You have a bathroom mirror that is attached to the wall — and you’d like to replace it — but you can’t see any clips or fasteners holding it in place. What now? Most likely, the mirror has been glued to the wall, which means it may be a little trickier to remove than if the original installer had used clips. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible!
Here are three methods to show you how to remove a mirror glued to the wall.
Method 1: Heat and Pry
This method for how to remove a glued-on mirror means you’ll need a sturdy drywall or putty knife, a drop cloth of heavy canvas, and a heat gun or a blow dryer. Heat guns are preferred — they’re relatively inexpensive to purchase, and they get much hotter than a blow dryer, which is ideal for melting adhesive.
Start by spreading your drop cloth, then use the heat gun to warm the mirror. Focus on a small section at a time, starting in one corner. As you warm the mirror, try to slide the putty knife beneath it. Eventually, you should start to feel the glue soften. Continue heating and prying with the putty knife until the mirror comes free.
Some recommend covering the mirror with tape for this method in case the glass breaks. If you’re using a heat gun, it will melt the tape’s adhesive and possibly the tape.
Method 2: Use a Wire Saw
When it comes to how to remove stick-on mirrors from the wall, a wire saw is one way. Here, you’ll need a drop cloth and a wire saw long enough to fit behind the mirror — perhaps a partner to help you, too. Work the saw behind the mirror and use it to cut through the adhesive.
If you have someone assisting and you’re using a wire saw featuring rings to help you pull it (as opposed to a wire saw with a wooden handle), ask your helper to pull one ring while you pull the other. This will make the process a little easier.
Be aware, though, that using a wire saw is possibly the toughest and most time-consuming of all methods — not only because the cutting process is slow, but because the wire saw will clog with adhesive and need to be cleaned often.
Method 3: Break the Mirror
If you’re looking for the easiest method for how to remove a glued bathroom mirror, this is it — but it’s also the most dangerous and damaging. You’ll need a hammer, safety glasses, leather gloves, drop cloth, duct tape and putty knife. Spread the drop cloth to catch broken glass, and put on your safety glasses and gloves. You can cover the mirror completely with duct tape or place duct tape every few inches across the mirror to help capture shards of glass and make cleanup easier.
Once you’re prepared, go to work with the hammer, striking the mirror hard enough to crack it but not so hard that you crack the drywall beneath, too. As the broken pieces start to come away from the wall, use the putty knife to pry any remaining pieces stuck to the wall.
Preparing for Your New Mirror
Whichever method you use, there will likely be damage to the wall behind the mirror. Often, this will just be adhesive remnants, in which case, you will need to learn how to remove bathroom mirror adhesive — usually with heat or by scraping it. There could be scarring or damage to the drywall, too, especially if you used a hammer to break the mirror.
If you’re planning to replace the mirror with one that is the same size or larger, simply make sure that the wall is smooth enough so that the mirror can rest flush against it. Often, this means using your putty knife to scrape raised bits of glue.
If the drywall needs to be repaired, then you have a bit more work to do. Smooth the drywall using sandpaper and your putty knife. Then, get some spackling or joint compound and appropriately sized spackle knives (wide ones for large holes or extensive damage, narrower for smaller holes), and use them to smooth the spackle into holes and cracks.
Let the spackle dry. On larger jobs, you may notice that the spackle shrinks as it dries. If so, put another coat on and repeat the process until the spackle creates a smooth surface. Use a drywall sander to create a smooth texture and remove any raised bits of spackle if necessary. Then you can prime, paint and install a new mirror.
When you’re ready to install that new mirror, we recommend hanging it with clips or fasteners. It should be much easier to remove, if needed — as you can see in this post about removing mirrors fastened with clips. Second, be sure to check out the selection of mirrors available here at Modern Bathroom.