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How to Remove a Glued-On Mirror

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You’re ready to put up the finishing touches on your new bathroom decor, or you want to move the vanity table in your bedroom. All that’s left is to take a mirror down from the wall, but instead of being clipped up, the mirror is stuck to the wall with glue. Don’t despair; a few clever DIY tricks will help you remove a glued-on mirror. You’ll have that mirror down in no time.

Tools Needed

  • Drop cloth, carboard or old sheets
  • Packing or duct tape
  • Heat gun or hairdryer
  • Crowbar
  • Shims
  • A wire wider than the mirror

Tip: Always wear shoes and gloves when trying to remove a glued-on mirror. If the glass shatters then you can avoid injuries. Safety glasses are also recommended.


5 Steps to Safely Remove a Glued-On Mirror

Setting Up for Safety

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First, you want to protect the area around the mirror in case the mirror should fall or shatter. Place flattened cardboard boxes or an old sheet or drop cloth over the bathroom sink, completely covering it. If the mirror is mounted on the wall above the floor, do the same thing for the floor under the mirror.

Next, place strips of packing tape or duct tape across the mirror in several directions. You may want to cover the entire mirror, or you may simply want to place strips of tape every few inches along the mirror. Either way, the tape keeps shards of mirror from flying everywhere if the mirror shatters.

Heating the Glue

With a heat gun or even a hairdryer, you may be able to soften the glue holding the mirror up. Start by applying heat to the corners and the edges. It may be hard to figure out where the glue spots are in the middle of the mirror, but you know there will be glue around the edges and especially at the corners, so pay special attention to these areas.

Prying with a Crowbar

Many people have luck prying at the mirror with a crowbar. Start by sticking some shims between the wall and mirror to create a little more space between them. Then, wedge the crowbar at one edge of the mirror. Gently apply pressure to see if you can get that edge to lift from the wall. If you’re lucky, you’ll start to hear the glue unsticking. If not, keep that part of the mirror away from the wall with shims, and move to a different area of the same edge.

Sawing with Wire

You might also want to try separating the mirror from the glue with a piano wire or a guitar string. Slip the wire behind the mirror at one corner, and pull down with a sawing motion to cut through the glue.

Using a Spotter

This is one DIY project you probably don’t want to do alone. No matter how careful you are, accidents happen, and you don’t want the mirror to come crashing down on you as you’re prying it off the wall. The best way to use a spotter is to have someone stand on the opposite side of the mirror from you. As you employ whichever unsticking method works best, your helper should very lightly touch the mirror and be ready to take its weight if it comes down. Wear protective gloves in case anything shatters.

Be careful when pulling down a mirror; it’s always safer to have someone else there with you. As long as you’re diligent, however, there’s no reason you can’t get this DIY project done relatively quickly.

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