If you are a lover of pieces that takes you back in time, antique mirrors will impress you. By installing them in your home, you can bring in the aesthetics of the Victorian era. It is an excellent way of flaunting your taste and adding elegance to your grooming station. Other benefits of having antiqued mirror in your space are increased brightness, airiness, and illusion of space. To enjoy the benefits of the beautifully crafted mirrors, you should know how to maintain them.
It is particularly not unusual to come across black spots on vintage mirrors. This should not stop you from getting that outstanding piece at the flea market. With knowledge of how to deal with the spots, you can make a vintage mirror look as good as new.
Why dark spots appear on vintage mirrors
Here are some of the causes of the black spots on antique mirrors.
During shipping, condensation is likely to take place due to the change in temperature. With time, the humidity formed can stain the face of the mirror, causing black spots. Alternatively, it can break down the back of the mirror, causing the disintegration of the silvering.
Once this happens, black spots show on the face of the mirror.
- Lack of ventilation
This usually happens in humid coastal areas with poor ventilation.
The silver backing usually oxidizes, leading to the formation of black spots.
- Temperature changes
Storing the mirrors in places with no temperature control catalyzes the formation of black spots.
Note that extreme temperatures cause the expansion and contraction of the mirror; this can destroy the silver backing leading to the creation of black spots.
Chemicals are yet another cause of the formation of black spots on the face of antique mirrors. These chemicals are usually found in cleaning agents.
The other source of chemicals that cause the formation of black spots in body salts typically dissolve the backing of the mirror, forming the black spots as a result.
Solutions to dark spots on antique mirror
Here are the solutions for doing away with black spots on antique mirrors.
- Re-silvering the mirror
Remember that the reason behind the formation of black spots on mirrors is the removal of the silver backing. One of the best solutions to black spots is removing the existing silver layer and replacing it with a new one. Once done, the black spots will be no more, and the formation of other black spots will be halted.
- Hide the black spots using aluminum foil
Sometimes the black spots escalate to a point where you can see through them. The solution for this is pretty simple. An aluminum foil can remove the unsightly spots. All you need to do is tape it at the back of the mirror.
When looking at the face, you will not see the black spots or through the mirror. It will only be a reflection of the foil.
- Spray paint
Aluminum foil can be tedious, especially if you have several areas to cover. Mirror-Like spray paint can serve the purpose of an aluminum foil, and even better. All you need to do is spray the entire back of the mirror, and the black spots will be gone.
This will be more effective and will take even less time.
- Paint around the edge of the frame
In most antique mirrors, the black spots form at the edge of the frame where it joins the mirror. This is because moisture trickles down to the sides, and this is the part where the mirror is likely to get into contact with chemicals.
Painting the back of the frame can hide the spots.
How to avoid further black spots?
Once you are done keeping your antique mirror clear of black spots, the next thing to do is prevent more from forming. Here is what you need to do.
- Leave some space between the wall and the mirror
One of the causes of black spots is lack of ventilation. Leaving some space between the mirror and the wall will allow the circulation of air, ensuring that the surface of the mirror stays dry.
This will prevent the silver backing from oxidizing.
- Prevent cleaners from staying in contact with the mirror for too long
To avoid the formation of black spots by chemicals, do not let the liquid cleaners remain in too long. Also, avoid spraying them directly in the mirror. Instead, spray the cleaner on a microfiber cloth and use it to clean the mirror. Also, cleaners with ammonia disintegrate the backing: please avoid them.
Moisture, temperature changes, and chemicals can cause black spots on an antique mirror. To prevent them, keep your mirrors moisture-free, and avoid using cleaners with harsh chemicals like ammonia. To remove black spots, you can re-silver the back of the mirror, use mirror-like spray paint at the back of the mirror, and paint the back of the frame.