I recently refinished an antique oak dresser. It originally had a mirror attached to it but it was long gone by the time I bought it. My wife asked me to take an old mirror from another dresser and to build a new mirror to hang above the newly refinished dresser. I wanted this new mirror to look as if it came with the dresser which was built in the early 1900s.

The front of the mirror frame was built using red oak 1" x 6" stock. I did rip it to measure 4" wide. The mirror is 38" x 24" so I designed the frame so that a 1" lip was available to adhere the mirror to the mirror frame. The corners of the mirror were mitered at 45 degrees. I attached the corners of the mirror frame together using 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.

My next step was to flip the frame over. I then used red oak 1/2" X 6" stock which I ripped so that a 1" lip was available for the mirror. I did not miter this and I attached this using wood glue and 1" finishing nails.

I then used red oak 1/4" x 2" stock and made a frame for the outside of the mirror. This was mitered. I attached it using wood glue and 1" finishing nails. I did set the nails and fill the holes with stainable wood filler.

I then did all my sanding using 120, 220, 320, and 400 grit sandpapers. I rounded the edges a bit.

The appliques were then attached using wood glue and a few 1" finishing nails. I did set the nails and used stainable wood filler.

My next step was applying two coats of gel stain. I then applied 3 coats of fast drying polyurethane. I did some minor sanding between coats.

I then attached the mirror to the frame using mirror adhesive. Next the backing from the old mirror was cut to fit down covering the mirror within the lip. This was secured using "points". Finally the back was covered using paper and double sided tape. A 200 lb. mirror hanger was then attached. It actually contained a bubble level on the hanger. I purchased this at Hobby Lobby.

Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
Red Oak
Finish Used
Minwax aged oak gel stain (2 coats) that I applied with a brush. I wiped it off after a few minutes using a cotton cloth. And three coats of Minwax fast drying polyurethane. It was applied with a brush and I did very minor sanding between coats. I will apply clear Briwax eventually for added protection.

Note: The gel stain was nearly out and I should have added a little mineral spirits or paint thinner to thin it out some. I didn't do this and I ended up with some blotchiness due to this.
Recommended Skill Level