Intermediate Skill Level Tips and Tricks UpCycles

De-Silvered Mirror

Have any of you de-silvered a mirror? I had no idea it could be this fun. One of the things I am trained to do is to re-produce something existing. I spent 5 years as a master deceiver fixing damage to furniture and 10 years before that restoring antiques which you have to find a way to preserve what is existing.

One day while I worked for a large furniture retailer we where notified that a large dresser covered in mirrors was damaged, and we couldn’t get replacement parts. So of course I am looking at it with my brother and we both have a ahh ha moment. Can we make a regular mirror look like that? A quick jump on YouTube and we figure out what we need. Of course its not something we typically use, Bleach. So we head off to the janitors closet and find toilet bowl cleaner with bleach to see if that will work.

Lucky for us it did work and we had a good hour of learning a new trick. Unfortunately the end result was not a close enough match to replace the mirror part on the dresser.

Steps to mirror de-silvering

Start with the stripper and brush it on the areas you want to take off. I did around the frame so you could still see in the middle. Let it sit for little while.

Next up scrape the backing off where you put the stripper. Then where you want the mirror off sprinkle a little bleach on those areas. Use gloves too, I know I didn’t but I did once I put the bleach on. Wipe the areas you put bleach on right away. You can also dab it if you have bleach dots to create a different look. The bleach works right away.

Then I spray painted the back on and painted the frame. Which is fun because you can get super creative using different colors or maybe an ombre look. Ooh if anyone does that please share.

mirror distressed


Ok, so now if you have read my posts before you know that I like to make you aware of any hazards. Disclaimer: The silvering on the back can be toxic. I did try and research it but I came up empty handed. I have read before that it is considered a heavy metal toxin. Usually if you sand or create fine dust particles is when that becomes toxic. In my case I was stripping and didn’t sand to create dust. Just be smart and safe when DIYing.

What do you think of this de-silvered mirror? What would you have done differently?

Thanks for reading,

Tara Lou

This blog contains affiliate links please read my disclaimer page.

Tara Lou

Mama, wife, furniture connoisseur, small business owner, nature-lover, homebody, hunter.

2 thoughts on “De-Silvered Mirror

  1. Hi Tara Lou! I read on Denise with Salvaged Inspirations’ Blog and she did this exact technique but she had the bleach in a little spray bottle and she sprayed all over and then dabbed with a towel and it just looked old all over. I am going to try this technique on a mirror i have. Do you think it would sell in my booth quicker than just a regular mirror? I love your Blog. thank you for all the tips and tricks and inspiration that you give me.

    1. Mimirhea – Thats a great idea to use a spray bottle you can get a totally different look. I have tried 2 different mirrors in my area (Waterford WI) an one sold the other one has not. The one that sold was very large and said “Farm House” on it. However its a very shabby chic, distressed farm house feel so I would think it would do good depending on your market.

Leave a Reply

Back To Top