How Do I Remove a Mirror from a Wall?

Q.  How do I remove a mirror that is glued to the drywall?


A.  The staff asked three different contractors this question and got three different answers. One method is to simply cut the mirror out of the wall with the wallboard attached, using a utility knife or drywall saw to cut completely through the gypsum board along the mirror perimeter, and then rocking the mirror panel back and forth until it pops out. To more easily handle the mirror, you can rent suction cup handles designed for windshield installation. Of course, this method leaves a huge hole that will require installation of new wallboard, and it can be difficult if the wallboard is tightly secured to the wall studs.
Another method is to use “windshield removal wire,” also called cutout wire, which is a braided steel wire used in automotive shops. Use a couple of short dowels as handles and work the wire like dental floss behind the mirror, starting at a corner and working it down the length of the mirror to cut through the adhesive. You’ll need to keep the mirror clips in place to support the mirror once the glue is broken. If you plan to reuse the mirror, then be careful not to damage the silver backing with the wire.
The third method will remove the mirror but it’s not likely to come off the wall intact. First, use plenty of tape to mask off the mirror up and down, left to right. It wouldn’t hurt to mask off the whole thing to prevent pieces of broken glass from flying around. Using several flat pry bars around the edge of the mirror, have some helpers, equipped with gloves and safety glasses, slowly pry the mirror away from the wall. This probably means the mirror will break, and you can remove it in sections. No matter what method you choose, it’s not a one-person job so recruit some help.

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