DIY Home

A Renter-Friendly Hack to Upgrade *Any* Mirror

Possibly the simplest DIY I’ve done yet—with the biggest impact.

November 19, 2020
Photo by Caroline Mullen

I’m not sure what it was about the 80s and 90s that made homeowners and contractors decide that mirrored walls and closets were cool. Sure, they’re functional—no need to scour the web for an affordable floor mirror—but they make a blank wall or door pretty much dead space. If you own said mirrored wall, you obviously have free reign to rip it out, but as a renter, I sadly don’t have this liberty.

In my bedroom, I have not one, but two (I know, big time luxury) mirrored closets directly next to each other, and it’s just… way too much mirror. I knew upon moving in that I’d want to remove at least one door, so the one with built-in shelves is now free from its mirrored cage (the door has since been shoved into the hall closet to be reattached when I move out).

The other mirrored doors, though, remained a problem for me. The beveled edge around the perimeter—a really outdated detail—just added to my woes.

Initially, I was inspired by currently-trending industrial floor mirrors, and this TikTok viral way to hack it. But honestly, I had just finished a large furniture flip, and was tired of woodworking. Then it occurred to me: electrical tape. It’s cheap, easy to apply, and even easier to remove when I move out.

This small-but-mighty DIY could not have turned out better, in my opinion. Read on for how to recreate the easiest mirror makeover.

Before Photo by Caroline Mullen
After Photo by Caroline Mullen

What You’ll Need:

What You’ll Do:

  1. Start by measuring the height and width of your mirror panel to determine how big you’d like each “pane” to be. Each of the mirrors I covered were 76” x 17.5”, and I decided to make each pane 10.25” x 8”, creating 14 panes, i.e. the height divided by 7 and the width divided by 2.
  2. Measure and mark where you’ll add the electrical tape with painter’s tape, just so you have a guide. If this were a sheetrock wall, I’d use pencil, but alas, it is not.
  3. Add the electrical tape all along your guides, being careful not to stretch it too much, because it can get a little wonky. You can eyeball whether or not it’s straight, or use a level to be precise.
  4. That is… literally it. How easy?

Would you try this on your mirror or window? Let us know below!

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When I'm not writing & editing for Home52, I'm likely to be found DIY-ing a new piece of furniture (or restoring an old one), hanging things on the wall in my apartment, or watching hours of vintage RHONY.

1 Comment

ratgirl78 January 12, 2021
This is an awesome idea! Plus, with the astounding variety of decorative adhesive products available, you could probably find the perfect type of tape to suit your style. Washi tape and duct tape come in tons of different designs & even electrical tape comes in a range of colours. Not sure if it'd work or not, but what about applying a temporary adhesive to edge banding/strips of wood veneer? Hmm, so many possibilities with this simple DIY! Very inspiring, thanks!