is DONE.

Who has two thumbs and seemed like the never-ending project?? This guuuuuuuyyyyyyyy…



(Sans thumbs)

Last we spoke about the guest bath makeover, I had just hung our newly-sewn curtains


Which meant I was SUPER motivated to finish the mirror frame we built to see how it would jive with the rest of the room.  I considered staining it darker and painting it a bold or metallic color, but then decided to try my hand at white-washing.

I really wanted the mirror frame to be crisp and bright to balance the sparkling white tile tub surround (which I painted here) and contrast the soft turquoise wall paint.  Staining the frame deeper or painting it a bold color would have been way too dark with the ebony sink base.   And since I wanted a slightly rustic feel, I felt like white-washing would be a nice compromise… A nice white color which would still allow the knots and wood-grain to show through.

I started with prep work.   Remember these counter-sunk screw holes?


I filled them in with wood filler, waited the allotted dry-time, sanded, then repeated the process a second time.    I’ve always found that the second application is key in achieving a smooth finish.  Which left me with this…


Now for the fun part… I had some Clark & Kensington white paint + primer leftover from a few previous projects, so I simply poured a small amount into a plastic cup and added an equal amount of water. Then, I stirred very well.

I basically treated it like stain. I brushed it onto my frame…


Then, immediately wiped it off with a rag…


You can see the difference on the top portion of this pic with one coat here…


I ended up doing a total of three coats which was the perfect amount. It got rid of all traces of yellow undertone, but still allowed the knots and wood-grain to shine through.  I pretty much zipped through this part.  The paint dried so fast that by the time I’d completed one coat, I was able to start another.   The whole process maybe took me an hour.  Easy-peasy.

Several times I forgot that I wasn’t dealing with normal-consistency paint.  I failed to wipe off my brush adequately against the side of my cup, so when I lifted my brush to the frame, paint dripped EVERYWHERE.  This pic, unfortunately, doesn’t show the splatter-painted countertop beneath, but you get the idea….


So, don’t do that. You need very little paint on the brush.  Please learn from my mistakes if you decide to try this.

Also, I may have mentioned before that I’m not a fan of taping. I tape sometimes if a project calls for it, but most of the time I get lazy/cocky and think I don’t need it. Because I didn’t tape and this was a slightly drippier project, I ended up getting a fair amount of paint on the glass.  It took me a while to scrape all the paint off with my razor….


So, after I was done scraping I went ahead and taped off my mirror…


Now, I’d completed a bunch of research prior to starting this project to determine which product would be best for a topcoat. I already owned several types of polyurethane (the original plan), but had read that poly will yellow white paint, which is the opposite of what I’m trying to do here.  After reading a bunch of articles, I finally landed on this…


Polycrylic in clear satin finish. It claims to dry crystal clear and all of the reviews I read contested to the same.  Plus, it’s low odor which is a plus since there are no windows in the bathroom. When we framed out the mirror, I mentioned that I already owned the stuff to finish my frame, but I actually ended up purchasing a can of this stuff for 8 bucks to be on the safe side.

I applied three thin coats of Polycrylic, sanding lightly with fine grit sandpaper between coats.  This somehow took me three days. Each coat seriously went on in 15-20 minutes a pop. And according to the can, recoating can happen in as little as 2 hours.   Yet, it took me three days.  Go, me.

After I applied the last coat, I removed the painter’s tape.  Remember how I thought I was saving myself so much time by taping? Well….


Holy bleed-through, Batman.

So, four days later (yes, you read that right), I scraped. Again. Moreso than when I didn’t tape. Go figure.  I must be really bad at taping.  But, in the end, it was worth it.  All seven days that it took me to finish this project.  And it’s not even the project’s fault.   It wasn’t difficult or time consuming. I just had a hard time keeping up the momentum. And was reminded of this every time I walked in there and noted the mess that I continued to not deal with all over the countertop.

As an aside… while I was in the middle of applying my third coat, I ran to the garage to get something. Which is when I heard Lucas’s voice sing-songing from the bathroom,  “I helping! I helping!”. A wave of terror washed over me as I pictured the bathroom covered in Polycrylic. I rushed in there and Lucas simply looked at me and said, “See?? I helped!”. And he pointed to this…

Slippers on the counter.

Apparently, I’ve passed my gift for random onto my offspring.

Anyways, in the end, our mirror turned out like this….

IMG_4279 IMG_4270 IMG_4276 

It’s exactly what I wanted. Bright and airy, with a slightly rugged edge. It ties so nicely into both the barn light and the curtains. I’m giddy when I see it.  And with purchase of the Polycrylic, it only took 29 buckaroos to turn this mirror….


Into this….


I know it looks a little monochromatic right now (I’m really sad that the paint color is appearing so grey in these pics rather than the soft aqua that it is). But I will say that I played around with a few accessories and started getting really excited.  Hopefully, those will bring in the pop that is my final vision.   So, now we just need a new faucet, handle for the false drawer on the vanity, toilet paper holder, hooks and accessories to complete this budget-friendly makeover. The finish-line is in sight!!! Woo-hoo!!!


4 thoughts on “Stick a fork in it. Frame is DONE.

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