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Leaning Mirror

Add big drama to an entryway, bedroom, or living room. Make this easy-to-build mirror in a weekend using basic tools and materials, and paint it to match your room.

Leaning Mirror

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Drill with 3/64-in bit
  • Miter box and handsaw
  • 180-grit sanding sponge and 180-grit sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Putty knife
  • Nail set
  • Clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Painter’s tape


  • 10.1 ounces mirror mastic, #197438
  • 1-3/8-in x 32-in x 80-in lauan hollow-core door, #10705
  • 1/8-in x 16-in x 58-in bevel-edge mirror, #26068
  • 3 - 1-in x 3-in x 8-ft oak boards, #1044
  • 2 - 3/4-in x 8-ft red oak shelf edge trim, #1071
  • 8d finish nails
  • #16 x 1-in brads
  • Valspar Signature paint, quart, Classic Lilac (#1002-5C)
  • Valspar satin spray paint, Royal Garnet
  • Rustoleum dark walnut wood stain, #165785 (choose a stain to fit your decor)
  • Elmers Pro-bond walnut wood filler, #35050
  • Aerosol semigloss spray polyurethane

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Add big style to any room with this door-size accent mirror. Cut a few pieces of trim to dress up a drab door and create your own style.

Prepare the Door

Step 1

Using painter’s tape and kraft paper or newspaper, mask an area where the mirror and trim surrounding the mirror will be attached to the face of the door (A) (Project Diagram, Drawing 1).

Good to Know

We masked an area slightly smaller than the size of the mirror and trim combined. That way, when the trim is applied around the mirror, the glue touches bare wood for solid glue bond -- and if the tape isn’t perfect, the trim conceals the edge.

Step 2

Apply the lavender paint (Classic Lilac #1002-5c) to the perimeter of the mirror as a base color. The additional layers of spray paint applied in the next steps will provide the contrast.

Step 3

Mask the door, scatter the leaves, and paint the door.
Mask the door, scatter the leaves, and paint the door.

Collect an assortment of leaves and scatter them over the dried lavender paint. When the surface is about half covered, mist the surface with the Royal Garnet spray paint. Allow the paint to dry for 10 minutes, then rearrange and mist again. Repeat for a third coat, and then let dry completely.

Good to Know

Different spray paints have different drying times, so read the manufacturer’s instructions. Some paints have a window of time that is recommended for the application of a second coat. If you miss that window, then you must wait 24 hours before applying more paint. Not following the specific recommendations can lead to curled or cracked paint.

Step 4

Apply mastic to secure the mirror.
Apply mastic to secure the mirror.

Place the mirror in the unpainted section of the door and measure the surrounding door to be sure the mirror is centered on the panel. When centered, trace the perimeter with a pencil and set the mirror aside. Apply mirror mastic inside the perimeter following the manufacturer’s instructions. Gently press the mirror into the mastic and allow the adhesive to cure.

Good to Know

Use adhesive specifically designed for mirrors. The wrong adhesive can lead to a poor bond and damage the reflective backing.

Trim the Door

Step 1

To protect the mirror as you complete the project, cover the surface with kraft paper and painter’s tape. Cut the pieces of horizontal trim (B) and vertical trim (C) 2 inches longer than called for in the Project Diagram, Drawing 1 and Cutting List. Then cut a 45-degree miter on the left end of each piece. Cut a piece of scrap trim about 4 inches long and miter-cut the right end.

Step 2

Test the miter joint, then mark the next cut.
Test the miter joint, then mark the next cut.

Place the miter of the short scrap against the miter on one of the four pieces of trim at a corner of the mirror. Mark the opposite end of the trim for the second miter and cut the piece to length. Repeat the process for the remaining trim around the mirror. Sand the parts with a 180-grit sanding sponge and set them aside.

Step 3

Repeat the technique from the previous step to cut the 1 x 3 mirror frame boards (D, E). Sand the frame boards with 180-grit sandpaper and apply painter’s tape to the back where they’ll be glued to the door. Then mask the back of the mirror trim (B, C). Apply stain and two coats of semigloss polyurethane to the oak trim and frame following the manufacturers’ instructions.

Step 4

Attach the mirror trim.
Attach the mirror trim.

When the finish has cured, remove the painter’s tape. Apply glue to the door around the mirror one edge at a time, and press the trim in place. Drill 3/64-inch pilot holes and drive the #16 x 1-in brads to fasten the trim. Repeat for the remaining sides.

Step 5

Test the final fit and secure the frame.
Test the final fit and secure the frame.

Apply glue to the door frame parts and secure them to the door, testing the joints as you go for proper fit. Drill 3/32-inch pilot holes for the 8d finish nails to secure the frame.

Step 6

Select a color of wood filler that matches the stain applied to the oak boards, and fill the nail holes.