Asked on Aug 26, 2016

How do I fix or cover the spots on a flaking mirror?

by Tom
Looking for ideas to cover or fix small flaking spots on a large mirror. Spots are in the middle, so framing the edges won't work.
  16 answers
  • William William on Aug 26, 2016
    What you have is called "silvering". That's when moisture gets behind the mirror finish and starts to delaminate it. In your situation there is nothing you can do to repair the damage, but to replace the mirror.
  • Julie Julie on Aug 26, 2016
    I have the same problem on my bathroom mirror. I was thinking of doing faux stain glass or Gallery Glass around to hide it or artificial vines etc to decorate around it until I want to go through the hassle of taking it down, painting and going to the store to get another one.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Aug 26, 2016
    In my opinion it will cost you more to try repairing then it is worth.
  • Leslee Case Leslee Case on Aug 26, 2016
    If its an antique, repairing or replacing will reduce the value
  • Lindy Lindy on Aug 27, 2016
    Tom-Can you post a photo so we know what the mirror looks like and give the best advice? For example, if it's a really large bathroom mirror you could put molding over the damaged area.​
  • Barbara C Barbara C on Aug 27, 2016
    She says spots are in the middle. How do you put molding in the middle?
    • Johnchip Johnchip on Aug 27, 2016
      It does sound like a new mirror/wall bathroom type issue, and I agree putting a molding frame over it or a cabinet if a wall mirror is best solution. If antique it will need professional help that I would not advise as it will decrease value.
  • Darla Reed Darla Reed on Aug 27, 2016
    If the mirror is old? The silver flakes are make of mercury. This needs to be professionally repaired. Mercury is very toxic.
  • Sammokka Sammokka on Aug 27, 2016
    Check out some of Martha Stwart videos; she had one with using silver sheets and making an old mirror; called silver foil; craft stores; this might help. You could spray silver paint on the back side. Since it is a small spot you could try using a brush. I would experiment on something else before I did it. Check at the craft shop and You Tube. I would also contact a museum they do restorations and someone may be able to help you. I have repaired a lot of items by just asking and practicing on other items. I am restoring old books. When old mirrors were made they used spray mercury silver or silver foil was applied by hand with gelatin and a brush.
  • Sandra. Jackson Sandra. Jackson on Aug 27, 2016
    You can buy stick on patterns these days, I've used them and they work well or get some outline tubes make one flowers shapes and fill in with glass paints, I done the latter and it looked really good and it didn't cost a lot but it saved the mirror !
  • Darla is correct an antique mirror could have be coated with a solution containing mercury, or lead, depending on how old. Either are very toxic. If the material is flaking off, get it out of the house. Since mirrors are basically a glass sheet with a reflective coating applied to the back, you can get metallic paint, brush-on at a crafts store, or spray-on at a hardware store. We have had success touching up mirrors where the coating was scratched off by spraying it with metallic paint. You should test paint a piece of glass first and be patient matching an age finish is always tricky.
  • Sandra. Jackson Sandra. Jackson on Aug 27, 2016
    Outline tubes come in gold, silver, black etc, you cab buy them from hobby stores, make a outline in flowers or a pattern you like then let dry and fill in with glass paint, if I can do it anyone can, hope this helps as it did me, look luck !
  • Ann Ann on Aug 27, 2016
    I believe they make mirror spray paint. It's not true mirror but should be better than a blank spot.,
  • Sandra. Jackson Sandra. Jackson on Aug 28, 2016
    You could go that way but it might not look good and you've then ruined the mirror, as I said I have painted a pattern on the mirror , ie: flowers and they looked really good, friends and family couldn't believe that I didn't buy it, I hope this helps you,
  • Vicki Vicki on Aug 28, 2016
    Use vinegar to remove the mirror finish. Then go to a glass shop and buy a new mirror, asking for the thinnest glass possible. Place the new mirror behind the older glass.
  • Marta Ringelberg Marta Ringelberg on Sep 01, 2016
    There are professional people that restore antique mirrors. I have had a few done...a bit costly, but well worth it. RESTORATION is the answer.
  • Car3787789 Car3787789 on Sep 04, 2016
    I have a few antique mirrors that have the spots where the silver backing has flaked off. I actually like the look and chose to leave it that way. I have seen mirrors that have the new mirror behind the old stripped ones and they look really good