Rustic Barn Board Mirror

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 11-16-2010 06:09 PM 7661 reads 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Looking at my upper barn door that I made a couple years ago gave me the inspiration for a mirror. I used plexiglass in the door but will use a 12” square mirror (only $2 at our Dollar Store) for this project.

For the wood I’m using old barn board that actually came from this barn when I redid the upper loft section a few years ago. Of course my husband thought I was nuts to keep the wood, but it had character and was 1” thick, so I stacked it up in the loft to await the day I figured out what to use it for.

I left all the worm holes, although I cleaned them out thoroughly. I slightly sanded the wood to clean it up a bit, but tried not to get rid of the character. I even left the angled bottom and top, although that’s hard to see in the photos.

The first thing I did was make a dado across the bottom of my four boards that was the thickness of the cross piece. This way the cross piece (shelf) will sit into the groove and there will be less chance of anything twisting.

Here you can see the dado across all the boards:

and here is the cross piece/shelf sitting in the dado:

I left about 1/8” spacing between the boards and screwed them in from the back:

I took off the thickness of the mirror plus about 1/16” from the inside edge of the frame, this way the mirror sits half under the frame.

In order to frame the mirror I cut up some barn board into 1” square pieces with 45 deg. ends and long enough to frame the mirror.

These are the four frame pieces:

I screwed on a top 1” x 1” cross piece from the back as well as the mirror frame.

I stain any place where there are new cuts that look lighter in colour compared to the old wood. I use a mixture of vinegar and steel wool left overnight in an open jar and add water to that. Then I test on scrap wood for the right colour, sometimes adding just a little blob of either brown or black paint.

Here’s the finished mirror:

This is a very heavy piece, it measures 23 1/4” across and is 30” tall.

-- ~Julie~

7 comments so far

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 4112 days

#1 posted 11-16-2010 06:25 PM

Very cool project, nice job!

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View chrisstef's profile


18110 posts in 3885 days

#2 posted 11-16-2010 06:26 PM

looks great! I love seeing good lumber put back to use.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3717 days

#3 posted 11-16-2010 08:12 PM

Thanks for this super blog Julie! I don’t have a table saw though to cut dados etc. etc. I will have to improvise somehow. If you have any suggestions for me, send them along!

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Murf2499's profile


20 posts in 3685 days

#4 posted 11-16-2010 11:32 PM

When you ripped your boards into 1” strips, how did you maintain the rustic look. I would have thought you would have a side with a “fresh cut”

Looks great! I’ve been thinking of making some barnwood projects.

-- Murf, Clifton Park, NY

View ~Julie~'s profile


623 posts in 3913 days

#5 posted 11-17-2010 02:51 AM

Rivergirl – you don’t need the dadoes for the shelf across the bottom, it just helps make it aligned and stronger but you could just screw it like I did the top piece. As for the frame, you do need a lip to hold the mirror, but you could use two pieces, one that is narrower than the other and stacked up the narrower one underneath (did that make sense?)

Murf – I did describe the staining in the paragraph before the finished photo. The fresh cuts can be disguised with a watery stain… but practice first and wait for it to dry to see how it will look because it can darken quickly over just an hour, so you need to find the perfect “recipe” for your wood

-- ~Julie~

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3896 days

#6 posted 11-17-2010 08:13 AM

This is very attractive and I like it.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View MayflowerDescendant's profile


414 posts in 3665 days

#7 posted 11-17-2010 08:55 AM

Nice work! Thanks for sharing.

-- Glen - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics