I did, I did. Remember this mirror from Ikea?
It’s the Mongstad mirror that debuted back in 2006 when we first got our Ikea store here in Michigan. I instantly fell in love with it. It was approximately 3′ x 6′ and came in that sexy black brown wood finish. I had grand plans of buying one of these mirrors and placing it over the sofa in my apartment. The price was $99 at the time and was obtainable. Then before I could make my move, Ikea increased the price to $129 and I refused to pay it. How was I to get this look for less???
Fast forward to today and ya girl has finally done it. It may have taken me almost 6 years but I made it happen with the help of a garage sale I went to back in 2006. I snagged this mirror for $5.00 and hauled it around to every place I called home over the next six years. I leaned it up against the wall in all of my apartments and then leaned it up against the wall in the guest bedroom in my current house.
I had a mirror over my sofa but the size seemed too small for the room. It was time that I fixed that issue. After brainstorming I came up with a plan.
Build an extra thick wooden frame, stain it and secure my garage sale mirror to the back with mirror clips and hang over my sofa using heavy-duty screws and anchors.
Sounds simple enough. It actually was.
I gathered up my supplies and went to work.
My first real challenge was cutting the wood to fit the mirror. I would be using Mitered corners instead of butt joints. Mitered corners look more polished than butt joints and I wanted this to look as close to the Ikea mirror as possible. Since I had only cut mitered corners once before, I needed a plan. I jotted it down on my notepad and tried to think of the most logical way of doing this.
The most clever thing I came up with was to cut both parallel pieces at the same time. This meant that the top and bottom pieces of the frame would be the exact same length. The same goes for the sides of the frame.
The second clever thing was to set the miter at 45° and never move it. Just flip the boards over and cut at the proper length.
Because I have ZERO experience cutting anything other than a 90° angle, I cut off the bare minimum to get my first mitered cut. Cutting only a tiny bit off saves me precious wood in the long run. After the first 45° cut, I measured for the next cut which would be the one inch shorter than my actual mirror due to the bevel style cut of the mirror.
I continued this process until I had all four pieces of my frame cut. I did a test fit by placing the frame pieces along the mirror and clamping to make sure that the frame completely hid the beveled edges of the glass.
Can you believe that I got it perfect on the first try??? Well don’t because I didn’t. Remember this is new to me and I’m pushing myself to do something I’d always thought was too complicated. The inside diameter of the frame was too large. I needed to cut 1/2″ off the long end so that the bevel would not show. This was quite easy and didn’t take too much of my time. Now that I knew they all fit, It was time to drill pocket holes for assembling. Using my trusty Kreg Jig, I drilled pocket holes on one end of each joint. Using glue on every joint, I clamped each piece and screwed them together.
Note: As I tighten the screws a bit of glue squeezes out the cracks. I’m always sure to wipe it away with a damp cloth before it dries.
With the frame built I checked for square and moved on to the back of the frame. My boards are only 3/4″ thick and needed to be at least 1.5″ thick to compare to the Ikea frame.
My solution to build a “lip”killed three birds with one stone.
- It allowed me to make the frame look like it was made from thicker pieces of lumber
- It provided a way to hide the mirror mounting hardware once it was hung on the wall
- The butt joints reinforce the mitered picket hole joints and create a more solid structure
I secured the trim to the back of the frame by countersinking screws every 8″.
To make everything look nice and Professional I fill every crack and joint with wood filler. This particular type is stain-able and sand-able and dries quickly.
Once my wood filler was dry, I took it to the garage and gave it a good sanding, first with the 120 grit and finished with the 220 grit.
I wiped the entire piece with a tack cloth to remove any sanding residue.
My original plan was to stain it in Kona brown, the same color as the top of my end tables. Unfortunately the Pine did not take the stain as well as the Oak did. So I weighed my options,
Espresso Satin Enamel
Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.
I tested each one out on scrap pieces of wood to see which one worked.
The winner was the espresso enamel. Ordinarily you have to prime raw wood before painting or your paint will be sucked into the wood like a sponge. I liked how the enamel resembled the kona stain so I stuck with it.
If I didn’t paint this part, you would see a sliver of raw wood in the reflection of the mirror. I painted the inside of the frame being careful to catch any drips. I flipped it over and painted the front last. It was imperative that this coat was perfect. I only painted one coat and did not use a foam roller because I was afraid it would hide the grain of the wood. In hindsight, it would have been much easier.
Once dry, I gave the entire frame a light sanding with a 320 grit sponge. This knocks the wood grain back down and made it silky smooth to the touch.
While the paint was drying, I gave my mirror a good scrubbing. It’s a lot easier to spot clean a few fingerprints than it is to clean an entire mirror that has been collecting dust for the past year.
With the assistance of my dear husband, I lifted the huge heavy mirror face down into the frame. One of my biggest worries was if the metal mirror clips will hold a 50 Lb mirror. I screwed 12 of them to the back of the mirror. And then followed up with eight of the plastic clips. The plastic fit better but I figured why remove the metal ones, it would just be more support.
These babies were hardcore, and once secured into the wall studs will not budge. When you hang something this heavy you must secure into the studs. Think of it like you would a flat screen television. You wouldn’t hang that with just an anchor would you?
I don’t have a photo of the next step but I used my laser level to determine how low I wanted to hang it over the sofa. I used the stud finder to find the center of my studs and marked my holes. I nailed the hooks into the wall and hung the mirror.
I love how large it is and it reflects so much more light through the room. Now I can actually see the television from the kitchen.
(The cost of this mirror was greatly offset due to the fact that I already owned the mirror.)
Note: I splurged for “Select Pine” this time but I could have achieved this using common boards and lots of sanding.
- (3) 1” x 4” @6’= $20.49
- (3) 1” x 2” @6’= $10.68
- (3) Packages of Mirror clips = $5.91
- (1) 9 ft. 100 lb. Stainless Steel Hanging Wire= $ 3.49
- (1) 100 lb. BP Conventional Picture Hooks =$ 0.97
And there you have it. My version of the Ikea Mongstad Mirror at more than 1/2 the cost. This project gave me the opportunity to practice making miter cuts with my saw and now I can cut with greater confidence.