Before remodeling a bathroom and adding a new vanity mirror, you may have to remove a bathroom wall mirror. Builder grade mirrors that are attached to the wall with adhesive are common in many homes, especially older ones. Try this technique for removing a mirror from your wall. You can replace it with a new, modern one easily and safely with these instructions.
Remove a bathroom wall mirror
Here's how to remove a glued-on mirror quickly and safely
You’re ready to put up the finishing touches on your new bathroom decor and all that’s left is to take a mirror down from the wall, but instead of being clipped up, the mirror is glued to the wall. Don’t despair; these DIY tricks will have that mirror down in no time.
How to remove a frameless bathroom mirror
When we moved into our home almost 10 years ago the bathroom mirrors were already installed. They were the original ones that came with the house and instead of being hung from the wall they were permanently attached with some sort of adhesive.
I have been remodeling my bathroom over the past few months and sharing the progress on this blog. I knew the mirror had to be taken down in order to hang the new one I purchased. Removing what is essentially a large sheet of glass that is attached to the wall can be scary and dangerous if you are unprepared.
Safety Tips for removing a mirror in your bathroom:
- Wear long sleeves
- Wear safety goggles
- Cover your surfaces with a drop cloth to catch mirror pieces
- Work with a friend for help
- Wear thick leather gloves
- Use extreme caution and common sense to prevent cutting yourself
There are several methods that you can use to remove the mirror and you will likely have to use more than one of these methods. I used a combination of a guitar string method and the crowbar (hammer) which you can see in this video I made.
Please don’t judge me based on my outfit and hair in this video. Clearly, I don’t wear my best clothing or bother to make myself up before doing DIY projects. I'm wearing my ugly Christmas sweater since it was laundry day. This is #realife.
Before you start to remove the mirror make sure you have the following supplies:
- Heat gun/hair dryer
- Thick packing tape
- Piano or guitar wire
- Wood shims
- Drop cloth
Start by pulling at the mirror to test the strength of the adhesive and where it may be located.
You may want to use a heat gun and heat the mirror to try to soften and melt the glue between the wall and glass. You can use a heat gun or a regular hair dryer. Turn the device on the hottest heat and blast the warm air over the glass for a few minutes.
I didn’t use a heat gun or hair dryer because we actually don’t have either in our house (we all have short hair so I gave my dryer away a few months ago). If you don’t have one either, no worries. It’s nice to have, but certainly not essential.
Apply packing tape over the mirror in a cross-cross pattern. This will help keep the mirror together if it shatters. This is an important step that you don’t want to skip. Watch the video if you don’t believe me. Duct tape will also work for this purpose.
Next, use a guitar or piano string and grasp it in each hand. Slide it behind the mirror and move it back and forth in a sawing motion to try to cut through the adhesive. This worked to help loosen the mirror but I still had to pry the mirror off.
If the piano or guitar string doesn’t work use a crowbar and try to pry the mirror up by the sides. Use wood shims to stick behind the mirror to help pry it up. I just used the end of my hammer and it worked fine but a crow bar and shims would have been easier.
You’ll notice there is a lot of “do as I say and not as I do” in this tutorial. I prefer to call It, “Learning from my mistakes so you don’t make them” 😉
Keep prying the mirror up in different places until the mirror pops off. This step is easier if you have a friend to help you. Ideally one person would hold the mirror steady as the other pries it off the wall. I didn’t have any help and I still managed to do it by myself but it would have been easier with someone else.
If you don’t want to recycle the mirror or if it cracks like mine and isn’t reusable, place it on a drop cloth and the cover it with the cloth. Smash the mirror with a hammer until it breaks into small enough pieces to dispose of easily. Obviously, keep your safety goggles on for this part.
This was the only part of the project where I cut myself. I was cleaning up the pieces of glass on the floor and I stabbed myself in the knee with one of the shards. I didn’t cut myself too badly but wearing thick jeans and watching what you are doing will help prevent that.
After all the big shards have been cleaned up, vacuum the entire area. Use a flashlight and shine it around to look for more little pieces you may have missed. The light will reflect on the tiny pieces of glass, making them easier to find.
How to Remove Bathroom Mirror Adhesive
After the mirror is off the wall there may be adhesive and glue gunk under the mirror stuck to the wall that you want to remove. Try using the heat gun or a hairdryer to heat the glue and using a putty knife to scrape the mirror glue from the drywall
Repairing Drywall after bathroom mirror removal
Now you can see that the mirror is off, we have to do a little drywall repair which we will get to next week. I will show you how to easily do a knockdown drywall texture on your walls. This is a great option if your walls have damage, lots of nail holes or a current texture that you don’t like.
So far for this bathroom renovation project I have ripped up the old tile floor, installed a DIY ship lap accent wall and removed the wall mirror.
Next, after I add texture to the walls and repaint them I will be replacing the toilet, adding brick floor tiles, replacing the vanity, and installing new baseboard molding.
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