How to Remove a Mirror Glued to the Wall

We’ve been doing a lot of home improvement around our house in the past year.  Mellow Man has been working on the upstairs bathroom, painting it, removing the old shower doors, and we even installed a closet. In case you didn’t know, Mellow Man and I bought my grandparents house shortly after my grandfather died.  I love my house, really love it.  I have spent my entire life in and out of this house, and my family is the only family to ever live in it.  The house is what my mother-in-law calls a “vintage home,” that is a split level built in the late 1950’s, so nothing is brand new.  That’s really okay with me because the house is filled with memories.  We have had four generations of my family living here.  It is a house built on love, but we’ve wanted to make some changes to make the house more modern and to suit our tastes.  Some of our household projects have involved bringing the electrical up to current code, and improving the insulation.  We’ve done more fun projects like redoing the hardwood floors, and done a lot of painting.   One of the tasks that I wanted to do was install a new mirror in the upstairs bathroom.  It was all that was left after all the hard work that Mellow Man had put in.  There was just one “sticking” point (pun intended), it was glued to the wall.

My Mom Made That: How to Remove a Mirror that is Glued to the Wall

There was staining on the old mirror.  It was from the adhesive used to  install the old mirror.  It drove me nuts.  I would Windex the mirror over and over, and couldn’t ever get it clean.    We initially didn’t realize the adhesive was the cause of the discoloration. I went ahead and purchased a new mirror in the same dimensions as the old mirror, and Mellow Man and his uncle attempted to remove the old mirror from the wall.  They couldn’t get it off without it shattering everywhere. Given that we have a lot of little people and animals using the bathroom, we really weren’t crazy about mirror shards.  While we looked for a solution, I now not only had to put up with the stained mirror, but there were now bits of wallpaper sticking out from under the mirror, and a line where the paint stopped.

My Mom Made That: How to Remove a Mirror that is Glued to the Wall

I turned to Pinterest and Google to find a solution, and we found suggestions that included removing and replacing the dry wall. (We thought that sounded like a lot of work.)  Someone we talked to mentioned that we could use a length of wire to slip between the mirror and wall to detach the mirror.  (We tried that and had no success.)  Then I went to the Haven Conference and talked to some of the professionals from 3M.  (In fact, it was Jenn in the Auto department who gave me this trick.)  I explained that I wanted a way to remove the mirror in as close to one piece as possible.  I wanted to find the safe way to do it.  Jenn told me to use Duct Tape.

My Mom Made That: How to Remove a Mirror that is Glued to the Wall

As soon as I got home from the conference, I told Mellow Man about the idea from 3M.  We purchased a roll of 3M Duct Tape and covered the mirror in overlapping strips as Jenn suggested. We made sure that the tape was securely attached to the mirror and ever bit of the mirror’s surface was covered.  Mellow Man then pulled at the mirror until it snapped.  However, when it snapped, the tape held and the entire mirror came off of the wall in one piece!  Success!  Now I don’t know if this would work for every mirror, but it was a lifesaver for us.

(Disclosure:  I did consult with the staff at 3M while attending, but I did not receive anything from 3M to complete this project.)

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Comments

  1. THis is such great information! Thanks so much for writing about this!

  2. How clever! I never would have thought of that! Pinning! 🙂

  3. Hope you and your family have a wonderful 2014!
    Glad to hear you go the mirror off. Never would have figured to use duct tape but it is quite a life saver 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this idea! It looks amazing.
    Love your blog.
    Happy New Year!

  5. Nice post! Believe it or not we have an ugly, old mirror in our bathroom just like this and we have been intimidated to tackle it, thus, putting the project off. I have hope! We are going to try this SOON!!!

    • Yeah, I didn’t mention how long we had a half-finished bathroom because of the mirror. We couldn’t come up with a solution for nearly nine months!

  6. Willow Scott says:

    That is a great idea. I wonder if it will work with mirror tiles (which are driving me crazy in our master bedroom)? I will have to try it.

    • Let me know. Again, the mirror still crack, it just keeps all of the shards together on the duct tape. We used the professional or extra strength tape.

  7. What condition was your wall in after your removed the mirror?

    • I didn’t remember any, so I just asked my husband to make sure that I didn’t misspeak. Removing the mirror this way, by duct taping and then pulling the mirror off, did not harm our wall in anyway. There was some residual glue on the wall that needed to be sanded down, but that wasn’t damage from the mirror removal.

  8. okay…best idea EVER! I want to get rid of a big bathroom mirror this year and this is brilliant! I’m pinning! ox

  9. Awesome info to know!! Thanks for sharing! Pinned!

  10. Pinning this for later! I’m sure I’ll need to do this in our next house. Thanks for sharing!

  11. What a great tip! I don’t have any mirrors to remove now, but will definitely keep this in mind for the future. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Works like a charm! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      • I have a huge mirror on our wall. I understand to put the duct on sothe shards of glass aren’t everywhere but what technique did you use to pull it off tools? Etc? Thanks!

        • We used a wire to slide behind it, to try to separate it. However, that didn’t work, so we ended up pulling it off with brute force. However, if you want to shatter it with a hammer, you probably are safe if you cover it thoroughly with duct tape.

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