Even if you take good care of your mirror, there is a good chance that it will eventually get damaged. Some types of damage, such as cracks or breaks, leave you with no choice but to replace the mirror entirely. Additionally, with serious damage to certain types of mirrors — bathroom mirrors, which are expensive and difficult to repair, but easy to replace, or other more replaceable mirrors — repairing is not cost effective, and simply replacing the mirror makes more sense. However, in certain situations, you may not want to replace a damaged mirror. Whether it is a valuable antique, or a mirror with sentimental value, you may want to do things the hard way and repair it. How is this possible? If you decide that repairing your mirror is for you, the following should be of some help.
This technique seems obvious, but it is easy to forget. Many blemishes that seem very serious at first can turn out to be rather superficial. Because of this, it is important to make sure the surface of your mirror is perfectly clean before attempting any complicated repairs. Otherwise, you run the risk of spending time and money, only to realize afterwards that your problem could have been solved in minutes.
To clean your mirror, use a mixture of water and vinegar. The water should be free of minerals, so if this is not the case with your tap water, use distilled or bottled water instead. Spray the mixture onto a piece of newspaper — not onto the mirror — and wipe the piece of newspaper over the mirror. This should remove all superficial blemishes on the surface of your glass. If this does not solve your problem, you will need to try a different solution.
If your mirror is blemished, but is not responding to attempts to clean it, the silver is probably damaged and must be repaired. In these cases, you must resilver your mirror. To do this, you will need a resilvering kit, as well as the appropriate protection — gloves, a dust mask, and goggles.
Use the chemicals included in the kit to remove the original silver. It is important that you wear your protective clothing for this, as many dangerous toxins will be released during this step. Once you are finished here, find a level surface to place the glass flat on. Then, use the included glass cleaner to clean the glass. Do not touch the glass from this point on. Since the glass is still on a level surface, you should have no trouble applying the chemical mixture containing the new silver for your mirror. Wait ten minutes, then rinse the mirror and go over it with a dry cloth. Once it is completely dry, you can apply the paint that will serve as the new backing, which should be included in your kit. When it dries, you are done.
If you wish to use a simpler solution, you may simply disassemble the full mirror, throw away the glass but save the frame, and cut a new piece of mirror to fit your frame.