Install a Recessed Vanity Mirror

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Our bathroom is getting a mini makeover because there was a couple of things I could not stand any longer. Those things were the vanity light, vanity mirror, pipe storage, and artwork… There are other things I want to change but this is a mini makeover. The other day I shared our new vanity light and today I am sharing how we installed our recessed mirror.

Updated bathroom makeover

What do you think of the semi-updated space? Can’t remember what it looks like before, let me remind you! This is after painting…


Are you ready for the amazing part of this mini remodel? This new mirror cost us only $5… That’s right 5 whole dollars. If you’re wondering how I happened to find this gem at the ReStore store in our area and it was in almost perfect condition. I was originally planning on finding a mirror there and building our own vanity mirror but I just could not pass up this one for $5. So I brought it home and cleaned it really well.


Just so you know I have had this mirror for months just sitting in our basement waiting for its day to shine. We had other projects I needed to finish first plus wait until Eric went out-of-town for a couple of days so I could make the bathroom a mess.

Here are the supplies, I used to install our vanity mirror, please note I needed to do some drywall patching so you will maybe not need all the stuff listed.

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– recessed vanity
– 2×4 boards
– extra scrap board in different sizes
– scrap pieces of drywall
1.25 inch drywall screws (I had to use longer)
drywall tape
sheetrock mud (joint compound)
– 2.5 wood screw
– 1.25 inch screw to attach vanity to wall
– pencil

– drill
– drywall saw
– razor blade
taping knife
– level
Kreg Jig
– wood clamps

First thing to do is remove the old vanity mirror, ours was attached to the wall with 2 screws. And as you can see, we already have a hole because there was a recessed mirror at on point in this wall. Don’t worry I will share how to get your own because this hole is not the right size.

How to install a recessed vanity mirror

Next find the center of your vanity or light and mark it on the wall where the mirror should go. Then measure the part of the mirror that will go inside the wall. Then center and draw that rectangle on the wall. This is where you need the hole. Sorry my picture is not the greatest at showing this.

How to install a recessed vanity mirror

After take the razor blade and score into the marked shape (does not need to be very deep). Now if you really wanted to, you could punch a hole into the middle of the shape (just don’t hit a stud!) Or you could cut into the middle of the shape with a drywall saw, just be careful to not hit a wire or pipe. The point of this is to see what you have to work with.

Next take the drywall saw and cut an “X” from corner to corner of the rectangle (our just cut out the shape but I like doing it this way better). SIDE NOTE: You could hit a stud and watch out for electrical and water lines!

Once the “X” is cut, take one side of the drywall from the middle hole and bend it toward the scored edge of the rectangle (just like you would to cut drywall). It should break at the line but could break before, just keep doing this until you have your hole. Sorry no pictures of this whole process. TIP: If you know these are NOTHING behind the wall (small hole helps with this) you can just use a Sawzall to cut out the shape. This is what I did! TIP: Take your mirror and check your size and adjust if needed.

How to install a recessed vanity mirror

After the hole is open its time to add framing around the opening, so the mirror has something to sit on and secure to. If you have any studs in the way, use a Sawzall and remove them at the edges of the hole.

For the framing you want it to be the exact size of your rectangle opening. First measure the vertical opens, you want a stud to a stud because you will be securing more 2×4’s between the studs. Cut the 2×4’s to these measurements, then create two Kreg Jig pockets on each end of the 2×4’s (these will be used to secure the new 2×4’s to the old). After install the 2×4’s, using clamps to hold the wood into place, a level, and 2.5 inch screws.

How to install a recessed vanity mirror

Next attach some 2×4’s horizontally the same way. Mine looked like this after, not very pretty…

How to install a recessed vanity mirror

If you are lucky you will not need to do this next step. But because I had a hole in my wall that was bigger then I needed I had to do some drywall patching. See how to patch drywall here, or how I do it (I am still learning!).

How to install a recessed vanity mirror

How to install a recessed vanity mirror

Once the wall was patched and painted to the correct size, it was ready to install the recessed mirror. Do this by installing the mirror into the open space. Take a level and check to make sure things are level on all sides. Then attach your mirror with at least 1.25 inch wood screws (or the screws that are provided). I used 4 screws (one at each corner) to secure my mirror to the wall.

How to install a recessed vanity mirror

And that is how to install your own recessed vanity mirror. And because I love a before and after of a space, here is our bathroom again.

How to install a recessed vanity mirror

I LOVE how slim this mirror is, it makes our space feel bigger. Plus I love the size of this mirror (26.25″x16.25″).

And in case you’re wondering see our other tutorials on doing our mini bathroom makeover.

DIY Vanity Swivel Light
Move a Wall Light
Patch some Drywall
– Install Recessed Vanity Mirror (THIS POST)
Add Industrial Shelving
New Ceiling Light

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  1. That looks stunningly beautiful Megan, you’re making me want to try to do something similar. I’ve always had wall-mounted vanities instead but this looks so slick due to hiding the backboard. Problem is I don’t have half of your DIY talent! A pleasure to read as always.

    1. Thanks Joan! I have always had a wall-mounted vanity too but I LOVE how this style hides it all!!

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