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Fixing Black Spots on Mirrors

August 27, 2012

My shower door, which is also a mirror, has a black stain that is growing. It started out about 1 inch X 4 inches, and in about 6 months, spread to about 12 X 12 inches.

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I realize it can't be fixed, but is there some way it could be stopped from spreading any more? I am very near sighted and need to stand close to the mirror to do my makeup. The mirror over the sink is too far away for me to use without glasses.

I'd like to stop the spreading if it is possible. Would just resealing it all around do any good?

By Ilsa T

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February 19, 20131 found this helpful
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Hi, Everyone! I came across this forum while I was surfing re mirrors. Ironically, only yesterday I placed an order with Amazon.com for a spray product by Krylon (Krylon #9033 Looking Glass Mirror-Like Paint) which is supposed to enable an ordinary piece of glass to be turned into a mirror by simply spraying the glass after proper cleaning. Apparently, this product is not simply a shiny or chrome paint. Reviews were consistently marvelous.

I do not believe this product will solve the root problem of a mirror being continuously subjected to moisture. However, I think it might help in other situations. I hope to incorporate Krylon's product into my art.

Here is the direct page via the Krylon URL

www.krylon.com/.../

I also loved the projects pages for their products.

Will update you after I give Krylon Looking Glass a try!

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8 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 26, 2010

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

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August 26, 20100 found this helpful
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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.

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August 27, 20101 found this helpful
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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.

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August 27, 20101 found this helpful
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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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November 25, 2011

What causes a black rust like stain to appear on my bathroom mirror? It seems to permeate right through the glass.

By JoAnn H.


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November 28, 20111 found this helpful
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It sounds like the "silver" backing is coming off. It can be re-done or replace the mirror part or the mirror itself if it is a cheap one. One tip for future reference on new mirrors: Don't ever spray the mirror directly with cleaning solutions. Spray it on the cloth or paper you are using to clean with. This is what causes (for the most part) the backing to come off. It seeps down in the corners and edges, stays moist and then begins to destroy the backing.

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March 6, 2015

I have a very old mirror that has a scratch on the silvering which shows on the front as a slight black line. Can I fix or camouflager it myself?

By Christine

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December 4, 20171 found this helpful
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You can buy the silvering at hobby supply stores and at same glass repair shops. Also some lumbar yards may carry it. You just apply it over the scratch.

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December 4, 20170 found this helpful
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You can take it to a glass repair shop. Its hard to do it evenly yourself.

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March 18, 2012

I have a problem with black spots on edge of a mirror. If we stop using liquid detergent on the mirror will the black spots cease growing in size and we can frame the mirror to conceal the spots?

By Rod P

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March 19, 20120 found this helpful
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Black spots on the edge of the mirror may be because the mirror is losing the silver on the back of the glass. This is common in old mirrors. It shouldn't have anything to do with what you use to clean the glass, unless what you use in getting onto the back of the mirror. The loss of silver may or may not progress. It is hard to say. It may be repairable but I have not had any experience with that.

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March 5, 2013

I have an old mirror which has black around the edge. Can this be repaired?

By john billingham

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March 6, 20131 found this helpful
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You can find several videos on YouTube with detailed instructions for removing oxidized silver from a mirror, preparing the mirror for a new silver plate, and the actual silver application. It's not a task for the average 'do it yourselfer'. You may want to have it done professionally. The process is called 'resilvering a mirror'.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0TNwIhjbh4

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August 26, 2010

My bathroom mirror's edges are fading. It has black splotches on the edges. What I can do to hide those splotches, maybe frame it? Any suggestions, please.

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July 27, 2008
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