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Did you ever wonder how mirrors were made? This article talks about the ways they are made and how you can create a simple DIY version of a mirror, too!
In This Article…
What do they put on glass to make a mirror?
A mirror is a flat surface that reflects light, much like water. The first mirrors ever used were created by coating the back of sheet metal with mercury or silver nitrate. This mixture would be applied and spread over the glass panel and then left for a few days to cure before being protected by glass or another material.
How to Make a Mirror
Mirrors are a necessary addition to any home. Most people have at least a few around the house – above the sink, on the vanity, hanging on the bedroom door, etc.
They’re not always cheap, either. While you can find a decent one at Target for $12 or so, some people spend upwards of a few grand for antique mirrors.
But, if you have a DIY spirit, you can actually make your own mirrors. It’s not hard. All you need is a mirrored panel, a frame, and a few hand tools. It’s a great option for people who want a completely customized mirror.
To learn how to make a mirror, check out this wikiHow article.
What is a Mirror Made Of?
In a certain sense, mirrors seem like magic. I mean, imagine what you would think if you were alive to see the first manmade mirrors. It probably would have seemed like sorcery.
But, the process actually isn’t that complicated. Mirrors are basically just sheets of glass coated in a glossy silver solution.
Of course, it’s a bit more complex than that. Mirror manufacturers have to brew up a liquid silver alloy that stays fluid long enough to be applied on a glass surface. Then, it has to be sanded and polished.
But, if you take a peek at this video, you’ll be surprise at how quick the process is.
How is a Mirror Made?
Looking for a step-by-step explanation of how mirrors are made?
Well, here’s a brief rundown. I’ll explain it as if you, the reader, were making your own mirror*:
*Please don’t do this at home. Mirror production requires a gas mask, protective clothing, and eyewear. It can be dangerous if you do it wrong.
Step #1: Polish a piece of glass (perfectly).
Step #2: Create a mixture of silver nitrate and deionized water.
Step #3: Coat the glass with a specialized liquid adhesive.
Step #4: Pour the silver nitrate/water over the adhesive coating.
If executed properly, the silver will dry evenly across the surface of the panel. After a period of dry time, you’ll have a mirror!
What Makes a Mirror Reflect?
Mirrors are reflective because they’re coated with silver nitrate.
By pouring this material onto the back of a sheet of glass, you allow the front of the glass to act as a flat barrier between the viewer and the reflective surface itself.
In other words, silver isn’t always perfectly reflective by itself. If you just poured a bunch of silver onto the ground, for example, you’d get a lumpy, semi-reflective pile of goop.
But, when you flatten it out underneath a glass pane, you end up with a smooth, shiny surface.
how to re silver a mirror
The first step is to remove the mirror from its frame in order to resilver a mirror. It must be stripped down to the plain glass and clean it very well before beginning this process.
Remove the backing paint with multi strip and a scraper
Use mirror remover and cotton balls to remove the chemicals
Use the sheet mirroring glass kit to apply the new chemicals to the surface
Protect the glass with black mirror backing paint to protect it