Dress up an entryway with a modern-look mirror and floating shelf. Made from a few oak boards and hardboard, this project can be completed in one weekend.
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When the glue is dry, sand the mirror frame with 120-grit followed by 220-grit sandpaper.
From 3/16" hardboard, cut the back E, narrow fillers F and G, and wide fillers H and I to size. A Lowe's associate can rip the material into strips that are 21-3/4", 1-3/4", and 3-3/4" wide (Cutting Diagram) and crosscut the back to length. Cut the remaining hardboard parts to length at home using a miter saw.
Sand the hardboard with 120-grit sandpaper to roughen the surface; glue the filler strips around the perimeter of the back with the edges flush.
Use a mirror adhesive to secure the mirror into the recess created by the back assembly filler strips.
Start building the floating shelf by cutting the top J, short top K, ends L, hangers M, and trough N to length (Cutting List). Sand each component with 120-grit followed by 220-grit sandpaper prior to assembly.
Glue and clamp an end L and a hanger M to the top J and short top K (Drawing 2, Project Diagram). To reinforce the joints, drill counterbores and countersinks to the screws. The counterbores will receive a wood plug to hide the screws.
Avoid stripped or broken screws by drilling pilot holes and applying a finishing wax to the screws. This will help reduce friction when threading the screws into the wood.
After driving the screws, apply glue to the holes and insert wood plugs. Use a dowel rod that matches the diameter of the counterbore -- cut pieces of dowel to 1" long and glue in place. When the glue dries, cut the dowels flush with a saw and sand smooth.
Flip the shelf assemblies upside down on your work surface and join the two shelf/end assemblies together by attaching the trough to the hangers. Drive screws through the trough into the hangers. Insert the plugs and sand flush.
With just the bottom O remaining to complete the shelf, measure and cut the bottom to fit by measuring the overall assembly length. Secure the bottom to the ends with screws and wood plugs (Photo 2).
Clamp the assembled shelf in position where shown (Photo 3; Drawing 3, Project Diagram) and drill 3/16" pilot holes 3" deep through the frame, into the shelf. Temporarily drive the screws.
Remove the shelf and finish sand all of the parts. Remove dust with a tack cloth and apply a wood stain of your choice with a foam brush; wipe off excess with a rag. Allow the stain to dry.
Apply a clear finish following the manufacturing instructions (we chose an aerosol finish that dries fast and goes on evenly). Apply three coats; lightly sand between coats with 320-grit sandpaper.
When the finish is complete, secure the mirror back in position, centering the back assembly on the frame. Secure with #8x3/4" panhead screws. Do not drive any screws along the top of the back.
Using the four 3/16" pilot holes drilled earlier, start driving the screws that hold the shelf through the stiles A and C so they project 1" from the face.
Slip both a 1/4" and 3/8" spacer over each screw (Drawing 4, Project Diagram) and position the shelf. Drive one screw from each stile into the shelf. With the shelf secured by the two screws, the remaining screws should spin right into the existing holes.
Add the picture-hanging system to the mirror back, centering the bracket and locating it flush with the top edge of the back -- this will secure the top of the back assembly to the frame.
Secure the wall cleat to two wall studs (or use wall anchors) and add bumpers to the bottom rear of the mirror. Hang the mirror and admire the view!