Repurpose Your Bathroom Fixtures: Garden Mirror

Why would you repurpose your bathroom fixtures in the garden? Because you can! When we left off in our last post, we had a blank section of fencing at the entry to our backyard that needed a little somethin’ somethin’.

So far, we made over this bathroom light fixture! And to join it on the fence, Hubs came home with a curbside find that would complete my vision perfectly!

You Will Need:

Although the mirror glass and frame had separated, putting them back together will be remedied with the right choice of adhesive as you see further ahead. But it was just as well: repainting the frame without the mirror in it is so much easier!

Paint

Now onto the paint! As I was flipping through the Benjamin Moore paint deck, Basil Green caught my eye. So I custom mixed the paint colour using Break-Through paint; a great way to upcycle left over paint.

Before Hubs spray painted the mirror, he applied green painters tape around the inside of the frame. Because the adhesive will stick better when it comes time to reattach the mirror, we don’t want any overspray there.

Once dry, I removed the green tape to prepare for adhering the mirror.

Choosing an Adhesive

Because caulk is flexible at below freezing temperatures and weather-proof to stand up to rain and extremes in temperature, it’s the best choice for this project. However, I also wanted a product that won’t eat away at the mirror backing if it comes into contact with it. So we settled on not one but two different caulks.

The Winners

GE Silicone II will hold the mirror to the back of the frame and seal in the plastic backing. GE Silicone II is what’s called a neutral cure silicone, meaning that it’s non-acidic (so shouldn’t harm the mirror backing). Also, it is superior for outdoor applications. The only drawback of GE Silicone II is that it’s almost impossible for novices to smooth it out nicely.

In light of the drawback of the silicone, DAP Alex Plus steps up to keep the moisture out on the front of the mirror. As well as sealing the gap between the metal and glass, it will also look flawless. As an acrylic latex caulk, it can easily be smoothed with a finger dipped in water for a neater seal around the front. We purchased a clear formulation; it’s goes on white but becomes clear as it cures in 7 – 14 days.

Attaching the Mirror

Clean the glass well so there’s no dirt to resist the caulk.

Scrape away any old caulk that still happens to be on the mirror.

Starting with the GE Silicone II, cut off the tip of the tube of caulk on a 45 degree angle with a utility knife.

Pierce, Twice, Caulk Once ?

Use a stiff wire that’s long enough to pierce through the seal; our caulk gun happened to have a piercing tool on it, so we used that.

Put on disposable gloves. Also, after loading the tube into the caulk gun, depress it over a paper towel to make sure  the caulk is flowing properly.

Of course, we didn’t pierce the tube well enough so when I forced the caulk gun, caulk exploded out the back end! Like clockwork, it oozed all over the gun. Oops. Lesson learned: if the caulk doesn’t flow easily, don’t force it. Take the tube out of the gun and pierce it again.

Start in one corner and run a bead around the perimeter of the mirror.

Smooth it with a gloved finger. It doesn’t matter if it’s messy at this stage because we cut a piece of plastic backing to go over top. However, we let it set up only a few minutes so we could still press the backing into the silicone.

Backing

We added a corrugated plastic backing (the same type of plastic that’s used as signage) to prevent the back of the mirror from being scratched from plant materials growing around it.

Set the plastic backing into place.

Apply another bead of caulking around the plastic backing.

Smooth it out again with a gloved finger (wiping on a paper towel as you go). In addition, ensure that the caulk is in contact with both the metal and plastic backing to seal it.

Seal the Front Too

Let it dry for a day, then flip it over. I put painters tape along the metal and also around the mirror, leaving a slight gap so the caulk could make contact with the mirror but be both neat and discreet.

I switched over to the Alex Plus, cutting the tip at a 45 degree angle. Again, pierce through the tip to puncture the seal. And don’t forget to test it over some paper towel ?.

Since Alex Plus is latex, the bead can be smoothed with a finger dipped in water (no need to wear gloves this time). Use paper towels to wipe excess caulk off your finger as you smooth and re-dip in water as necessary.

Mind the Gap

Here’s a closeup of the gaps we’ll be filling:

Run a bead of caulk around the perimeter. At this point, it will look messy. As you smooth the caulk, you want to push it towards the metal in such a way that the gap is filled between the metal and the mirror.

Ensure all the gaps are filled (if not, got over it again and smooth before you lift the tape).

