This past week, I finally conquered my fear of working with wood after drooling over the beautifully stained bar over at Jenna Sue Designs. Difference is, I live in an apartment and have a hand saw, rather than an awesome power saw. Which is precisely why that saw has been sitting in a trunk for the better part of two months and I’ve been putting off any project ideas I’ve had. But last week I finally decided to get started on giving our bedroom a little love, beginning with our mirror.
We got this mirror right before our wedding last year because I realized we had no full-length mirrors and I really needed one to get ready on the big day! It’s just a standard mirror with a cheap plastic frame and when we moved into our current apartment in January, I just stood it up next to the bed. The frame was really starting to bother me though, and I considered getting it reframed before deciding it would be a fun DIY woodworking project to start with. I went to our neighborhood hardware store after work (a block away, so convenient!) and got a couple of cheap 1×4 planks. They weren’t in the best shape but I didn’t want to risk good quality wood in this initial venture. Plus, I thought a slightly weathered looking frame might work out well.
So I brought the planks home and got to work sawing. Matt was working from home that day – which was great because I was able to get his help. Hand-sawing wood is hard, and he’s a lot stronger than I am. I did most of it myself but caved in to his offer to help by the last cut. I made straight cuts rather than mitered cuts; I could have gotten myself a miter box but I wanted the frame to look a little boxy.
I used tape instead of clamps for this and it seemed to hold up pretty well – but clamps would have resolved the gaps between the planks better. I’ll invest in some pipe clamps soon enough.
I’d bought Minwax’s Provincial stain a while back for another project (which I’ll get around to doing now that I’m less scared of the hand saw!) and used it for this frame. It turned out to be a gorgeous deep, warm color and I absolutely love it. What I realized though, is that even when you wipe excess wood glue off, it won’t be completely gone, and it’ll prevent the wood from staining. My frame had a couple of blotches around the upper left seam, but overall it turned out well. I think I might try sanding those areas next time.
I left that overnight and used Minwax Paste Finishing Wax to seal the stain. It was my first time using finishing wax, and I might go over the frame one more time with more wax, because I’m not sure I got enough of it on there.
And here it is, leaning up in our room!
I love how much warmer it makes everything look.
Like I said, the room needs a little more love, and it should progress in the upcoming weeks! Stay tuned.