How to Repair Mirror Desilvering

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Mirrors decorate your home beautifully. However, mirrors in the home are vulnerable to desilvering, especially bathroom mirrors.

Since they are exposed to moisture, they are most prone to desilvering.

Read on to find out how to repair mirror desilvering.

How to Repair Mirror Desilvering

Let’s start with: what causes desilvering on mirrors?

You may notice black spots on the edges of your mirror. This happens from repeated water buildup on the edges of the mirror.

Everyone loves a hot shower, and when you are done with the shower, you will notice a buildup of steam on the mirrors and walls. Wiping it away can collect the water along the edges of the mirror. As well, when mirrors get cleaned, they can collect some moisture along the edges.

The moisture penetrates the silver coating on the back of the mirror, causing it to separate from the glass. And if overlooked, it slowly grows day by day.

How to Prevent Mirror Desilvering

An edge sealant for mirrors will help prevent black spots from forming.

While applying it to the back of your mirrors, on the edges, make sure you have plenty of ventilation. Allow it to dry before placing it back on the wall.

Mirrors are decorative as well as functional. It is a key part of home decor and is a must-have in the bathrooms. Unfortunately, mirrors are often overlooked in home maintenance.

Other than sealing the edges, some maintenance can prevent or slow down mirror desilvering. When water splashes onto the mirror, like during vigorous hand washing, you could dry the edges of the mirror.

How to Repair Mirror Desilvering

Mirrors come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles, and yet the way mirrors are made hasn’t changed much over the years.

Typically, a mirror is made by coating a thin layer of aluminum or silver on the back of a piece of smooth glass.

If a mirror has small cracks or scratches, it can be repaired.

Small cracks can be cured with a glass repair kit.

A resilvering spray will help cover black spots caused by desilvering.

As for professional resilvering of a mirror, the typical range will cost from $110 to $330 depending on your mirror’s size and condition. Resilvering is a complex process that involves repairing the damaged silver or aluminum layer on the back of the mirror.

More Ways to Repair Mirror Desilvering at Home

A mirror finish tape can help you cover the edges of mirrors that have black spots. Clean the edges of the mirror with rubbing alcohol and a lint-free cloth.

Next, carefully apply the mirror duct tape. A neat application will get the best results.

Finally, use a fine precision knife to cut off the tape hanging from the mirror edges. This will give a neat, clean cut.

You will now have a new framed mirror border.

There’s 2nd easy solution that will get rid of scratches and desilvered spots.

A mirror vinyl wrap can be placed on top of the mirror for a new mirror surface.

You can install the vinyl wrap with instructions in this video:

How do Professionals Repair Mirror Desilvering?

1. Removal of the mirror back coating

The first step of the resilvering process is the removal of the old coating.

A number of desilvering kits can be found in the market. Each desilvering kit comes with specific instructions that are followed.

Beginning with an industrial-grade paint remover to clean the surface with a moderate amount of solvent.

Once the paint is removed, use a solution of nitric acid to remove the silver.

The harsh chemicals used in this process is not good for your health, that’s why you should use a painter’s respirator.

Always be aware of your safety first and stay be careful about cutting your hands on sharp glass edges.

Once the old layer of paint is removed, clean the glass thoroughly to remove any debris.

It is essential to clean the surface before moving on to the next step because dirt left behind will show up as blemishes in the finished product, which won’t look pretty.

2. Applying silver nitrate evenly

The second step is to reapply the silver. To do this, you need to evenly coat the cleaned side of the glass with silver nitrate mixture.

This mixture bonds well with glass directly. Allow the coat to dry completely for 24 to 48 hours.

Waiting this long will be worth it for the final product turns out pretty good.

3. Adding a coat of copper paint

The final step is to apply a coat of copper paint that seals in the silver.

Cover this layer of metallic paint with one or more coats of gray paint to make the coating strong.

These final layers help prevent scratches and damage to the reflective coating.

Resilvering a mirror is not a quick task.

Finally, allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next one; otherwise, the coats will not be smooth. The glass needs to be left to dry and cure between each coat of material, so make sure that you have a workspace dedicated for this job that will be undisturbed for several days to a week.

How to Fix a Scratched Mirror Back
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