DIY

Reclaimed Wood Mirror With Concrete Inlay

July 28, 2014

MUST PIN! Transform a builder grade mirror with wood and concrete! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.
YOU GUYS!  I AM SO INSANELY EXCITED ABOUT THIS PROJECT!  Today, I am sharing how Joe and I created the most amazing reclaimed wood mirror for our powder room.  But it's not just cool because it's a reclaimed wood mirror.  It's A.W.E.S.O.M.E. because it has a concrete inlay as well.  Ummmm, yeah…  I know.  It's exciting.

Now, a bit of background.  As you know, I am part of Ace Hardware's blogger panel {YAY!}.  This month, I was paired up with Kim from Yellow Brick Home for the challenge to use the same product in two different ways.  Kim and I decided on this super cool Bosch Colt Variable Speed Palm Router Kit to tackle our projects with.  Routers are EXTREMELY versatile and can be used in so many different ways.  I can't wait to show you how we used it for this project :)

Joe and I immediately knew what we wanted to do with our router!  We decided to make a mirror for our powder room, which we are in the process of renovating.  We LOVE the look of reclaimed wood AND concrete, so we found a way to use the two materials together. 

For those of you that haven't been following along with our powder room reveal, here's a shot of the mirror we started with.  A tad outdated.

THIS IS AWESOME! Reclaimed wood mirror with concrete inlay! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.

Since the main focus of our post is the concrete inlay, we are providing only a general overview of how we constructed the frame.

How to Build Your Own DIY Reclaimed Wood Mirror

THIS IS AWESOME! Reclaimed wood mirror with concrete inlay! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.

1) Select the best pieces of reclaimed wood.  Look for pieces that are not warped and do not have excessive knots.

2) Sand any paint off the wood.  Measure and cut your pieces to length, mitering the ends with 45 degree angles.  The size of your frame will depend upon the size of your mirror.

3-4) Screw the pieces of your frame together.  We used our Kreg Jig to create pocket screw joints.

5-6) Use your router to create a rabbet {recess or groove cut into the edge of a piece of wood} along the inner perimeter of the BACK side of the mirror.  Your mirror will sit in the rabbet edge so that the mirror sits flush with the back of the frame.  

7) Use a hand chisel to clean up the corners {you can't get a perfect 90 degree angle with your router bit}.

8) Double-check your work and get ready for the fun part!

How to Create a Concrete Inlay on a Wood Frame

1) Once your frame is built, you are ready to lay out your text onto your frame.  Using a word processing program, I typed out “WASH” and played around with the font/size until I was happy with it.  Bear in mind the letters need to be small enough to fit on your frame–other than that, just choose what is aesthetically pleasing to you.  Print off your text.  Cut the letters out and decide on exactly where you want them on your frame.

2) Once you are happy with your placement, grab some Carbon Paper and place it under your letters.  Trace all of the letters onto your wood frame.

THIS IS AWESOME! Reclaimed wood mirror with concrete inlay! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.3) Next, use a utility knife to score around the edges of all the letters.  This will help guide your router later.  For the straight edges, you can use a small level to help guide the utility knife.

THIS IS AWESOME! Reclaimed wood mirror with concrete inlay! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.4) Now you are ready to use your palm router!  Slow and steady wins the race.  Route out the letters one at a time.  You can use a hand chisel to clean up any tight corners that your router couldn't quite reach.

THIS IS AWESOME! Reclaimed wood mirror with concrete inlay! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.

5) After you are done with your routing, you are ready to stain and poly your wood.  We wanted our reclaimed wood {which is cedar} to retain its natural color, so we decided to apply Tung Oil.  That said, we do think that a coat of poly would have made step 7 {cleaning the concrete off the wood} a bit easier, but that is just a gut feeling since we have not actually tried it.

6) Once your wood is stained/oiled, you are ready for the FUN PART!  The concrete!  We used Ardex- Feather Finish{which we have also used to create our DIY concrete fireplace}.  Mix it according to the directions on the bag and then apply it to the recessed letters with a putty knife.  We applied two coats to ensure that the concrete was totally level with the surface of the wood.

THIS IS AWESOME! Reclaimed wood mirror with concrete inlay! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.

7) After the concrete in the recessed letters is firm to the touch, wipe the excess concrete off the top surface of the wood with a wet sponge. If the concrete is already dry on the wood, you may have to put some elbow grease into it–we certainly did!  We also did a light sanding to get all remnants of concrete off the wood.

