YOUR A - Z GUIDE TO MIRRORS.
1. DECORATING WITH MIRRORS
1.1. 24 ways to use mirrors in your interiors
1.2 Use mirrors for good feng shui!
2. HISTORY OF MIRRORS
3. TECHNICAL ISSUES
3.1 How mirrors are made
3.2 Types of mirrors
3.3 Edgework and Enhancements of Mirrors
3.4 Colours of mirrors
3.5 Quality: What makes a good quality mirror
3.6 How to hang a mirror
3.7 How to remove a mirror from the wall
3.8 How to clean a mirror
3.9 How to create antique effect on a mirror
4. STYLES OF MIRRORS
4.1 Antique mirrors
(1.) DECORATING WITH MIRRORS
(1.1) 24 ways to use mirrors in your interiors
From brightening up a room to enlarging a space, mirrors undoubtedly are an added advantage in any interior. You'd be surprised to know how many different ways mirrors can be used to enhance a space. So, here are 24 tips on incorporating the reflective element into your interiors!
1. Illuminate dark corners.
Have you many dull corners in your house that may need some pepping up? With its light reflecting properties, a large mirror will definitely help brighten up a dull nook!
2. Enlarge small spaces.
Own a small room that feels claustrophobic? A grand mirror leaned against a wall will give more visual depth by creating the illusion of more space.
A narrow hallway? Hanging a mirror on either sides of the walls might work, but we love even more the idea of a mirrored wall in a narrow hallway. It feels as if there are no walls!
3. Emphasize height.
It is rightly said 'If you've got it, then flaunt it!'. So, in case you are the lucky owner of a space with towering heights, then it wouldn't be a bad idea to emphasize the height further through a large floor to ceiling mirror. This will definitely amp up the drama!
4. Enhance the glow.
Adore the soft glow of candles? Well, double the gleam of flickering candles by creating an illuminating corner by placing mirrors in the backdrop!
Let the lamps glow bright too! The mirror placed behind the lamps not only balances out the decor, but it will also amp up the glow of lamps further when lit.
5. Add texture.
Have an empty wall and don't know what to do with it? One easy solution for you is to get a mirror with a large, textural frame. Have a look below to know what we're talking about!
The interesting frame of the mirror adds texture to the plain white wall.
...while the Porcupine mirror does the trick here.
6. Artify the walls.
You don't always need art to cover all of your walls, a mirror with an artistic and creative frame can deliver the same charm!
A bronze tree-inspired mirror serves as reflective artwork in the bedroom.
The inspiring mirror made from number of ovals can be a nice substitute for abstract art work!
Love a glam style? Well, mirrors are one of the elements that can help you emphasize a glam look. Just choose a frame that defines your type of glamour! See how!
Ornate mirror with a beautiful gilded frame, brings a luxurious, golden vibe to the dark space.
A 1920's style mirror adds some Gatsby glamour to this feminine inspired space.
8. Unconventional headboard.
Fabric, wood, tufted headboards, we've seen them all, but a mirror headboard will quite rightly add a sparkle to your bedroom!
Mirrored panels used as a headboards give this room a artsy modern feel:
A mirrored wall just behind the bed takes the role of a grand headboard and makes the room appear much larger and brighter!
9. Cover wall blemishes
It can be easy to convert an unsightly spot or blemish into a focal point by covering it up with a sparkling mirror!
10. Bring the outdoors inside.
Be it lush greenery, beautiful views or natural sun-shine; a feel of the outdoors can be brought inside by cleverly putting a mirror opposite or next to a window!
The mirror below reflects a window with views of greenery.
A large white mirror placed next to a window bounces natural light abundantly inside the living room.
11. Give an old world look.
Are you a lover of old world charm? An antique mirror can definitely help you achieve that look!
A giant antique mirror fits perfectly with unrefined look of the rustic space.
12. Center piece on a dining table.
Want to put a shine on your cherished crystal-ware? Here's an amazing idea! Place a full length mirror horizontally on the dining table and use it as a reflective base for displaying your tableware.
13. Reflect important elements.
You can double the impact, by strategically placing mirrors in such a way that they reflect gorgeous chandeliers, beautiful paintings or anything else that you feel deserves the spotlight!
Centrally placed mirror in the below space, reflects the chandelier and the painting hung on the opposite wall, further emphasizing the art theme of the interior!
A gorgeous gilded mirror is placed at the eye-level level of the chandelier to reflect and double the impact of light.
