Things are HAPPENING in our master bathroom! Woot!
Specifically, instead of a mirror, we now have a big empty wall with ugly 80’s wallpaper and black patches of some kind of adhesive. Hooray for progress!
So this is what our bathroom looked like very, very recently:
An absolutely enormous frameless, builder grade mirror (to go with the ridiculously long vanity, which I’ll talk more about in another post). We would have considered framing it out and keeping it, but it had some damaged spots on it that I don’t think were fixable (you can’t see them in the picture, but there was an area right in the middle with a bunch of black spots–not on the surface of the glass).
Dave had taken a small version of this mirror down at our old house by just kind of prying it off with a screwdriver, but this one was so much bigger I felt some research was called for. Google had many ideas for me. If you care about keeping the mirror in one piece, you have fewer options. We didn’t, so much, since 1. the mirror was, as noted, not in great shape and 2. I didn’t know how we’d manage to keep it in one piece and get it out of our house and to somewhere else where it could be reused anyway, so huge was it. I’m reasonably certain it wouldn’t fit in our van, for example, and I wasn’t really willing to go to extraordinary efforts to preserve a dated and damaged giant mirror.
So anyway. We have other plans for that spot. Which I hope to show you sooner rather than later, since right now we don’t have a bathroom mirror.
Okay, back to how to get a mirror down. One common suggestion was running piano wire behind it and then kind of sawing back and forth with it to break through the adhesive. We don’t have any piano wire, and we don’t have long enough arms to saw behind that giant mirror. Another idea was getting some suction cups designed to take dents out of cars (I had no idea these existed, by the way. I’ve been driving around with dented cars my whole life, not realizing there was a DIY alternative) and pull the mirror off with those. Heat guns were mentioned a lot, too.
We decided to give it a try with the equipment we already had on hand, though, which was duck tape, a meter stick, and a hammer.
Dave kind of poked around back there with our metal meter stick and determined that the adhesive seemed to be fairly localized to a few spots (one online place pointed out that that would probably be the case if you had a contractor-hung mirror, but if it was a DIY job, you’d be more likely to find liquid nails all over the place, the average DIY-er reasoning that more is better when it comes to adhesive). We became hopeful that pulling the mirror off would be relatively straightforward and easy.
First, in case the mirror wanted to shatter into a zillion pieces when we started tugging on it, we put tons of duck tape across it in a pleasing grid pattern:
Then, after donning thick gloves, long sleeves, and safety goggles, Dave stuck the meter stick behind the mirror and tapped on it with the hammer to loosen the adhesive spots:
Once he had it detached from the wall on one side (which didn’t take long at all), I held that side in place while he went to work on the other end.
Then, once we had it unstuck, we meant to carefully lower it down to the counter. Only it kind of fell on my fingers (which were gloved! Nervous grandmas!) on my end and fell onto the counter on Dave’s end, and that’s when one corner cracked:
So it was good that we had already accepted that that was probably going to happen at some point.
Also, hello wallpaper! Can’t pretend we’re glad to see YOU!
Really, this was not a shock, since I had already discovered that someone had painted over wallpaper in the rest of the bathroom. And I guess we’re going to be painting over it here, too, because that seems like the only reasonable course of action, really. I mean, getting it off would involve removing a layer of paint AND wallpaper from most of the room, and I just don’t care enough.
I had thought a whole lot about how to get the mirror down, but not so much about what to do with it once we had it off the wall. So we had to kind of wing it, and here’s what we did:
First we carefully lifted it and put it onto an drop cloth on the floor:
Then we wrapped it up in the drop cloth, taped the whole thing closed with duck tape, and, umm….let the kids smash it with a hammer. And safety goggles!
Milo said, “one time on HGTV, they smashed a mirror with a LOG!”
We didn’t do that, though.
Once we had reasonably small dangerous shards of glass Dave (sent the kids away and) put them in cardboard boxes lined with garbage bags:
And then he wrapped up the pieces too small to pick up in the drop cloth again and put IT in a garbage bag and then in a box. Now it all looks like this:
We still need to call the city trash people and ask them what to do next with it.
So now we have this:
We have to deal with the left behind adhesive, and then we’ll be ready to paint in here!
Read more about our endless master bathroom reno: