How to fix the brackets on this over-the-door mirror
September 5, 2021 2:34 PM   Subscribe

We got this over-the-door mirror for our bedroom, and the door space in the mirror's brackets is bigger than our door is deep, which causes the brackets to sit kind of weird and keep our door from shutting unless you futz with it. (I took some pictures to try to show what I mean.) How can we get it so that our door will close easily again without it looking like a terrible DIY hack-job?

  • We rent
  • We're reasonably handy but have never worked with metal before
  • If it's easy to fix we're happy to do it, but we're also happy to spend some money to get a good result if it's a trickier or more involved project
  • We have no idea who we'd call to greet someone else to do it
  • Thanks in advance!
posted by joshuaconner to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Use pliers to bend the supports so they're snug. Pad with some black or appropriate color duck tape to not damage the door.
Leave it when you go and a fair landlord won't care if the door is scuffed. (I was a small-time landlord)
posted by theora55 at 2:49 PM on September 5, 2021

I would find or make something to wedge between the back of the brackets and the door to fill the space as seen in your third picture. Ideally you would want something that is softer than the door so it doesn't mark or scuff, but not so soft that the weight of the bracket would crush it. Maybe you could get a plank cut down to slightly smaller than the extra space and cover it with felt and wedge it in there.

For bonus points, You could screw some hooks to the side of the plank away from the door (the bracket side), for hanging towels or a purse or whatever.
posted by arcolz at 2:50 PM on September 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'd just wedge it with cardboard until you get the right thickness. Cut it down to size. Then you can "disguise" it by adding a white paper cover.
posted by kschang at 3:18 PM on September 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have a similar issue with a clothes hanger on the outside of my closet door. The issue is that the brackets are really designed to go on the inside (frame side) of a door, with the extra bracket thickness protruding over the door into the room, and the mirror flush to the door. When mounted to the outside, if the mirror is pushed to be flush with the door when the the door is open, the brackets slide backward on the top of the door, and you need to slide them all the way forward (into the room) to get the door to close properly. I've been thinking about this, and there seems to be three options (none of which I've tried yet):

1: Re-bend the over the door hooks so that the two 90 degree bends line up with the thickness of your door. This will be very dependent on the specific material and coating that the hooks have. In my case, they are a rubberized metal, and I don't think it will work well. From your pictures, it's possible that you might have better success, though it could look a bit janky if you mar the finish or don't get a good bend.

2: Place a shim between the brackets and the door on the mirror side. You can't place them on the opposite side, because that's the side that needs to be closed in the door, and you can't have added thickness on that side. The shim would need to be the thickness of the bracket minus the thickness of the door (essentially making the door the same thickness as the bracket is designed for). This could be a piece of scrap wood of the appropriate thickness, or actual wooden shims meant for installing doors would probably work well (with some adjustment), and would be readily available at any hardware store. You'd need to attach the shims to the bracket or door somehow, so that they don't fall down over time. Since you rent, you could either put a screw through the mirror bracket into the shim(s) (making sure it's short enough to not penetrate the door), or use some command strips or double sided tape to affix the shims to either the door or the brackets. You could them paint the shims to match the door color or the bracket color, to blend in a bit. The mirror may then hang with a bit of a downward tilt, so you might need another shim at the bottom of the mirror to bring it back to vertical.

3: Screw through the top of the bracket into the top of the door. You'd need to countersink the screw heads into the bracket so they don't protrude too high and scrape on the door frame, but you could permanently position the brackets appropriately, and your landlord won't care (or know) about a hole in the top of the door. You'd probably still need the shim at the bottom of the mirror to adjust the angle to be vertical.
posted by yuwtze at 3:23 PM on September 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Whatever mods you do to the hooks make to sure make allowances for needing to pad the mirror, if it doesn't have them already, so they don't noisily slap against the door when it is opened and closed.
posted by srboisvert at 5:27 PM on September 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Facing the same issue for an over-the-door set of hooks, I added cardboard shims on the inside of the door to fill up the gap. I don't know that I'd trust myself to be able to successfully bend these sorts of hooks to be smaller without damaging something.
posted by Aleyn at 5:30 PM on September 5, 2021

Buy a couple of square adhesive door bumpers (they’re available in heights from less than half an inch up to an inch) and stick them to the top backside of the vertical part of the hooks on the mirror side.
posted by jamjam at 6:42 PM on September 5, 2021

See how bendy the metal is. If it is bendy then mark on the metal, where you want the bend to be. Then put the mirror face down on a workable surface. Make the new 90° bend. Carefully flatten out the old bend. If you have it in you and you have some tool, turn up both ends of the back holder and make a hanging half curl to hang stuff on. If the metal is bendy. If the metal is soft you can get a metal drill bit and push the bracket in like you want it and screw it in place from the top. They make screws with heads shaped somewhat like a funnel shape. which will sink into the metal enough to clear the door opening. Make the drill bit big enough and the screws just right.There are also some very useful two sided tapes on the market, or even one sided, white padded tape, that cushions where things meet. So you can put this on the underside of the metal where it touches the visible parts of the door.
posted by Oyéah at 7:27 PM on September 5, 2021

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