14. Mirrored furniture!
There are several innovative ways to use mirrored furniture! Let's have a look at few inspiring ones,
If you have a bulky piece of furniture in your already cramped room then it would be prudent to replaced it with a mirrored surface one, the reflective surface will make the furniture recede and offer the illusion of more space!
Mirrored cabinets not only give a sparkle to this white kitchen but they also offer visual depth to it.
A large cabinet that would have otherwise looked quite bulky is doing a vanishing trick in this room, thanks to the mirrored doors!
...and that's not all If your home has awkward pillars, just hang mirrors on them and they will melt into the room!
15. Balance it out.
When displaying pictures and art on your walls you often need something that focuses attention towards them. A reflective mirror will not only do that but also provide a balancing support to display all your pictures around!
An attention catching mirror is flanked by pictures creating an interesting nook.
Diagonally arranged pictures are united together by the centrally placed round mirror in the hallway.
16. Skylight effect.
If you aren't afraid of some drama, then placing mirrors on the ceilings could be a good idea for a skylight effect!
17. Mirrored back-splashes.
A small kitchen can be opened up using mirrored back-splashes, but note that antiquated mirrors are better in hiding water splashes than the clear vision ones!
Mirrored back-splash behind the bar reflects the lighting installed below the cabinets:
18. Counter rectangular edges.
When you look around your space, what do you see? From walls to furniture, most elements have rectangular edges! A great way to counter the angular shapes and introduce soft curves is by using round mirrors!
Curvaceous bathtub and a round mirror area welcome change in the dark and moody room!
Round mirror counters the rectangular bed and the pattern on the wallpaper.
19. Paneled mirrors for a lightweight feel.
If you love the effect of mirrors but still don't want to get overwhelmed by them, a nice idea for you would be to use framed mirrors that have been broken up in panels. This lightens the weight of the mirror and gives a nice pattern to look at!
Look at the wall and the headboard below.
20. Mirror as an enhancing backdrop.
Placing a mirror behind an item of furniture, like a console table, can help create a key feature in the room. This is also a great idea for putting emphasis on little objects that can be made to appear grander through a reflecting mirror.
Paired with other reflective surfaces, the artistic mirror makes a beautiful impact on the entire space!
Small details, like the beautiful vase and the flowers, are given emphasis by being reflected through the mirror placed in the backdrop.
21. Bring in the sunshine.
Nothing like a classic sunburst motif to give that sun kissed charm to your spaces. Modern takes on the classic sunburst mirror are exciting as ever! A brass sunburst mirror with large rays adds texture to the wall and brightens the space colourful space.
Myriad sunburst mirrors in various sizes and designs make the space oh-so interesting and glamorous!
22. Multiple mix.
There are many innovative ways of decorating a wall or a space with multiple mirrors. Let's have a look at some!
Randomly grouped mirrors in different sizes, styles and shapes give a collector's look:
Now this is a great idea! Antique hand mirrors have been hung on the wall to create a beautiful array of shining gems.
Ornamental mirrors group together to create an interesting wall sculpture:
Mirror on mirror! A wall of bronze-tinted mirror reflects warm light back into this room. Hanging over the bronze mirror is another mirror, this one antique and gilt-framed. Now, that's attention catching!
Break the symmetry! Layering mirrors is also a great idea to create an interesting wall sculpture. Layer small mirrors over large ones, mix modern with antique, do whatever feels right!
23. Mirrors outdoors.
Just like indoors, mirrors can have the same brightening, reflecting and space enlarging effect outdoors too! And that's not all, a mirror will also add touch of elegance to your garden!
A leaning mirror opens up the outdoor dining nook.
The large yellow mirror is a sophisticating factor in the rustic back yard!
24. Decorating a fireplace.
In most homes a fireplace is already the focal point in any room in which it resides. More emphasis can be added to a fireplace by placing a beautiful mirror above the mantel.
Elegant mirror in a white frame uplifts the rustic-chic space:
The large space is binded together with a focal point that has been created through the large antique mirror placed above the fireplace!
So, those were 24 amazing ways to use mirrors. Hope you find some more creative ways!
(1.2) Use Mirrors for good Feng Shui!
Believe in Feng Shui? Then you'd be happy to know that a mirror, which represents the element of water, is rightly called a Feng Shui 'cure'! Thus mirrors are very powerful tools, that when positioned properly can be used to push back negative energy and shift the energy to be nourishing and positive!
Here are some easy Do and Don't tips to use when positioning mirrors in your interiors to block out the negative energy, while doubling the positivity!
