Mirror, mirror...

Anyone have any luck removing (a lot) of mirrors? I have a mirrored column in my house that screams 70's. I'd love to take it down and replace it with something a little more subdued but the parts I've tried chip and shatter into teeny, tiny shards. I'm looking at about 133 years of bad luck if all of them break! ;)
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q mirror mirror, diy, home maintenance repairs, wall decor, The infamous mirror column
The infamous mirror column...
q mirror mirror, diy, home maintenance repairs, wall decor, Not having much luck removing them in one piece
Not having much luck removing them in one piece!
  24 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Aug 13, 2013
    I have seen where a wire is slipped behind the mirror and is used to saw the adhesive. You may also have some better luck removing the drywall behind it and the mirror as a unit. I often use that trick when removing shower tile. Replacing a bit of drywall is better than picking up a million shards of glass.

    • Rachael Rachael on Aug 13, 2013
      @KMS Woodworks I'll have to look into that. :) The problem isn't the drywall though--I can't even get behind the mirrors because it's floor to ceiling. So weird and I'll be glad to have it gone, haha!

  • Markeita Markeita on Aug 13, 2013
    Put plastic wrap on the mirror to make sure it comes off clean. Then tap on it to break hopefully it will come off with the least amount of mess.

    • See 3 previous
    • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Aug 31, 2013
      @Rachael I feel so sorry for you. I had one of these long ago and one day I just couldn't take it anymore so I put on a face shield and starting knocking the crap out of it. Which was a disaster. My hubby came home and used duct tape in an X fashion, covered it up with painters drop cloth and whacked the rest without the horrific mess I made.

  • Diane Carlisle Diane Carlisle on Aug 13, 2013
    I was thinking maybe evenly strip duct tape on the entire mirror before attempting to remove. The shards of glass would hopefully then stay attached to the tape. Good luck!

    • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Aug 31, 2013
      @Diane Carlisle LOL Guess I should read the comments before I comment! hahahahah!! Yep that's what my hubs did, was better than what I did for sure!

  • Lots of duct tape and hammer. Put down disposable drop cloths to catch the shards of glass that the tape does not hold. once done throw away do not even attempt to clean. Once you expose the wall behind, you will then need to cut it away back to the framing and redo the wall. The black adhesive will not come off. This is not a fun or easy job to do. Be sure to wear all sorts of protective clothing, eye protection, heavy leather gloves, long sleeves and pants. The less skin exposed the better. In an attempt to remove larger sections, use a heat gun, a hair dryer will not be hot enough. And warm the glass up so it softens the adhesive that is bonding the glass to the wall. While a wire or actually a E wire from a piano is the glass mans method, Once its cracked the wire is really useless.

  • If you can get behind any of the mirrors with a shim(s), slowly tap the shim behind the mirror and you'll be able to hear the glue "popping", once you have enough space behind the mirror, a pry bar or hammer will give you extra leverage. I've removed lots of mirrors this way and very rarely break them. The tape on the front of the mirror is a good idea...just in case.

  • Jo Woodward Jo Woodward on Aug 14, 2013
    We wanted to remove the bathroom mirrors and replace them with framed mirrors. The first on was a mess!!! Then we decided to cover the entire mirror with duct tape. We tapped the mirror with a hammer and broke it up, pried it from the wall, but it all came down without splintering. The third one came down in one piece.

  • Tegma Tegma on Aug 15, 2013
    HGTV always uses tape on their mirror removals. Crisscross it from corner to corner, and if mirror is very large, use even more tapings. They also use a rubber suction tool....don't know if you could rent one, but perhaps a plunger would work the same way. Suction to the mirror, then pull, after scissoring with a wire behind it.

  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Aug 17, 2013
    I would NEVER take down mirrors..... I would embrace them.... some intricate molding, anything, but take them down.

    • Rachael Rachael on Aug 19, 2013
      @Sheryll S Did you see the photos? Some of them are already cracked and it's just not our style. :)

  • Cecelia Dawes Fonte Cecelia Dawes Fonte on Aug 19, 2013
    Go to youtube and look up mirror removal. You will find a couple of videos explaining how to remove mirrors from walls. I just removed 2 large, glued on mirrors and it was a lot easier than I thouoght.

