In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a DIY Backlit Mirror. For a while I was looking for a ready-made large size mirror, but the prices were biting, so I decided to make one myself.
There are not photos for every stage (I did not plan to write an article), but I tried to describe everything in detail and make sketches. In addition, I did not give the calculations for the specific dimensions, as they can vary greatly depending on the size of the mirror you want to make.
My mirror is 114 x 76 cm
- Frame making
- Installation of fluorescent lamps (very easy to replace with led strip)
- Making a decorative frame from a baguette
- Putting it all together
- 2 fluorescent lamps, 30 W each (length approx. 910 mm)
- 2 fluorescent lamps, 18 W each (length approx. 605 mm)
- Fluorescent lamp fittings
- Beam or board for the frame
- Baguette or decorative profile for framing (I used a maple board)
- Glue (read the label! You need a glue suitable for mounting mirrors)
- Self-tapping screws
Stage 1: Sketch (drawing)
The basic idea is that there are two frames, one larger than the other. The smaller frame acts as a base for fixing the luminaires. The large frame (decorative) hides the lighting and electrics behind it.
Stage 2: Support Frame and Electrical
This is a very simple frame.
The sidewalls are long enough to accommodate the lamps and chokes. Wide enough to be able to replace lamps in the future when the mirror is mounted on the wall.
After the frame is assembled, it will be necessary to drill several holes through which the wires will pass.
You can find how to connect a fluorescent lamp on the Internet. I will give you a rather illustrative picture here.
The electrical part includes: lamps, chokes, starters, swivel holders and swivel holders with a starter holder, lamp clips, wires, switch and plug - you will find all this in an electrical store.
In an amicable way, it is necessary to include a capacitor in the circuit, but I did not do this. It is needed to compensate for reactive power (this reduces power consumption, increases the service life), the capacitance of the capacitor will help you choose in an electrical store, it depends on the choke you are using.
You can use electronic chokes, then you do not need starters and capacitors, but they are significantly more expensive.
All this can be replaced with an LED strip with power supply. It is much easier to work with it, although the brightness of the backlight will be lower. I did the old fashioned way and used fluorescent lamps, I would recommend you an LED strip.
Stage 3: Decorative frame (framing)
For the framing, I used an 80x25mm maple board. You can use a cheap baguette (if you find it) or any other board.
Making a framing board is as simple as 1,2,3 - if you have access to a stationary circular saw.
You need to make two parallel cuts to make room for the mirror and plywood, and a third cut to remove any excess.
Here's a hint, as soon as you prepare everything for the first cut, then do it on all boards at once, then you do not have to re-adjust everything for each board and ensures that the surfaces of the boards will match.
Once you're done with the cuts, it's time for finishing.
Firstly, we process the surface with sanding paper number 220-240 to get rid of minor defects and burrs, then remove the dust with a rag (use an old T-shirt).
Thereafter (I recommend if possible):
- One layer of wood conditioner
- Three coats of stain (color of your choice)
- One coat of varnish
Step 4: Installing the mirror
Now it's time to screw the plywood sheet to the main frame (with the lamps) and attach the mirror to the plywood.
I cut the plywood 65mm more (on all sides) than the base frame to hide all the electrics without darkening it too much.
I put the frame on a sheet of plywood in the center, traced the frame inside and out with a pencil, then drilled holes between the resulting lines.
After that, I turned everything over together, made sure that the holes hit the frame, and screwed the plywood to the frame with countersunk screws. Make sure the head of the screw is completely sunk into the wood. The mirror will be glued to this surface.
I cut a mirror of the correct size from a mirror from an old cabinet and glued it to the plywood with Liquid Nails.
Step 5: Installation
While the glue dries, we have time to assemble the decorative frame. To do this, it is necessary to saw down all the pieces of the profile at 45 degrees in order to join them.
The trick is to attach the decorative frame to the plywood with self-tapping screws, but the screws themselves were not visible. The easiest way to do this is to screw the screws on the back of the plywood.
Simply drill the pilot holes in the plywood every 10 cm with a drill, place the decorative frame on top and screw on the back with small screws so that they do not go through the decorative profile.
How do you hang the mirror now?
As you probably already imagined, the assembly of the mirror turned out to be quite heavy. For fixing to the wall, I took an 80x25 board, cut off 1/3 of the upper part at 45 degrees. Then I screwed the smaller piece to the mirror support frame, and the larger piece to the wall. Look at the picture, I think it's clear from it.
It took me about 20-25 hours to make it over a couple of weeks. I think you can do it much faster. You can ask questions in the comments, I will try to answer them.