1. Keep them clean: This has to be the most important rule! As mirror's are symbolic of one's self image and clarity of mind, they should always be kept clean and clear.
2. Place your mirror's to the Southeast for financial wealth.
And Place them to the North to gain a successful career.
3. Place an attractive mirror at the entryway. But here's a caveat: make sure it is not placed directly across from the front door or it will reflect the good energy, also know as "ch'i" in Feng Shui, right back out!
4. Place a large mirror outside or on the bathroom door: This is considered good as the mirror pushes the energy away from entering the bathroom, hence the energy is prevented from going down the drain and Ch'i to move to other rooms of the house.
5. Place them in living rooms and dining areas: Mirror reflecting the food on dining table doubles the food which symbolizes abundance and wealth.
6. Reflect pleasant views from the outdoors that suggest a vast expanse of energy, or any other positive elements related to wealth and beauty. Remember whatever the mirror reflects will be doubled!
7. Place them in dark & dull corners: Darkness is equated with stagnant ch'i, so if you have a dark corner then hang a mirror to reflect and bring in more light; the mirror creates the illusion of a window and stimulates the ch'i energy as well!
8. Place mirrors at a height where you don't have to bend to see your image, as it impacts self esteem.
9. Place mirrors to reflect a cash register, jewelry, or close to the front door of a shop: This will pull more money ch'i, customers and prosperity!
10. Disappear square pillars by covering them with mirrors: Square pillars send out killing energies or poison arrows to your loved ones.
11. Keep it balanced: Make sure you do not have too many mirrors or too less of them either. Mirrors represent the water element and with too much water one can become wishy-washy, bogged down or see our fortunes going down the drain. Too little water can make use rigid, shallow and dry out our creativity. Just the right amount is what we need!
1. Place a mirror to the South: This is the fire element and a sharp contrast to the water element. Placing a mirror to the south can cause misunderstandings or arguments with loved ones.
2. Reflect poison arrows: Watch out for poison arrows that the mirror could be reflecting! It could be the sharp corner of a wall or pillar or furniture! Best to keep your furniture with rounded edges.
3. Place a mirror in the bedroom: It is said that the mirror may duplicate relationships. Also mirrors in the bedroom could be bouncing energy in the bedroom, keeping you awake, restless and full of worries. If you find it absolutely necessary to have a mirror in the bedroom then a great idea for you: place mirrors on the inside of closet doors which can be shut when needed!
4. Hang two mirrors facing one another.
5. Place mirrors in the kitchen where flames will be reflected: Remember, mirrors represent water, and water and fire is a sharp contrast. Flames can be a negative symbol.
6. Place a mirror to the right of the door: This can cause day dreaming and wishy-washiness.
7. Remember the rule of doubling anything your mirror reflects? So make sure your mirror does not reflect any of the following:
- doors and windows
- toilet seat
- dirty drains
- unpleasant views
- distorted/unclear image of yourself
8. Use broken mirrors: Cracked mirrors are also very negative energy as are small mirror tiles or anything that distorts or breaks up an image. It is advisable to remove such mirrors.
9. Use mirrors in the bathroom: A mirror in the bathroom can direct the good energy to go down the drain. However in today's time it can be difficult to do away with mirror in the bathroom, so an ideal way out for you would be to keep the mirror covered when not in use and make sure that it never reflects the toilet!
(2.) HISTORY OF MIRRORS
The first mirrors used by people were mostly reflections in pools of water. Throughout history, mirrors have been used both for household objects and as objects of adornment. The models of the earliest manufactured mirrors made from bits of polished stone have been dated to about 6000 BC. Polished stone mirrors manufactured in Central and South America date from 2000 BC onwards. Metal-coated glass mirrors are said to have been invented in Sidon (modern-day Lebanon) in the first century AD, and glass mirrors backed with gold leaf are mentioned by the Roman author Pliny in his Natural History, written in about 77 AD. The Romans also developed a technique for creating crude mirrors by coating blown glass with molten lead. In ancient times mirror were only possessed by the wealthy (precious metal mirrors which were very valuable items were difficult to engender as they were quite expensive) therefore mirrors were expensive luxuries and only the very affluent owned it.
