I have a 5' x 6' mirror in a bathroom that has to go. It was glued on the
wall 30 years ago. Any ideas how to get it off without breaking it? It's
tight up to the ceiling and one wall. I don't think I can get a wire behind
When I worked on re-glazing some old windows, some could not be saved
because the putty was
rock-hard. I bought some old, discounted Contact paper, covered the
window and gave it a bash
with a 2x4. The glass went out, mainly in large pieces all stuck to the
Contact, onto a plastic tarp.
One pane actually popped out intact and landed, leaning, on the outside
With adequate protection for the people and the area, you can probably
use similar method for a
mirror. I would cover most of the mirror with Contact or similar
adhesive, leaving about three narrow
seams for scoring with a glass cutter. Then rig braces to keep loose
sheets from falling all at once. Press a 1x
along the score to cut the glass into manageable chunks. Remove
braces. Smash what is on the
wall. The adhesive likely doesn't cover the entire wall - probably
around edges. What remains
can probably be managed with the piano wire..........looks good on paper :o)
1. Take out the wall. The mirror will come with it.
2. Read "The Cask of Amontillado*," and drywall over it.
* "No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let
it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My
heart grew sick; it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so. I
hastened to make an end of my labour. I forced the last stone into its
position; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I re-erected the old
rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In
I remember reading about how you could use a wire to cut through the
glue and release the mirror and reuse it. The mirror I was trying to
salvage was in good shape. When I tried the wire trick, the mastic
just kind of yielded and seemed to remelt behind the cut from the heat
of friction. It gummed up stranded wire, so it would not do much. In
addition, all the action started removing the silver backing on the
mirror edges. On top of that , there was not much room on one side to
maneuver the wire, so I could not put much leverage on the wire. After
an hour of getting nowhere, I taped up the mirror, put a couple of
pillows over the vanity with a drop cloth and plastic over them and
hit the mirror with a crowbar just with enough force to break the
mirror into pieces (wearing safety glasses). The $40 for a replacement
mirror was worth it. I am sure the wire trick works, but depends
critically on just what type of mastic or material was used to install
Here's a technique I use, but you need space at the edge(s) of the mirror,
depending on the size. Use wood shingles, not shake, and tap them in along
one edge, spaced about 6" apart. Tap them in slowly, each a little bit at
a time. The mastic will separate from the wall and the mirror will slowly
come off. You will need to keep adding shingles as the gap gets larger, or
use other shims. Have a way to "catch" the mirror as it comes off.
This doesn't work if there is no access space at the edge.
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