Resilvering a Mirror
Do you see through your antique mirror darkly? An expert can fix it.
One of the lower corners of our bathroom mirror has turned dark. Is there any way to make it look like new again?
—Gloria Bowen, Sacramento, CA
Kevin O'Connor replies: According to Jan Spevak, an expert in mirror restoration, this problem often shows up on bathroom mirrors because the moisture that condenses or splashes on the edge of the mirror oxidizes the reflective silvering and turns it black.
Resilvering is a complicated and fairly expensive process that can't be done on-site, so it's usually worthwhile only if the mirror is an antique, has etched designs or an unusual shape, or has great sentimental value. There's also a risk that a resilvered mirror won't look like new because the back of the glass is stained or etched—both problems that are difficult to erase—or because scratches on the surface of the mirror will become more prominent. "You'll probably find it easier and less expensive just to replace it," Spevak says.