In China, people began making mirrors with the use of silver-mercury amalgams as early as 500 AD. Some time during the early Renaissance, European manufacturers perfected a superior method of coating glass with a tin-mercury amalgam. The exact date and location of the discovery is unknown, but in the 16th century, Venice, a city famed for its glass-making expertise, became a centre of mirror production using this new technique. Glass mirrors from this period were extremely expensive luxuries. The Saint-Gobain factory, founded by royal initiative in France, was an important manufacturer, and Bohemian and German glass, often rather cheaper, was also important. The invention of the silvered-glass mirror is credited to German chemist Justus von Liebig in 1835. His process involved the deposition of a thin layer of metallic silver onto glass through the chemical reduction of silver nitrate. This silvering process was adapted for mass manufacturing and led to the greater availability of affordable mirrors. Mirrors were largely produced in London and Paris by mid-17th century. 17th century onwards, mirrors and their frames played an increasingly paramount part in home embellishment. The early frames were conventionally composed of ivory, silver, ebony or tortoiseshell and were adorned with floral patterns or classical ornaments. Nowadays, mirrors are often produced by the wet deposition of silver (or sometimes aluminum via vacuum deposition) directly onto the glass substrate.
There are numerous superstitions involving mirrors. The cracked mirror is probably the focal point of more superstitions than any other subject is. Caving in a mirror is said to get seven years of lamentable fortuity. This appears to have developed from the Ancient Rome belief that seven years was the time period it acquired for a person to regenerate itself.
There are numerous superstitions involving mirrors. The cracked mirror is probably the focal point of more superstitions than any other subject is. Caving in a mirror is said to get seven years of lamentable fortuity. This appears to have developed from the Ancient Rome belief that seven years was the time period it acquired for a person to regenerate itself.
The Romans are responsible for little known remedy subsidiary for anyone who breaks a mirror - the only path that you could surmount the seven years deplorable fortuity is to bury the broken mirror pieces very deeply in the soil. Many families cover all mirrors in the house if somebody passes away. If a mirror in the house falls from a wall or breaks on its own, it signifies someone is going to die. Also it is considered bad luck to see your face in a mirror by candlelight. These stories evolved from the times when people used water as a mirror. They looked into the water to determine their fates. The notions transmuted as the mirror changed form.
(3.1) How mirrors are made:
View a short video on how mirrors are made:
For more details on mirror manufacturing read on:
Virtually all mirrors for interior use are manufactured by the conveyor, wet deposition method. Annealed or fully tempered glass is thoroughly cleaned by the application of cleaners and passing contact with oscillating scrub brush units. After the glass is cleaned and rinsed, the surface of the glass is sensitized with a diluted solution of tin chloride. This surface treatment allows for the deposition of silver. Silver nitrate is sprayed onto the sensitized surface of the glass along with other chemical configurations. The final outcome is the formation of a uniform silver layer on the glass.
Once the silver layer is formed on the glass, methods to protect the silver layer from oxidation are employed. A layer of copper is then deposited directly onto the silver. Copper can be applied in two ways: chemically or galvanically. Recent technological advances have lead to the development of copper free protective films, which also prevent silver oxidation.
Once the metal layers are attached to the glass, they are covered by a protective mirror backing paint. The mirror backing paint protects the metal layers from corrosion and from mechanical scratching. The paint can be applied either by passing the glass through a curtain of paint or by passing glass in contact with a roller paint coater. There are many mirror backing paint products available from a number of suppliers. They offer paint systems that are applied as a single coat or double coat. Both coating systems are effective.
3.2 TYPES OF MIRRORS
- SILVERED MIRRORS
- Clear Mirror: Clear glass with a silver backing, copper and paint. This is the standard mirror used in the majority of applications. Thicknesses are 3/32, 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4 inch. The largest standard size is 65” x 84” with other sizes available if custom ordered.
- Ultra Clear Mirror: Made with glass with a reduced iron content. The glass itself does not have the very slight greenish tinge in found in clear mirror, making it appropriate for fur salons and all white interiors where absolute clarity is a must.
- Antiqued Mirror: Coatings or tints are applied to make the mirror look as if it has deteriorated with age. Read further down how to create the antique effect.
- Concave Mirror: Glass is curved inward, and then coated, creating enlarged reflections. Useful as a grooming aide.
- Convex Mirror: The glass curves outward, creating reduced reflections. It can be either decorative or a useful tool in parking garages or busy corridors to help people see around the corner.
- First-Surface Mirror: Whereas standard mirror has the reflective coating on the back of the glass, this coating is on the front. Highly fragile, it is optical mirror for cameras and kaleidoscopes. Occasionally it is used by designers and artists.
2. SILVERED TINTED MIRRORS
Tinted mirrors are produced using the same method as Silvered mirrors. The silver coating is applied to one of the various tinted glass substrates available on the market. Tinted mirrors are generally used in decorative applications where color and diminished light reflection are desirable.
