Contractor Mirrors: Re-purpose or Remove

If your home was built anytime in the last three decades then you probably had or have a contractors mirror in your home.  They are cheap, big and often the go to for contactors when outfitting a bathroom in a new build.  While they are economical, many people find them to be boring, a little dated and lacking the Pizzazz that they want for their space. When looking to update your bathroom you really have two options.  You can remove the mirror or update it.

TO REMOVE THE MIRROR: Most of these contractor mirrors are secured to the wall with either liquid nails or a mirror adhesive.  Both can be a bear to work through, but here are a couple of the most common methods that people used on

  1. Take a guitar string that is longer than your mirror and tie each side to dowels for leverage. With a spotter watching the mirror, work the guitar string from one side of the mirror to the other.  This should effectively but through the liquid nails or mirror adhesive.
  2. Take an exacto knife and cut the top layer of the drywall all the way around mirror.  You should them effectively be able to peel the mirror and the top layer of the drywall off the wall.  You will have to do some patching, but it can save you the mess of a broken mirror.
  3. Criss Cross tape across the mirror so that there are no large pieces that are able to fall.  Cover all your surfaces and make sure that you have protective clothing and eye cover on. Use a hammer to make controlled breaks on the mirror and remove the pieces of the mirror as you break them off. There may still be liquid nail or mirror adhesive on the wall, you should be able to scrape this off and repair any areas of the wall that get damaged.
  4. Use a heat gun to soften up the liquid nails and or mirror adhesive until you are able to peel the mirror away from the wall.


There are many more viable options for removing contractor mirrors online as well, but these are a few that I felt were the most viable for someone looking to remove the mirror as a DIY project. Regardless of how you remove the mirror, remember to wear protective gear and cover the area with drop cloths and cardboard to limit and damage to the items that will be staying in your bathroom.

TO UPDATE THE MIRROR: If you are like me, then you are already exhausted just thinking about removing the mirror and are telling yourself that it doesn’t look THAT bad.  It’s true, that removing the mirror can be quite the project all in its own.  Often times replacing the mirror with something of similar size would also be extremely costly, so how do you update the mirror?  Create a frame for it!

For those of you who are avid DIYers then there are quite a few tutorials online about how to create a frame for a mirror out of trim from your local hardware store.  One of my favorites that I have found so far was on Impatiently Praying for Patience.  It walks through in detail what supplies you need, how to perfectly cute the frame and rounding out the finishing touches.

For those of you that are a little less “hands on” there are some great products out there for purchase.  All you have to do is measure your mirror, pick out the design you like and the frame has an adhesive on the back so you just peel and stick.  No cutting, no painting, really even I could do it! My favorite that I have found so far is from Mirror Mate.  They have a good selection of frames and they guarantee that the frame will fit and you will love it! With a price tag of 135 – 235 dollars depending on the frame, it is definitely more expensive then the DIY, but sometimes I find it is worth paying for a nearly finished project. See the before and after below:



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