How To {Safely} Remove That Large, Builder Bathroom Mirror

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I shared in this post HERE about how my husband and I jumped into a ‘weekend’ warrior project a few Saturdays ago {OK, I jumped and he got dragged}, but it was one that didn’t go off as easily as we’d hoped and planned.

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I am mid-makeover for our master bathroom. The state of it has been pretty bad ever since we moved into our new home. We’ve slowly been overhauling each room in our builder-basic home and major projects like our kitchen and our more public rooms like our library and dining room have gotten the immediate attention. While our master bedroom is still in need of its refresh, our bathroom has been sorely neglected down to the paper blinds on the window and blah, white tile, stainless fixtures and plain jane paint.

 

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So while we like to do full “ta-da!” type reveals, this post is still mid-project {edit: see the finished space HERE}. Since I had to do some research as to the safest and easiest way to take down the huge, eight-foot mirror you see above, I thought it was worth sharing how I did it. I had found two pretty, smaller mirrors at HomeGoods and couldn’t wait to get them put up in place of this monstrosity. {If for some reason you can’t remove your mirror, we also have a great renter-friendly way to update a large mirror HERE.}

How to Remove a Large Bathroom Mirror

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I started by taping up the mirror and protecting our counter with a bedspread, I figured if the mirror did fall it would help contain the glass. To jump ahead briefly, we successful removed the entire mirror with no cracking or breaking and we’ll be able to repurpose it in our basement for a work-out area, but it’s better to be safe than sorry with this much glass. I also don’t think this is a one person job, the mirror was exceptionally heavy, so be sure you have help close by if you attempt this project.

Once I removed the few plastic clips that held it to the wall, my hopes of it coming off easily were crushed, it was clearly glued to the wall in multiple places. I went to the internet to see if I could find any tricks to remove it and read about using a hair dryer to soften the glue, then using a large wire to saw downward to separate the glue from the back of the mirror.

As a HomeRight Ambassador, I knew I’d be able to one-up using a hair dryer, and broke out my HomeRight Heat Gun {this is not a sponsored post, their tools are just handy to have around when you are tackling home projects}, which was a great solution but in the end with such a huge expanse of wall I had no way of knowing exactly where the glue was.  This method would work really well on a smaller mirror.

We then ran a long piece of strong picture wire behind the mirror, both of us holding an end and pulling downward with all our might, sometimes using a sawing motion in an attempt to make better progress. We got about halfway down and could feel the mirror start to separate from the wall but unfortunately, that was as far as we got. My husband then began to gently pry the mirror from the wall using screwdrivers and other flat objects, every once and awhile we’d feel another pop as another piece of glue separated from the wall.

Once we were able to pull the top part forward, I used another HomeRight tool, my Steam Machine, and using the smallest nozzle blasted the hot steam between the wall and the mirror. Since we knew that we were going to have major drywall to repair, I didn’t think the small amount of moisture would create too much of a problem, and I knew it would soften the glue or the drywall enough to let the mirror separate. Shortly after a little bit of steam, we heard almost a “pop” when the mirror gave way, and yes there may have been a few cheers after all that work!

 

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After it was removed, we assessed the damage. I had several places that needed drywall patches and quite a bit of sparkling/repair work ahead. {Note: I used these mesh patches over the largest holes and they worked well.}

 

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Once we popped off the bottom metal track that the mirror had set in {which was also glued on-argh!} still having my SteamMachine on hand, I used it to blast away all the grime, glue and gunk that had accumulated under the mirror.

Sources

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I also used the Heat Gun to melt all the remaining glue on the wall, then sanded it off before I started patching it up.

 

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After all the patching and sanding was done, I went ahead and rehung the mirrors for instant gratification {and so I could see to put my make-up on the next day!}.

 

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You can still see the damage under the mirror, and on the wall, but ignore that and look at the pretty mirrors I found at HomeGoods 🙂

 

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Similar mirror HERE or HERE

 

 

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Here is an easy-to-pin image so you can save these tips when you need to remove your huge glued-on bathroom mirror!

 

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And here is the space after it’s finished! We had the room painted, added woven blinds and some accessories. What a difference…You can see it all HERE.

I did another small update in the room a few months later, you can see more of that HERE.

XO,

 

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Comments

  1. Oh my gosh that’s a lot of work, and it looks incredible with those mirrors!! There is a product called DeBond that is AMAZING… It has one of those little straw things, and if you spray behind the mirror where you think the glue is, it dissolves it in a few minutes. It’s actually made for removing glue on boats. I can’t remember where my husband bought it, but I’m sure google does. 😉

    • This is such a great tip (wish I’d known a week ago, LOL!) I edited the post mentioning it so hopefully that will help others tackling the same job—thank you so much for sharing, I love this community 🙂 XO, Amy

  2. Beautiful…so love the mirrors and what an amazing transformation!

  3. I don’t deny I love the new look/mirrors
    , and yet when my home was built 20 years ago I requested a full mirror, like you have, with built in medicine cabinets. I think the mirror makes the room look bigger, yet find the look you’re pursuing all the rage right now. Nevertheless, do enjoy!

    • I think you are right Julie, that big mirror did make the room look bigger and it did bounce the light around, but I was ready for a change. I may miss it in the end? We’ll see! Have a great day and thanks for the note… XO, Amy

  4. Thank you so much for this post. This project is on my summer list for our master bathroom, too, and I had no idea how we were going to tackle it. I’ve pinned it to ‘DIY For the Home’ on my Pinterest Board so I’ll be able to come back and review it. You and your husband did a fabulous job, and I just love your new mirrors.

  5. Love what you did and the great directions. We removed a similar mirror, but can’t find a place to donate it. It seems we’ll have a large mirror in our garage! Not what I want. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Carol–do you have a Habitat Restore? They take building supplies so they would be happy to take it off your hands. If you can’t find something like that you may just try listing it on Craig’s List. You never know what people will buy! Good luck, Amy

  6. Susan Wilson says:

    Hi Carol,
    Thanks for sharing how you removed the mirror As I am going to be tackling this project this summer as well. The transformation of your bathroom was amazing. What is the color of the paint you used? The grey paint is so classy with the mirrors you chose.
    Thank you again,
    Susan

  7. Do you have more pics showing the full layout of your bathroom? from what I can see, it looks quite similar to mine, and I find mine to be a bit unusual. Mine is kind of an L shape.

  8. Ruby M sutton says:

    I just removed a eight foot mirror from living room wall. removed clips and placed a quilt under it. After a week, down stairs and mirror had fell to floor onto quilt without breaking. Now to remove glue. Thanks for tips on removing glue.

  9. Just a question: You removed the full mirror and replaced it with two smaller mirrors over the sinks. Do you find that the area between the sinks are a useless space now that there is no mirror to use across from the chair? What is the purpose of the chair? Looks great by the way.

    • Actually now it is so much more useful, I had a small stand up mirror (with a magnifying side), it came from HomeGoods and was about $15. It allowed me to actually sit and put on makeup. So much easier and you could get ‘closer’ to the mirror than you could with standing. I loved this setup! I don’t have the same thing in our new house, and I am going to miss it! —Amy

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