3. SILVERED SAFETY MIRRORS
- Tempered Mirrors: These are manufactured using fully tempered glass as the substrate. There are optical characteristics inherent in tempered mirrors, including roll distortion and the lack of a quality surface for silvering.
- Laminated Mirrors: These are manufactured by combining clear glass, either annealed, heat-strengthened or fully tempered, and mirrored glass.
- Safety Backed Mirrors: These are known as Organically Coated Mirrors. They are manufactured by applying a sheet of adhesive backed polyethylene material to the back of annealed mirrors. The backing material does not prevent breakage of mirrors, but lessons the potential of injury on impact by retaining the fragments.
4. NON-SILVERED MIRRORS
There are two types of non-silvered mirrors:
- Pyrolytic Mirrors: These are highly reflective coated glass products with performance characteristics approaching that of silvered mirrors. This product is promoted for use in shower doors and other areas where moisture can affect the substrate of silvered mirrors.
- Transparent or Two-way Mirrors: These are composed of reflective glass products, and as such are not silver mirrors. Transparent mirrors are manufactured by both the pyrolytic deposition and vacuum deposition coating processes. Heavy density coatings are offered on clear and gray tinted glass. Transparent or two-way mirrors are designed to permit vision through one direction while giving the appearance of a standard mirror from the opposite side. Their major application is to permit undetected observation for study or surveillance in interior conditions such as learning centers in schools and universities, medical and psychiatric clinics, and security stations in casinos or high-traffic retail stores.
. Metal Mirrors: Highly polished sheets of metal used in areas that require utmost safety and security.
6. Plastic Mirrors: Plastic sheets are coated with metal to make them reflective. While they have less optical clarity, are softer and easier to scratch than glass mirrors, they have usefulness in crafts, displays, children’s furniture and toys.
7. Fog-Free Mirrors: Electrical heating pads can be installed behind almost any mirror; they keep the mirror, or a section of it, at a temperature that eliminates the steamy buildup caused by a nearby shower, allowing one person to use the mirror while another person showers.
3.3 EDGEWORK AND ENHANCEMENT OF MIRRORS
View a short video about mirror edges:
Edging adds strength to clean-cut glass by eliminating very small imperfections created by cutting. Edging takes away the chips and gouges and smoothes the naturally sharp edges of the glass. For safety reasons, un-edged mirrors should never be used where the edges are exposed.
Edging also provides a wide variety of aesthetic values to mirrors. Edging is a pre-determined grinding and polishing of glass into a shape. Today's mirrors are edged on specially designed equipment to provide the precision required and the desired look. To start, a series of diamond wheels shape the edge and then a series of polishing wheels produce the brilliance of the edge. Cost of various types of edging is directly related to the machining time of the required grinding and polishing.
Clean-Cut is a natural edge created from the breakout process.
Polished Edge is also called a pencil edge and uses minimal grinding to create a curved edge with a satin finish.
High Polish Edge is a curved high gloss surface.
Bevel is the most popular edge treatment and to produce it the edge is ground and polished to a curved, high polished surface while a similar process produces the bevel. The grinding angle and bevel width are flexible and only limited by the glass thickness. The thicker the glass, the more noticeable and attractive the bevel. Custom beveling can be curved, straight or patterned.
Advantages of Using Polished Edge for Mirrors
Shows more uninterrupted surface
Fits tighter into j-molding, clips and screws and other types of hardware
Advantages of Using Beveled Edge for Mirrors
Creates more visual interest
Reflects light from different angles
Adds a touch of elegance
Both polished and beveled edges have their advantages. Decisions on which to use should be based on the desired effect to be achieved and how much is budgeted.
More options of edges:
You may view a video on mirror edges here:
In addition to all the different colors and shapes that mirrors come in there are also a variety of surface treatments that can be used. These surface treatments include:
Acid etching is used more in Europe than in the United States. Acid is used to create patterns in the glass. These patterns can then be painted.
Carving creates multi-level effects using abrasives and high-pressure air sources. When applied to the back the pattern is usually painted. The painting can incorporate several colors.
Coating is applied to glass to create effects ranging from translucent to iridescent. There are many kinds of coatings that can be used.
Cutting is done with wheels on the front or back surface, using miter cutting or abrading. The effect is an embedded pattern on the mirror.
Glue chipping is a special glue applied to the glass and when dried, flakes of glass come off in a frost pattern. The glass is then silvered.
Laminating is when two or more pieces of glass are put together with a vinyl interlayer. A variety of film, patterns and materials can be used and then the laminated glass can be silvered.
