Black Spots On Mirror

I have a black, rust like stain that has appeared on my bathroom mirror. It doesn't seem to be on the surface of the glass, but seems to permeate right through. Any ideas what caused it and how to get rid of it?


By Suzanne from Swansea, MA

August 26, 20100 found this helpful

It may be easier to buy a new mirror.

Hide the Damage with a Frame

How to Resilver a Mirror

Additional Tips and Information

There are several causes of black spots on a mirror. If the black spots are around the edges, it is likely that the cleaning product used to clean the mirror has gotten behind the glass and damaged the back of the mirror. If the black spots are in the middle of the mirror, it is typically caused by moisture or cleaner reaching the back of the mirror and causing damage. Unfortunately in either case, there is no way to remove the black spots. The only solution is to repair the mirror by painting a new finish or disguising the spots. Here are a couple of ideas to help hide them.

Hide the Damage with a Frame

What You Will Need:

Decorative glass beads or tiles

Liquid lead

Stained glass paint

Mirror stripping (available at most home improvement stores)

How to Hide the Damage:

If the damage is around the edge of the mirror, you can make a frame out of several different materials to cover it up. Use your creativity! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Glue decorative glass beads or tiles around the mirror. If there are also some spots away from the edge, you may be able to add some accent beads on top of them.

Mirror stripping can be placed around the edge to cover the damage, make a frame and keep the edges mirror function.

If you can remove the mirror from the wall and lay it flat, you can outline some designs with liquid lead and fill them in with stained glass paint for an original look.

How to Resilver a Mirror

If your mirror has severe damage and there is no way to creatively cover it up, you may want to consider removing the silver backing and placing a new piece of mirror behind it. This can be done for you for a high price, or you can do it yourself for much less. Here's how it works:

What You Will Need:

Face mask

Razor scraper

Chemical Silver Remover (optional)

1/8 inch mirror cut to the exact size of your original mirror

Steps for Resilvering:

Prior to beginning this project, check the date of the mirror. If it is an antique or very old, it may have been made with mercury and other harmful agents. Consider leaving the mirror alone or having a professional strip it for you. If you decide to conquer it yourself, be sure to wear protective clothing, gloves and mask to avoid any risks or injury to yourself.

Begin by removing the mirror from the wall and placing it face down on a sturdy surface.

Use the razor scraper to carefully scrape away the existing silver backing. Be sure to dispose of this properly to avoid contamination.

If the razor will not remove the silver, consider a chemical remover made especially for this purpose. They are available at some home improvement stores.

Once all of the silver is removed from the back, the easiest method is place a new mirror behind the old glass. It is possible to place a new silver coating on the back, and there are some sites that are dedicated to instructing the process. However, it is quite difficult.

Fasten the 1/8 inch mirror to the back of the glass and return it to it's original location on the wall.

The mirror should look good as new!

Additional Tips and Information

Always ensure that you are disposing of the removed silver appropriately. Older mirrors contain harmful substances that can be dangerous if put in with regular trash.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
August 27, 20100 found this helpful

The problem is not on the front. The back film is starting to peel. You could consult a glass company but I bet it will be cheaper to replace. However, if you do have to replace your mirror have them cut the old one down and frame or place on a table top.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
August 27, 20100 found this helpful

The posters below have it correctly, the "silver" is coming off from the backing of the mirror. You can try and avoid this problem by never spraying a mirror with cleaner to clean it but by spraying a paper towel or whatever you use directly and then wiping off the mirror. Moisture collects on the mirror and can seep through if you spray window cleaner directly on it.

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