    • Rachael Rachael on Aug 19, 2013
      @Cecelia Dawes Fonte I'll look into that--it isn't looking easy to me right now! ;)

  • Rhonda Nusom Rhonda Nusom on Aug 19, 2013
    Use a piece of piano wire to cut glue loose.Also painters tape on the mirror surface to keep it from falling on you.

  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Aug 31, 2013
    Oh dear, bad huh?

  • Sara Glenn Sara Glenn on Jun 25, 2014
    Cover them with a thick paintable patterned wallpaper or gather some sheers over wire attatched top and bottom after you've taped up the broken parts. or just roll on thick wallpaper paste and use heavy fabric like upholstery fabric or home dec fabric.

  • Sara Glenn Sara Glenn on Jun 25, 2014
    oops I just saw the date of this post. You've solved it by now I'm sure.

  • Robin Klinefelter Kerr Robin Klinefelter Kerr on Jul 04, 2014
    For future reference, I had to do this in a mobile home once and after placing tape on it I used fishing line. You have to place it behind the mirror, and holding it in both gloved hands work it slowly down, like a saw, until it is free from the wall. Worked wonderfully for me with no damage to the wall.

  • Sylvia Stevens Sylvia Stevens on Oct 15, 2014
    Used tape and wire worked fast and easy. Slide wire behind mirror and pull down.

  • Barb Burnham Barb Burnham on Jan 16, 2015
    All of ours have gratefully come off whole, without tape or suction cups. At this point i'd go tape and work it easy from the back. Keep bigger pieces (not shards) for an exciting mosaic either for garden or indoors or both. Lovely for plant stand, for example. And, no edges once grouted in place.

  • 4Real Linda 4Real Linda on Jan 28, 2015
    I have removed plenty and only broke my first. Yes first step is always tape. To save money on painters tape use masking tape and a lot of it for safety. Cross cross patern and fill large gaps in vertical or horizontal as needed. Before removing use box cutter or razor blade to score wall seam as parallel as possible to avoid damage behind. Repeat this until u know the edges are free from surface and remove any silicone or glue/calk/paint on edge you can. If u have a putty knife u can try to slide it behind flush with back of mirror to free up som more. Try to find out if more glue was used?? Then gently remove if mirror is free from surface. Tape edges of cracked pieces so u don't cut yourself and wear gloves to throw away or save some pieces for mosaic art. Worst case wear gloves and protective eye gear and have fun. Take a crowbar or chisel and gamer and smash some anger out. If any problems please message me

  • Rsd1152999 Rsd1152999 on Jan 30, 2015
    Don't forget to wear safety glasses! You don't want a shard of glass in your eyes. Good luck!

  • Pauliegirl1 Pauliegirl1 on Feb 06, 2015
    I used clear sticky back saran wrap?...but its the stuff they put down on NEW carpet to keep it clean while showing...or workers to walk on...you can get it at Lowes or Home Depot..it held all of the broken pieces!!

  • Barb Burnham Barb Burnham on Feb 08, 2015
    And, it's expensive if you don't use it all or have other uses for it.

  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Feb 10, 2015
    Rachel, what ever did you do? I see you had no carpet........still betting it was frightening to break down those mirrors. I have only had small experiences...... so wondering just how you did this? I have been lucky enough in the past to have big, but empty pup food bags to put glass chards into......... yikes.

  • Melissa Nelson Melissa Nelson on Feb 13, 2015
    I had the same problem in my home when we moved in! I covered them with duct tape...and i mean i completely covered them...then took a hammer and lightly broke them and they were much easier to take down because everything just stick to the tape. DO NOT USE THE CHEAP DUCT TAPE...IT'S DOESN'T WORK! They will come down in much bigger pieces if you don't go crazy with the hammer. Make sure you vacuum up the smaller pieces that do hit the ground. GOOD LUCK...I hope this helps you.

  • Cathy C Cathy C on Jun 22, 2015
    You might try using a heat gun on them to soften the glue behind them?

  • Judi Judi on Mar 20, 2016
    Be sure to ward off all evil spirits before taking down the mirrors***** we used a large putty knife to pry them loose***** very slowly.. to minimize breakage... plaster board will need repairs.