It looked so easy on Pinterest — as most Pinterest projects do. The title was ingenious: "Thirty-seven quick and easy ways to dress up your bathroom mirror." The only hard part was picking just one. I was hooked — line and sinker.
Suddenly, my bathroom mirror was lacking. It looked naked, definitely in need of a frame.
I picked a fairly simple concept consisting of four wooden planks to flank the edges of the glass. When it comes to home projects, I excel at planning. My husband helps with execution. It was time to reel him in.
He proved a fairly simple catch. He likes projects, especially when they involve wood and power tools — not necessarily in that order.
Before beginning, we stood in the bathroom, gazing at the mirror. There was a metal trim piece running along the bottom of the glass, which helped affix the mirror to the wall, so we had to leave it in place. The trim protruded outward, providing a bump for our project to work around — literally.
We were stumped by the bump. I suggested routing a groove in the backside of the wood, but my husband rejected that idea in favor of shims, which are thin wooden pieces used to bridge the gap between the wood and the wall and keep the boards from leaning catawampus.
Now it was time to get to work. I watched as my husband cut the wood. He watched as I spray painted it. Together we waited for the paint to dry.
The beautiful Pinterest frame attached to the mirror using adhesive-backed Velcro. We stuck the rough side of our Velcro to the mirror and the soft side to the wood — easy, peasy.
When we attached the first plank to the mirror and stood back to admire our work we saw the problem immediately. The strips of Velcro were clearly visible, creating an appearance nothing short of tacky.
My husband looked at me. I looked at him. Piece by piece, we began removing the extremely powerful adhesive-backed Velcro from the wood and mirror.
After much pulling and prodding of the sticky stuff, we were adhesive-free. While peeling Velcro, my husband had devised a plan for screwing the frame into place. That came next and went without a hitch — except for the screws, which were even more visible than the Velcro had been. We put putty in the screw indentations to create an even surface. Then we needed to paint to disguise the putty.
Trouble is we used spray paint (outside) before we assembled the planks into the frame inside. I didn't think spray painting in our bathroom was a good idea. For once, my husband agreed with me.
The frame was a matte black. How complicated could matching it be? In a word: extremely, tremendously, incredibly and considerably. The flat black craft paint we used to cover the screws was flatter than the matte black spray paint already on the boards, making the screws as obvious as unwanted Velcro.
We had no choice. We had to use the spray paint.
But don't go there just yet. I'm not foolish enough to use spray paint in the bathroom. I came up with a solution more creative (and foolish) than that.
I went outside with the paint and a small plastic disposable cup. I directed the nozzle into the cup and sprayed like an angry skunk. I kept at it until I had a small amount of black paint accumulated in the bottom of the cup. Then I went inside and brushed it on over the screws. One-by one — eight in all — the paint covered nicely. I was putting the final touches on the eighth screw when the spray paint ate through the plastic and the bottom of the cup fell off onto the white counter, dispersing black paint onto both it and the sink.
I grabbed a nearby towel and tried to contain the flowing black liquid. My husband ran to get rags. The paint on the surfaces dried instantaneously. We tried countertop cleaner, rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover but still the black remained. Finally, I grabbed a white eraser sponge and you know what? Those things really are magic. The black disappeared and our project was complete, almost.
Next weekend we're going to tackle the mirror in the other bathroom. It's going to be Pinterest perfect.
Wish us luck.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.