8) Then, we added one more coat of tung oil over the entire frame and popped in our mirror {we cut our original mirror down to a size that would fit in the frame}.  We secured the mirror in place by adding a thin piece of plywood to cover the entire back of the frame.  Finally, we added hardware to hang it.

THIS IS AWESOME! Reclaimed wood mirror with concrete inlay! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.

Check out the results!!!!

MUST PIN! Powder room reveal full of amazing powder room ideas by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body! #powderroom
Psssst….do you see those cute bathroom door decals in the reflection of the mirror? I love that they help our guests find the powder room AND that they crack me up every time I see them. You can check out how I created them here.  And if you love the look of the industrial vanity light above the mirror, you can find out how we created that here.

MUST PIN! Transform a builder grade mirror with wood and concrete! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.

THIS IS AWESOME! Reclaimed wood mirror with concrete inlay! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body.Now be sure to head over to Yellow Brick Home to see how Kim used her router!  What would you make with a Bosch Colt Variable Speed Palm Router Kit?  What is another project you would like to see us make with ours?  Don't be shy–you may just get your wish!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy seeing how we created our own DIY concrete fireplace for less than $100!  And if you love reclaimed wood projects, be sure to check out our DIY herringbone plank wall that we created from an ugly, old fence!  And be sure to check back for the full powder room reveal soon :)

I am a member of the Ace Bloggers Panel and Ace Hardware has provided me with a free router to complete my project. I was also compensated for my time and this blog post. All opinions and positions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware.  This post also contains some affiliate links {click here for my full disclosure policy}.

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  1. […] Before you head out, you may want to check out our full powder room reveal and some of the other amazing projects from it, like the DIY industrial lighting and wood mirror with concrete inlay. […]

  2. […] fence into this beautiful herringbone plank wall FOR FREE?  You may also want to check out the awesome mirror with concrete inlay that we also made from this fence–it’s pretty […]

  3. […] to deal with our ginormous outdated mirror.  We removed it and cut it down to size to fit in our new reclaimed wood mirror with concrete inlay that we made.  It cost us $0 and really transforms the […]

  4. […] a peek of what we have accomplished in the powder room so far.  I am sooooo in love with the reclaimed wood mirror with concrete inlay that we recently […]

  5. Erica says:

    Oh my goodness, you are just too clever! A concrete letter inlay?? Genius! So excited to see everything all put together – this is turning out to be one of my fave bathroom makeovers! :)

    • Tasha A. says:

      Thanks so much, Erica! I am so happy with how it turned out. The powder room reveal SHOULD be up some time this week {fingers crossed}. I just need to finish the art work!

  6. Carbon paper…what a great idea. I have done numerous projects like this and used to just press hard enough to leave an imprint on the wood…then squint to see. This looks great.

  7. Guerrina says:

    This is amazingly unique! And I have two bathrooms with these outdated mirrors! Oh my…guess I need to get a router!

  8. Jacqueline W. says:

    Looks great! I am curious, did you get a new mirror, or cut down the old one? If you cut it down, how did you do it? Thanks!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Jacqueline! We cut our old mirror down using a simple, hand held mirror/glass cutter that my husband found at Harbor Freights. Hope that helps!

  9. Tess S. says:

    You guys are AMAZING!!!! Who would have thought of that! It looks great!!!

  10. Kathryn A. says:

    You and Joe are just so creative!

  11. Tracy says:

    I love your mirror. This rest of my comment is not meant to be snarky only as a hint so others don’t make a mistake in purchasing supplies. Tracing Paper and Carbon paper are different. Carbon is what is needed for this type of project, Carbon paper is used to impress an image (or letters) down on to something. Tracing paper is the opposite; it is somewhat see through and you use it to copy the image up to the tracing paper. You could ‘trace’ an image off something then ‘carbon’ it onto something else. Again, love your mirror I almost wish I still had some of the ‘ugly’ ones. Oh My… I think my sister has one….gonna go check.

  12. Holy smokes, I am SUPER impressed with your steady hand for that lettering! Well done, you!

  13. […] Reclaimed Wood Mirror With Concrete Inlay {yeah, it’s AWESOME} – Designer Trapped in a L… gapi.plusone.go(); Tweet […]

  14. So cool, Tasha! Love it! (And thanks for the giveaway!)

  15. Okay, this is such a cool and original idea!!! Pinning and sharing! :) Linda

  16. How fun, Tasha! I love it! Your creativity amazes me. And those wall decals are too cute.

  17. Stacy says:

    Well this is fabulous! I love it!
    Stacy

  18. corey decker says:

    Ok, I love this, very original! I think this technique may be in the near future. Thanks!

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