Mounting a Mirror on the Wall

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
My daughter bought an old dresser that had a mirror mounted to it using rails that extend from the back of the dresser to the top of the mirror. The rails did not come with the dresser. She wants me to hang the mirror on the wall behind the dresser. The mirror is very heavy. The problem is the frame of the mirror is quite narrow, and it appears to be plastic or at least some plastic-looking material. It has gotten brittle over the years. Naturally, my first thought was to add a wire on the back connecting to the frame on each side using one of the existing screws. That idea will absolutely not work. The frame is too brittle. My second thought was to create a new insert on the back (the present one is hard cardboard type material that is not as robust as regular hardboard), and attach the back to the mirror with construction adhesive. Because of the narrow frame, mounting the mirror could still be a problem. A few moments ago, I got the idea to create French cleats using 1/2" plywood and attaching the cleat on the mirror using Liquid Nails. There would be a 1/2" spacer at the bottom to make sure the mirror is properly spaced on the wall.

My question is whether a French cleat attached to the mirror with Liquid Nails is strong enough to keep the mirror from falling off of the wall. The mirror is 30" x 40". I'm terrible at estimating weight, but I'd guess the mirror weights 25 to 30 pounds.

A third option is to remake the frame in wood. It's a rather ornate frame with curves and scallops, which are beyond my skill level at the present time.

The construction cement idea appealed to me because I've seen bathroom mirrors installed that way. I've never seen one fall off the wall, but I don't have a lot of exposure to that, either. Any other thoughts are suggestions are welcome. It's very important from a safety perspective that this mirror never fall off the wall!
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
The bathroom mirrors were mounted using a product call "Mirror Mastic," which is specially made to not react with silver backing on mirror. When I hang heavy frames to the wall, I use the pentagon method of attaching the mounting wire. Wire is first attached to bottom rail of frame about 1/4 the way in from ends of frame. Then it passes thru a screw eye, located on the side rail, near the top of frame, then passes over frame in usual manner. This allows for the support to be at the BOTTOM of the frame, rather than the sides. From the back, your wire will look like a pentagon, with the bottom being the actual frame.
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Thanks for the information about Mirror Mastic. Would you think it would work in my application to permanently bond the mirror to plywood?

I've been thinking about the pentagon method, which makes a LOT of sense. However, in this instance, the frame is just as brittle at the bottom as it is on the top. I read the thread on epoxy and even thought about filling in the frame (it's hollow) to add strength, but I tend to overkill these things.

In further reading, the instructions seem to suggest a bottom support in addition to the mastic. I may have concocted a way to do that.
 
Last edited:

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I would have a nice frame made at a picture framing store. It may cost around $150-200 for that size. But the end result and peace of mind will be worth it.
 
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Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
If you like the mirror and it is of good quality, spend the money to replace the frame.
Also, there is a plastic sheeting (olifin?) that can be applied to the back of the mirror to increase the stability and integrity of the glass. It is like 10-15 thousandths. Might look into the options where doing the modifications.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
I would have a nice frame made at a picture framing store. It may cost around $150-200 for that size. But the end result and peace of mind will be worth it.
Being a woodworker, why not just make the frame yourself? For a mirror, it doesn't need to be fancy. You want the attention drawn to the mirror, not the frame. How long would it take to take some stock, add a rabbet, then miter cut to length? Maybe even a lap joint at the corners instead.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Being a woodworker, why not just make the frame yourself? For a mirror, it doesn't need to be fancy. You want the attention drawn to the mirror, not the frame. How long would it take to take some stock, add a rabbet, then miter cut to length? Maybe even a lap joint at the corners instead.
Mike seemed to be hesitant to build a frame so in that case I say go ahead and buy one to get the project done. Of course you or I would and have made elaborate ornamental frames. Just not always expedient.
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Why don't you rig up some rails off the back of the dresser to attach the mirror to? You could even use some wood to match the dresser.

Roy G
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
Why don't you rig up some rails off the back of the dresser to attach the mirror to? You could even use some wood to match the dresser.
That's certainly an option being considered. I may have found a way to mount a bottom support on the frame that will not be visible. The mirror is at my daughter's house, so I'm not sure if there is enough room. If I can add some bottom support, my confidence in using Mirror Mastic will increase significantly.
 

patlaw

Mike
Corporate Member
I have attached a weak frame to a sheet of 1/8 ply to have something to attach to.
That was my first thought which is why I was asking about construction adhesive. I have some ideas, so I'll let the group know what happens.
 

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