Painted glass is when designs are painted on the front surface of the mirror. In the 1800s floral patterns were the popular designs. In addition, the rear of the mirror can also be painted with images or a smooth lacquer.
Sandblasting gives the glass a clouded surface that usually results in pattern. This technique can be applied to the front or back of the mirror. If the back is sandblasted some of the reflective coating and backing paints are removed and this allows light to enter the glass.
Additional Enhancement of Mirrors:
The face of mirrors can be enhanced with brilliant cutting, creating geometric patterns. Or, in the rear of mirrors, patterns can be deep carved then filled with gold leaf. Mirrors can be enhanced with sandblasting, or laminating, or painted patterns. One's imagination and budget are the only barriers…
3.4 COLOURS OF MIRRORS
Today’s mirrors come in a wide variety of colours, making it easy to select ones that reflect your individuality. Silvering glass that has already been coloured creates coloured mirrors. Coloured mirrors come in a variety of colours including gold, pink, peach, green, blue, bronze, gray and black. Coloured mirrors enhance value by adding a touch of uniqueness and flair. Whether you want the mirror to “disappear" to “make a statement” or simply to do a job, there is a product for you.
Colour is first added to the glass, which then receives the silver backing. Typical colours available are gold, pink, peach, bronze, gray, black, green and blue.
Gold mirrors are popular in restaurants since they flatter the appearance of patrons.
Pink and peach mirrors also flatter and work well in dressing rooms and exercise areas.
Bronze, gray and black mirrors make dramatic architectural statements and create subtle reflections of people.
Green mirrors are recommended for plant display areas, but are unflattering for people.
Blue mirrors create the illusion of coolness and water and are especially popular in warmer climates such as Florida.
3.5 MIRROR QUALITY. WHAT MAKES A GOOD QUALITY MIRROR
Few factors should be considered while determining a high quality mirror. One of the most important ones is the thickness of the glass. Mirror comes in different thicknesses. Typically a ¼-inch thick mirror would be considered a good quality mirror. Numerous mirrors have a thickness of 1/8” – 3/16” and ¼”. For best reflections, it’s usually recommended to use ¼ inch thickness of mirrors as using mirrors with thicknesses less than ¼”, particularly for wall mirrors, will definitely provide a distorted image due to uneven flatness on the wall.
Other factors are:
- High silver content
- Numerous coatings of paint on the back side of the mirror
- One glass source should be used only instead of multiple sources to prevent inconsistencies in the tincture of the mirror.
- The mirror should be copper-free as this increases the life of the mirror greatly.
- Beveled edges: Mirrors with beveled edges usually cost more however they are more beautiful and are considered of better quality.
3.6 HOW TO HANG A MIRROR
When deciding where to place a mirror, contemplate factors like how far back a person can conveniently stand and how the mirror will fit with other furniture. For instance, it's advisable not to place mirrors behind the doors as they could easily get damaged. To ensure facile hanging, mirrors should have integral hangers. It’s possible that mirrors may at times come with or without any wall fixtures. The type of wall fixture used will depend upon the type of wall and the weight of the mirror.
Here is a video on how to hang a framed mirror:
Another simple and easy way to hang a framed mirror is presented here
and this is a video on how to install a frameless mirror directly on the wall
You can find information on the kind of hardware you should use depending on the type of wall you have here
3.7 HOW TO REMOVE A MIRROR FROM THE WALL
Other methods of removing a mirror are:
(i) Cutout Wire -
Purchase a length of cutout wire and apply clear packing tape over the mirror.
Work the cutout wire behind a corner of the mirror to the opposite corner and then lift the mirror from the wall.
(ii) Drywall saw -
1. Push a drywall saw into the wall near the mirror's edge
3. Then lift the entire panel of drywall out of the wall.
2. Cut the drywall around the mirror on all sides using the saw.
4. Clean the gypsum board and adhesive off the mirror.
3.8 HOW TO CLEAN A MIRROR
Keeping mirrors fresh and attractive is very important. Streak-ridden mirrors are no doubt frustrating. Hand-prints, toothpaste drops, fingerprints, spit, fog, dust and dirt etc. are endless reasons why mirrors are always dirty no matter how often they are cleaned. Unfortunately, we cannot neutralize these factors, but definitely something can be done to bring the sparkle of the mirrors back. Regular maintenance of mirrors is vital. For sparkling mirrors, the key is microfibre cloth and warm water. Glass-cleaner, a sponge, shaving foam (not gel), vinegar, old newspapers, soft cloth, rubbing alcohol, cotton pad are few cleaning items that should be kept handy when cleaning mirrors.
