It is easy to find RVs with mirrors in the bathroom, bedroom, and common areas, which act as an optical illusion to make you think there is more space in the relatively cramped quarters. These mirrors are great until you want to do something else with the space they take up. Then they can be a real headache.
This article will outline the steps for removing a mirror from the wall of your RV and provide tips to ensure a safe and efficient job. There are a few different methods for removal that depend on how the mirror was affixed to the wall, so be sure to confirm how your particular mirror was installed before you begin. Soon your mirror will be gone, and you can move on to the fun stuff! Read on for exactly how to remove a mirror from your RV wall.
Determine How the Mirror is Affixed to the Wall
There are a couple of important steps to follow to ensure that you are safely and correctly removing a mirror from a wall in your RV. What you will first want to know is how your mirror is affixed to the wall. There are three common methods:
- Screws or bolts
Once you know which method was used to affix your mirror to the wall, you can start to prep for the job. It is most likely going to be the case that your mirrors are glued onto the walls of your RV, but velcro or screws/bolts are not unheard of.
Prepare the Mirror with Tape
This crucial first step applies to all the methods mentioned above and prevents the glass shards from exploding everywhere if the mirror should crack or break.
- Use duct tape or packing tape.
- Apply strips of tape in large Xs from corner to corner of the mirror
- Then apply strips in horizontal and vertical lines
- Fill in any gaps where a portion of the glass is exposed
This lattice of tape will hold the pieces of glass together, making the mirror more solid to work with because, as you will see, you will need to apply a good amount of pressure to the mirror, which may bend the glass. The tape will allow for a little bit of flexibility.
Prepare Surrounding Surfaces with a Drop Cloth or Cardboard Cover
Before you begin to pry the mirror off the wall, make sure you cover the surfaces in and around your mirror with some material to catch any glass that may break off from the mirror.
The last thing you want is to have a job ruined by a dangerous shower of glass. If you don’t have a drop cloth, put down a couple of large pieces of cardboard or even an old bedsheet. Really anything will work that provides a surface for catching glass.
Gather Your Materials
There are numerous ways to get a mirror off the wall, but you will need some combination of these materials:
- Putty knife
- Fishing line or wire
- Heat gun
- Wire saw
The crowbar can be swapped out for any tool with a prying feature. The fishing line should be strong (weighted to 50-80lbs), or you can use thin insulated wire or a wire saw. If you are using a fishing line or wire, make sure the piece you are using is longer than the mirror.
Taking Down Velcro or Bolted Mirrors
These methods of hanging a mirror are much less common than glue. Most RVs will utilize mirrors with an adhesive on the back to cut down on the amount of space that it is taking up. But some RVs have a velcro strip on the base of the mirror and two hooks on the top. Others will have small screws or bolts in a corner that hold the mirror in place.
For the velcro mirrors, simply pull the mirror from wherever the velcro is positioned, making sure to pull firmly but not too hard. Then unhook the mirror from the top. Bolted mirrors should be unscrewed at all points before removal. It is important to prep the mirror with tape in both cases just in case something goes wrong.
Removing a Glued Mirror
Looking to replace your sink backsplash but the mirrors seem cemented onto the wall? Do not fret! This is a relatively easy method to getting a glued mirror off the wall of your RV. Make sure to follow the previous steps to ensure your safety.
Heat the Mirror with the Heat Gun
This will loosen the glue that is being used to hold the mirror in place. It will not take long for the glue to melt a bit, so no need to get the glass piping hot. Hold the heat gun to the mirror for just a few minutes and check to see if there is any give or wiggle in the mirror.
Wedge the Shims Between the Wall and the Mirror
Take the angled side of the shim and wedge it between the wall and the glass. You can apply a few shims in various places on your mirror for extra leverage. This will slowly guide the glass away from the wall as you work on it.
Pry the Glass Off the Wall
This will take a little finesse, but it is easier than it sounds! You can use a putty knife or crowbar, basically anything with a strong base to pry the glass from the glue. As the mirror separates from the wall, firmly scrape behind the mirror to loosen the glass from the glue.
You can also use a fishing line or a thin insulated wire to saw the mirror from the glue. Imagine you are flossing between teeth. It’s the same concept! Take the wire or fishing line and string it the length of the mirror.
Fit the wire between the mirror and the wall and slowly begin to saw the line back and forth, working your way through the glue. There are tools specifically designed for this purpose called wire saws sold at some select hardware stores.
It is a good idea to start from the bottom of the mirror and work your way up. The mirror will take a little elbow grease to separate from the wall, but make sure to use firm but steady motions rather than jabbing at the mirror. Again, you want to make sure you retain the structure of the mirror without it breaking apart on you.
Finish the Now-Empty Space
Once you wrestle those mirrors off the walls of your RV, you are ready to paint, refinish, and redesign your moving paradise. While it may seem like a small job, removing your mirrors does take a bit of focus and finesse and should be practiced with a level of caution. Always take the time to prepare your workspace with the proper precautions, and be wary of broken glass.
Please choose the best method for you, but remember to be firm and consistent with your motions, and think about taking measures like heating the mirror to loosen the glue before going at it with a crowbar. It’s always better to work smarter, not harder! Once your mirrors are gone, scrape off the rest of the glue and continue on your RV remodeling journey.