Rehab: Sliding Mirror Closet Door

Jennifer —  April 6, 2011

Today I thought I would post a project that I have already done.  This is a mirror that I made.  Yep…its SUPER easy! (Please ignore the streak from wiping it down…I wasn’t planning on blogging when I took this!)  When we moved in our house we had all sliding closet doors and the closet doors were big mirrors.  Nothing screams the 1980s to me more than mirrored closet doors.  Nothing is more frustrating to me than sliding closet doors because you are constantly opening both sides.  If I can’t walk in my closet (which in an old house those walk-ins are rare) then I want access to all of it at one time!  The first week we were in the house….they were gone.  I replaced one with a curtain in the guest bedroom.  Three years later I am working on what will happen with the others.    We sold two sets in a garage sale.  We were going to sell three but one got dropped on the way to the multi family garage sale at my friend’s house.  Oops…  So I had one mirror door left.

I had been wanting to get a full length mirror for my bedroom.  I wanted something chunky and modern.  My favorite one out there is this one from West Elm: (the crazy thing is that this is named the description of what I wanted!)

Chunky Wood Floor Mirror from West Elm

Problem:  Its $329 Bucks!  The hubs would fall out of his chair.  If I tried he would say “You can buy an ipad for that price”.  He would never understand the concept of paying over $300 to look at yourself and quite frankly…I agree.   He suggested…what about kind that goes over the door?  Now, many of my great ideas come from the hubs.  He is a subtle suggestor and there are times when I have turned and said…”thats brilliant.”  This time…it was a clear “no”.

I don’t like the “on the door” kind.  It makes me feel like I am in a dorm room.  So, I set out to look for a cheaper chunky modern one.  The cheapest one I could find was $99.oo at TJMax. It was oil rubbed bronze and not chunky.  (Beautiful mirror but it was more traditional than I wanted)  I didn’t want to talk the hubs into that one because it was not the style I was going for.  I would have to make it that way…and I don’t want to pay $99 to make it what I want.  Ikea has a good one, but I am 7 hours away and it still was not exactly what I wanted.

I walked past my mirrored closet door sitting in the garage and thought…..hmmm……and here is what I came up with:

#1 - First I had to take the hinges/door sliders off the back.  The mirror was framed in a white case.  I had to unscrew and pry a little with a screw driver.  There is not rhyme or reason…just be careful.  You don’t want to bend the frame or the mirror.

#2 – In order for the trim to lay flat on the mirror the mirrored door knob had to come off…very carefully.  It was glued on so I used Goo Gone.  I literally soaked it.  You can kind of see the Goo Gone puddle.  After it soaked for a while I took a plastic putty knife and gently separated it.  It came off easily and without a scratch!

#3 – Then, I cut some 1 X 6 wood  I got at Lowes to size.  I mitered them because I had the saw.  You wouldn’t have to do this.  You could just cut them to size or have them cut them for you at Lowes or Home Depot. You don’t even have to do mitered corners It would look like this.  If you use wood glue it will look seamless.

#4 – I sanded and painted the wood (both sides) and then placed the pieces of the frame to make sure it lined up.  ( I am glad I did because I did not paint both sides at first.  Laying them on the mirror showed me that I could see unpainted wood in the mirror’s reflection.)  Painting booth sides made it look framed.

#5 -When all the pieces were cut I attached the pieces to the mirror with construction adhesive.  Another tip is to not put the construction adhesive right on the edge.  The goal is to not see the glue.

#6 – Then I clamped it (crucial step) and let it set for 24 hours.  I only had four clamps so I added some rocks and a full can of paint.

#7 – After 24 hours I filled the gaps with wood filler, sanded it down, and did one more coat of paint on the top.

I glued the trim flush up against the doors casing because it was white.  It looks like the side edge of the mirror and it looks seamless. Here is how you could modify this project to fit what you want:

  • If you want it another color: Paint the casing the same color you paint the trim.
  • You could  spray paint the wood brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze!
  • If you want the stained wood look:  You could place the trim to hang over the edge of the mirror a little ( the bottom side would still need to be flush if you were standing it on the floor).  That way the white casing would be recessed and not seen unless you look.

I could have hung this mirror on the wall.  The mirror was protected and encased in a sturdy door casing. If I want to hang it I could attach it to the wall via the metal door casing frame the mirror rests in (think about it… used to hang on a door hinge…its made to hang).   Just in case, check the mirrors door casing sturdiness first before hanging.  Because mine was really heavy I didn’t want to go thru the process of inserting toggle bolts in the wall if there was not a stud to screw into…. So I leaned it up against the wall and this is what I got.

It looks like I bought it.  Most people who see it ask where I got it.  And, it cost me $20.00! This saved me $79.00 bucks if I would have wanted the TJ Max or Ikea mirror.  It really saved me $309.00 because I wanted the one from West Elm!   It is sitting in my master bedroom.  (I will show you that room soon…it has kind of changed since this pic)

Can you tell the difference?

Chunky Wood Floor Mirror from West Elm

My version:

Here is the cost breakdown:

  • Mirror Door – Free! ( I see these in Re-Stores all the time for $5)
  • Trim – $15.00.  You could go cheaper.  Since I was spending next to nothing I went for the better wood.  That way I don’t have to sand it down.  My time is valuable to me!
  • Paint – Free…I had it.  (I always have a can of white paint)
  • Goo Gone- Free…I had it.  I love this stuff.  It’s a must have for a DIYer.  You can get it anywhere for about 3 bucks
  • Wood filler -Free- I had it but you can get a tube for 3-4 bucks.  If you are not staining it you could use paintable caulk.
  • Construction adhesive $5.00

Total I spent:  $20.00

Hope this gives you an idea.  I don’t think I will ever purchase a mirror like this because it’s so easy to custom make this for cheap.  Check Craigslist and Habitat for Humanity or Charity Re-Stores.  There are plenty of these mirrored doors destined for landfills that could become fabulous mirrors in your house in one weekend!

P.S. The Bathroom Update (not renovation) is in progress.  I am building a medicine cabinet tonight.  Can’t wait to share what I learn.  Hopefully I won’t fail, but I will share it with you if I do!

Thanks for Reading,


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17 responses to Rehab: Sliding Mirror Closet Door

  1. closet doors It very good to see all types
    of closet doors we watching .beautiful blog with good information of all kind of t it relay re amber rfor all the tim

  2. Saw your feature on knock off decor, beautiful job on the mirror! What a great way to save some money and make a huge impact in your home.

  3. Came to you from Knock Off Decor to give you my congrats. Making that West Elm mirror for $20 + effort really rocks!

  4. Very cool! Thanx for the tutorial.

  5. Just found your blog and immediately subscribed to your email updates! Love this site!

  6. WHY didn’t I think of this? Beautiful!

  7. Did you put wood frame on both the front and the back of the mirror?

  8. What are the dimensions of your mirror?

    • Sorry it has taken me so long. It is a 30X72 Mirror. I used 6 inch wood and glued it right on top so the mirror showing is 18 inches. I hope that helps! Thanks for reading.


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