Following are few tips to clean your mirrors quickly and effectively clearly enough to always show your best side -
1. Commence by pre-treating the mirror first - Do this by wiping the surface with a soft cloth to abstract as much of the dirt and dust that has been accumulating on the surface.
2. To make your mirrors gleam, take few pieces of newspaper and spray them with water. In circular motion to avoid smears, wipe the mirrors down. For this step, you can also try any of the few homemade cleaners that you could create to keep the mirrors clean and shiny -
- Mixture of ¼ warm water and 1 cup white vinegar
- Mixture of borax and water
- Mixture of 1/3 cup of rubbing alcohol and 2 cups of water.
3. To avoid drip spots, wet the areas once again and dry the surface with newspaper.
4. Strictly avoid using any strong chemicals and toxic cleaners that consist ingredients such as ammonia, acid or alkali to clean the mirrors.
5. To prevent mirrors from fogging after taking a shower, it’s advisable to apply a thin coat of foaming shaving cream over the surface.
6. If a mirror is scratched, rub a little toothpaste (Regular pastes and not gel-type for effective results) into the scratch and polish it with a soft cloth.
For more ideas on how to clean mirrors, you can view the following videos -
3.9 HOW TO CREATE ANTIQUE EFFECT ON A MIRROR
Creating an antique mirror effect is an inexpensive way to make an ordinary wall mirror look graceful. A very easy way to antique a mirror is presented in this video:
Alternatively you may follow these steps:
Start by removing the paper or cardboard backing from the framed mirror.
To antique a coating of the mirror, remove the paint which covers it with the help of a paint stripper.
- When the paint has been peeled off, wash the mirror with soap and water and leave it to dry.
Spray muriatic acid onto the mirror where you want antique spots. Let the muriatic acid remove the reflective surface.
- Wipe off a small spot at regular intervals until the acid has antiqued the mirror.
- Use paper towels to remove the excess muriatic acid off the mirror and lightly wipe with a wet cotton rag and allow to completely dry.
- Apply thick coat of black paint to the spots on the mirror damaged by acid.
- Lastly, to protect the mirror coating, apply black spray paint to the entire back of mirror.
For more on creating an antique mirror effect, you can view the following video:
4. STYLES OF MIRRORS
Art Deco Mirrors
Dressing Table Mirrors
4.1 ANTIQUE MIRRORS
Antique mirrors are those dating from a previous era that are considered particularly collectable or valuable. There is no specific time period that counts as antique in the UK, except relating to cars, but, generally, antiques are at least 100 years old. Antique items are sometimes referred to as vintage or collectable. Generally speaking, vintage items are newer than antiques and date from the early to late 20th century. Collectables are items that are valued by collectors and may not necessarily be old, though they often are. Glass mirrors first began to be used in British homes in the mid 1600s. The earliest mirrors were small, as glass was expensive. Gradually they expanded in scope and range, and various materials were used in their construction. Antique mirrors are valued for their history, uniqueness, and collectability, as well as for their inherent attractiveness. They often have beautifully ornate frames and distinctive character. Silver backing is more common, in comparison to modern mirrors which are more frequently aluminium backed.
Choosing Antique Mirrors
If a first-time buyers of antiques, it is worth bearing in mind the following points before making an investment.
There are various types of antique mirror, including wall mounted mirrors, freestanding mirrors, hand held mirrors, pocket mirrors, and vanity mirrors. Wall mounted mirrors are hung from walls and range in size from small designs to grand over mantel mirrors. A specific type of wall mirror is a girandole, which has arms to hold candles. Placing candles in front of a mirror means the light is reflected off the mirror’s surface. This maximises the amount of light and also creates a soothing and tranquil atmosphere. Freestanding mirrors usually come with a frame and can be angled backwards and forwards for convenience. Vanity mirrors are designed to be placed upon dressers and used for applying make up and similar purposes. They are often oval shaped and can also be angled backwards and forwards. Hand held mirrors usually have a small mirror, often oval shaped or circular, atop a handle and are often ornate. Pocket mirrors are amongst the smallest types of antique mirror. They often have a lid so the mirror can be clipped shut to prevent it being damaged while carried in a pocket or purse. The lid is often intricately decorated.
- Time Period and Style
Antique mirrors are often referred to by their age, or the time period or the style in which they were made. Time periods may refer to reigning monarchs, as in the case of Georgian, Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian periods. Or they may refer to specific styles of the time, such as gothic, baroque, rococo, neoclassical, and art nouveau. There is overlap between different time periods and styles. The table below describes typical mirrors of each style.
