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How Much Does It Cost To Repair Or Resilver A Mirror?

National Average Change Location | View National
$210
Typical Range
$110 - $332
Low End
$50
High End
$500

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Mirrors come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, and the way a mirror is made hasn't really changed over the years. Typically, a mirror is made by covering a thin layer of aluminum or silver with a piece of quality glass.

Over time, however, mirrors can become damaged in a number of ways. Cracks and scratches can easily occur during handling, and the glass can become discolored. Fortunately, no matter what kinds of imperfections a mirror may have, there's a good chance that the mirror can be repaired and restored to look like new once again. Check out what you need know and then find a mirror repair pro near you.

Repair or Replace?

First of all, mirror owners should take the time to determine whether it's worth the cost to repair a mirror or if it would make more sense to simply replace it. For example, if a mirror has been in the family for generations or holds sentimental value, then it's probably worth it to repair the mirror rather than to completely replace it. The same goes with a mirror that was expensive to buy.

On the other hand, a cheaply made mirror or one that would be inexpensive to replace may be better off being replaced instead of repaired. Resurfacing often costs at least a few hundred dollars whereas it's possible to find new mirrors for less than $50.

All About Mirror Resilvering

Resilvering is a relatively complex process that works to restore a mirror to its original appearance. Specifically, mirror resilvering involves either replacing or repairing the damaged silver or aluminum layer that's located behind the pane of glass.

When Not to Resilver a Mirror

For many mirror imperfections, resilvering can be a great repair option. However, it should be noted that mirror resilvering typically isn't cheap. In most cases, mirror repair shops cannot perform this repair on-site and will send the mirror to a specialist. The average cost to resilver a mirror is about $15 per square foot. However, this cost can quickly escalate when shipping, repackaging, and handling expenses are factored in as well. Usually, these costs can easily add another $30 or more to the total cost. Therefore, for an average-sized mirror of about 16 square feet, one could expect to easily spend $270 on resilvering.

There are some situations when resilvering a mirror may not be the best option. A good example of such a situation is in an antique mirror; resilvering an antique could greatly impact its value.

Furthermore, if the mirror already has a lot of exterior damage, such as scratches that cannot be removed by hand-polishing or other imperfections, it may be best to stay away from resilvering. In such situations, the resilvering process could actually make these imperfections even more obvious and prominent to the naked eye.

Generally, a mirror repair or resilvering shop will be able to assess a mirror and make a recommendation of whether or not it's a good idea to try resilvering.

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Cautions About Resilvering Kits

There are several DIY home mirror repair kits available on the market. However, it's generally recommended that mirror owners avoid using these kits and instead rely on a professional to resilver their mirrors. There are many reasons why it's a bad idea to use a resilvering kit.

The results of a resilvering kit are totally unpredictable, so using them is risky. The mirror could end up looking like new, or it could end up looking even worse than before. Also, many resilvering kits contain chemicals that can give off strong, harmful fumes. Because resilvering requires being able to remove the glass from the mirror's frame, there's also the risk of breaking or otherwise damaging the mirror while attempting the repair, which could also result in injury from broken glass. By having the work professionally done, there's a much better chance of great results.

What Does Resilvering Entail?

It can be helpful to understand the basic steps involved in mirror resilvering. First, the top layer of glass will need to be removed from the mirror's frame. The existing silver or aluminum layer needs to be completely stripped using a strong chemical. Typically, this chemical is nitric acid.

Next, the remaining surface needs to be thoroughly cleaned and polished, which will prepare it for the new layer of silver. The new layer is usually applied using a special sprayer and will require several hours or more to dry completely. To improve the reflective qualities of the mirror, a layer of copper paint may also be added once the new silver is dry.

Finally, the mirror is put back together in its frame. The end result is a mirror that looks like new.

Overall, mirror resilvering can be a great option for those who want to restore the original look and quality of an existing mirror. Although it can be a bit pricey, many agree that the cost is more than worth the results.

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Judith Sutton More than 1 year ago






good information
Irene Martin More than 1 year ago
Have a 150-year old Hall Tree which needs resilvering.  Was thinking of using a resilvering kit; but after reading this, will definitely not go that route.  Thanks.
Barbara Papp More than 1 year ago
Didn't know a thing about the project; now, with this information, I have decided not to have the mirror resilvered.
Don Barkhaus More than 1 year ago
Beings nobody within 100 miles from Des Moines is   neither capable or wants to do it, I am going to buy my own kit, and I am sure I can do a great job myself. After all, I need my mirror silvered, it's not doing me any good the way it is now.

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