Let it sit for at least another 24 hours before hanging outside.

Although the GE Silicone II is rain ready after 30 minutes, Alex Plus takes 7 – 14 days to cure. For the first two weeks, if heavy rain is forecast, I plan to take both pieces down temporarily and store them in the garage so the Alex Plus has a chance to fully cure without being inundated with water. Maybe that’s not necessary, but why take a chance?

Waiting for Caulk to Dry

As we waiting for the caulk around the mirror to dry, we planted these wave petunias in the bathroom light fixture planter.

Let There Be Blooms!

The two repurposed pieces were finally ready to make their debut in our garden. So we popped the little pots of wave petunias into the sconces and mounted the light fixture right above the mirror:

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Look how beautifully the mirror reflects the rest of the garden and our newly blossomed day lilies!

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Here’s how the two pieces look together. Like they’re meant to be!

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Hubs didn’t initially understand my vision for using indoor bathroom fixtures in an outdoor space, buy he sure gets it now! Above all, he loves our newest garden vignette as much as I do 🙂

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The day lilies and wave petunias are a nice complement to the colour of the paint I custom mixed.

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We’ll see how the wave petunias do over the summer. But if they don’t survive in the small containers, we’ll switch them out with succulents – which are low maintenance.

Here’s a reminder of the before…..

and after:

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Have we inspired you to repurpose your bathroom fixtures in the garden? Then don’t forget to pin for later:

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More Garden Inspiration

I’ll leave you with this inspirational collage of our outdoor and garden projects.

You can find links to these project by browsing our garden category.

Featured on Hometalk.com

 

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20 thoughts on “Repurpose Your Bathroom Fixtures: Garden Mirror

    • Thank Cherryl! Now that I’ve repurposed these, I’m noticing them more in places like the ReStore. It shouldn’t take you too long to find something 🙂

  1. So awesome Sara. Love the way you think. That color is beautiful, it fits so perfectly in a garden and you choose purple petunias too. The contrast between the green and purple is very striking and I can just imagine how lovely they will look cascading all over the place. Your tutorials are really easy to follow and you explain every step so well. Pinning

    • Thanks so much for your kind words Michelle! When I first started the blog, I struggled to decide whether I should take a more entertaining approach with the tutorials vs. tons of detail. But at the end of the day I really want to make sure that others can recreate our projects if they wish, so I’m always happy to hear when they are easy to follow 🙂

      My first ever project was designing a bathroom for my first property – a bungalow. It was purple and green, if you can believe it, and I’ve loved that colour combination ever since. I don’t think many people would be brave enough to do that in a bathroom, but it sure looks great in the garden. Thanks for pinning!!

  2. This is such a great idea Sara. I never repurposed anything from the bathroom, but why not? That bright green paint makes them shine out in the garden.

    • Thanks Mary! This is a first for us too. We echo your ‘why not’. To us, just about anything is worth a try at upcycling! The worst thing that can happen is that we get a few belly laughs out of it if it doesn’t work out 🙂

  3. You are so darn clever, Sara. I love the way this turned out. I have some blank fence areas as well that could benefit from something like this. Your directions and thorough implementation of your vision are always so impressive. You could be a television personality showing how you create these masterpieces.

    • I have to laugh: I don’t know how interesting I’d be on TV; I tend to be so detailed that I think viewers would fall asleep by the time I got one project done – lol!

      If I had the time, I might put more effort into my YouTube channel. Right now I post quick snapshots of some of the projects I film with captions only. I like to keep them under 2 minutes to keep the viewers’ interest. Have you ever watched any of the videos? If so, do you think they might be better if they were real time and more instructional? I’ve never really thought to ask for feedback until now 🙂

      • Sara, I don’t usually watch videos, as I’m offing on-line when my family is asleep early in the morning. If you’ll put a few links after this comment, I’ll make an effort to watch a few. Another blogger I follow, Serena at Thrift Diving, does an excellent job with her DIY videos. She just received a YouTube award for surpassing a certain number of followers. I’ll find the link. If you monetize, it’s a nice revenue stream. My 16 year-old son made a compilation of music videos an made $3,000! I told him that sure beats his allowance!

  4. You have fantastic ideas and a willing accomplice, but I think I would have removed the electrical sockets. The film canisters make the plants look to ‘removed’ from the light fixture baskets.

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