Removing A Wall Mounted Mirror

 

istarr (istarr@sprintmail.com) writes:

I need to remove a mirror, approximately 4'x6' from a plasterboard wall.

It appears to be held on only by adhesive. No clips, clamps, etc.

Would like to remove with as little damage to mirror and wall as possible.

jim evans (evansmail@swbell.net) replied:

Smaller mirrors are sometimes attached with double sticky-back foam tape.  Larger mirrors are often attached to walls with dollops of an adhesive similar to construction adhesive (rarely silicone caulk). On the mirrors I've seen, these dollops are about 1 to 1 1/2 feet apart in a horizontal and vertical grid pattern.  After being pressed to the wall they spread out into 2-4" thin pancake like spots. A common way to get such mirrors off is to slide a piece of picture hanging wire, piano wire or Cut-Out wire behind the mirror.  Start at an upper corner and use it to saw through the adhesive blobs (or foam tape).  Be prepared for the mirror to fall at any time. 

Sometimes, if you can get something like a putty knife under the edge, you may be able to pry up gently while warming the mirror with a heat gun to soften the adhesive -- maybe even cutting the adhesive with the putty knife.  Once you determine the pattern of the adhesive spots this will begin to go faster. 

There's a good chance you will ruin the mirror and you may do some damage to the wall.

Assuming it's mounted to wallboard/sheetrock you may be able to pry/pull/tear it off the wall and then repair the damage to the wall. 

Smashing the mirror up to remove it is also an option.  See John McGaw's advice below.

TinMan1332 (tinman1332@aol.com) says:

Experience has demonstrated that both mirror and wall are probably going to be damaged. Depending on what was used to as an adhesive, you might to be able to save one or the other, unlikely both.

John McGaw (http://johnmcgaw.com) says:

. . . what do you have to lose if you have to smash it to get it out?

Before you intentionally smash it (or do anything else which might place it under stress) make sure to cover the entire surface of the mirror with a layer of the stickiest duct tape you can find and put down a drop cloth. The tape will usually keep bits from flying around but you still might have some small slivers of glass to contend with.  

[And use safety glasses -- jim]

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