Gothic (12th – 16th century also known as Medieval Gothic, revival in 19th century also known as Victorian Gothic)
Pointed arch at top
Frames typically dark wood, especially oak
Ornate carving or scrolling
Baroque (17th century)
Frames typically oak, sometimes walnut
Gilded gold or silver frames
Less ornate carving
Rococo (Early to mid 18th century)
Frames typically walnut or mahogany
Gilded gold frames
Carving at top, typically of flowers
Neoclassical (Mid to late 18th century)
Rectangular or oval shaped with flat base
Gilded gold frames
Slightly less elaborate than rococo
Georgian (1714 – 1837)
Often rectangular shaped
Often paler colours
Regency (1811 to 1820)
Oval shaped with narrow frames
Mahogany and gold gilded frames
Elaborate carving, typically floral and leaf motifs
Victorian (1837 - 1901)
Often dark wood or white
Ornate and heavy designs, often with Gothic inspired forms
Edwardian (1901 - 1910)
Delicate style and colours
Draws upon different styles from past eras
Art Nouveau (1890 – 1910)
Sinuous lines, swirling designs and nature motifs
Black lacquered frames
Early antique mirrors were ornate and elaborately carved, many featuring dark wooden and gilded frames. Gilding involves applying very thin layers of gold or silver leaf to wood or other materials. It gives a very elegant and attractive finish. Mirrors in the early 18th century were sometimes partially gilded on ornate features such as crests. Specific types of antique mirror include Chippendale mirrors, made by the London cabinet maker Thomas Chippendale. He designed ornate mirrors in the Georgian, rococo, and neoclassical styles. They often featured nature motifs such as birds. Early materials were typically wood, but later frames were made with plaster and known as composition frames. These were more economical but are prone to chipping, so they may not be in as good condition as solid wooden frames.
Identifying Antique Mirrors
There are a few points to look for when purchasing an antique mirror.
- Frame style
The frame style will reflect the general furniture style of the period. Frames may be made of wood, plaster boarding (later styles), or metal. The frame might be chipped or the gilt worn away in places.
- Mirror shape
The shape may give an indication as to its date of origin.
Look for any trademarks or dates.
The screws on the back of the mirror frame may indicate the mirror’s age. Older handmade screws have more irregular threads and heads, with different sized gaps between threads and off centre slots on the head. There may also be empty screw holes present.
Antique veneers are thicker and more irregular than modern veneers.
Older glass is thinner, greyish or yellowish, and not as sharp in reflective ability. Modern glass is thicker, colourless and gives a more accurate reflection. The thickness can be demonstrated by holding a coin to the surface - if the coin almost touches its reflection it is thinner, older glass. Older glass was poured or pressed, giving it a curved appearance with some areas thicker than others. Newer glass is cut and has a neat, even appearance. Older glass may have markings and indentations whereas newer glass is smoother with fewer markings. Older bevelled edges were worked by hand with pumice and are irregular in comparison to modern bevelling, which is performed by machine.
Buying Antique Mirrors
Which antique mirror is chosen will depend upon factors such as budget, the type of mirror, individual taste and existing decor. Large over mantle mirrors can be very expensive, while smaller hand held or pocket mirrors may be relatively cheap. Of course, factors such as the time period it dates from, level of detailing and condition will also affect the price. Antique mirrors may be bought as a one off item or as part of a collection. They can look stunning when arranged together on a wall. Consider the placement of the mirror carefully if starting a collection, thinking about how it may fit in with future purchases. Read the mirror’s description carefully to evaluate its condition. Reputable sellers will give as much detail as possible, stating whether there is any damage or if the product has been re-gilded or re-silvered. It is not always obvious or possible to tell if this is the case and it may be necessary to seek further advice from an antiques specialist. Re-gilding mirrors was commonplace throughout the 1700s and 1800s and older re-gilding does not detract significantly from the mirror’s value so long as it has been done well. The presence of the original glass adds to the mirror’s value, but so long as replaced glass is in keeping with the style it is generally considered quite acceptable.
Caring for Antique Mirrors
The seller may be able to provide information on how to care for the mirror. It may be better to use homemade and natural cleaning products, such as a solution of water and rubbing alcohol or vinegar, rather than stronger commercial products. When cleaning the glass, avoid contact with the frame. The mirror may require restoration, and antique restorers can re-silver mirrors, replace glass and restore frames.