How to restore a wall covered in mirror

karynJuly 8, 2013

There's two parts to this -

1. How the heck do you get an entire wall of solid mirror OFF the wall other than smashing it to bits?

2. What kind of mess can we expect to have to fix once it's done? Would it be possible to just paint over the mirrors and avoid this horror? (I'm guessing NO NO NO lol

We have two rooms to repair. If it's possible to get them off in one solid piece, I might try to give them away for free (you remove) on Craigslist!)


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karyn

Now I feel silly, I just found some videos and other instructions on this with a general online search.

One thing I would add to taping the mirror - I would also maybe cover the face in shrink wrap (flexible packing wrap). This stuff sticks to glass like saran wrap and would hold the pieces from falling if it breaks I think.

In the end I might just hire this one out - it sounds a bit scary for me to DIY alone.

This post was edited by karyn on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 11:53

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 9:20AM
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greendesigns_gw

Mirror is HEAVY, so no, it's not a solo DIY job. But, it is a beer and pizza group of (non inebriated) friends kind of job.

As to what will need to happen once the mirror is gone, that will depend on how much the mastic rips up the drywall. A couple of holes can be your entry level project to learn patching drywall. If it's a LOT of holes, it's usually best to just remove the drywall (DIYable) and have it replaced (potentially DIYable) then mudded and taped (pro stuff for that). That way, you can assess the insulation level and air sealing behind the walls that you might not otherwise get to address. And add some electrical too! It's much easier to do with the drywall down.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 10:02AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

We recently bought a home with mirror on the master ceiling! Earthquake California? Really? What were they thinking?

Our contractor taped it, and it was on so good, and was really heavy mirror, that they had to throw huge rocks up at it to get it to shatter. Took them a long time. Then they had to repair the dry wall, and re-plaster, but it looks beautiful now.

Good luck to you!

Suzi

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 10:50AM
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annzgw

Also remember to protect your flooring. I believe it's recommended to tape together pieces of cardboard and then tape all the edges where the cardboard meets the wall.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:45AM
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aidan_m

It's not that hard to remove mirrors in one piece. Using a wide taping knife, slip the blade behind the glass and pry around the perimeter. You'll be able to feel the globs of mastic. Pry gently but with enough force to break the mastic free from the wall. Quick little bursts of force will shake the mastic loose from the wall. After the perimeter is free, grab the middle of the top of the mirror and shake it loose by pulling it forward in the same manner. Have another person or two ready to help lift the mirror out of the bottom track after all the mastic comes free from the wall.

You may be able to get a mirror professional to take them off for practically nothing, especially if he can use them on another job.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 2:38PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

Nice thought, but it isn't that easy. Tape all you want, but it depends on the thickness of the mirror. If it's good quality, nothing will take it off, but a smash with a good hard rock!I lived through this drama, and I know. You need a professional to do the job.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 2:55PM
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karyn

Protecting the flooring is a great idea - mostly to ensure all the glass gets caught and collected. Last thing we want are fine slivers of glass all over the place left behind. Though I would hope the tape and shrink wrap would keep most of it under control as it comes down.

From what I've read, even smashing it is not something I would want to take on personally. We'll hire someone to do it for sure.

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 4:52PM
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aidan_m

Call a professional glass person. Smashing the mirrors is a foolish way to approach this. At least try to take them off in one piece. The way I explained it, is the way an old glass guy told me. I followed his advice, and it worked perfectly the first time I tried. I've done this job many times, it's not really hard. Sure, there is still a possibility the glass will break, but it probably won't. Protect the floors just the same.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Flatwatr

I had to deal with an shattered 8 ft sliding door until it could be replaced. I bought a few roles of contact paper and covered the glass. I'd think it would make a good preventative step while attempting to remove the mirrors.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 9:28PM
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