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Mirror Backing: Everything You Need to Know

Applying the proper mirror backing is very crucial in order to ensure the quality of a mirror. If you’re trying to accumulate information on mirror backings, then you have landed on just the right page.

In this article, we will walk you through the several aspects associated with mirror backing and how you can apply the perfect mirror backing. Read ahead to learn more about it.

What is the backing of a mirror?

Mirror backing is placed underneath the glass layer in a mirror. It’s a reflective coat under glass that helps form the primary reflection that we see when we stand in front of a mirror. Materials like silver, foil, aluminum are commonly used in backing. Quality of backing impacts quality of mirror.

The backing of a mirror is the reflective layer that is placed underneath the primary mirror. This thin reflective mirror is crucial in ensuring the quality of the mirror as it will determine how well the reflection from the mirror will be.

Glass itself is not a reflective material. So in order to form a mirror, one that will allow us to observe a reflection when we stand in front of the glass, we will need to place a reflective layer underneath. This is the primary function of a mirror backing.

Mirror backing is also known as silvering because, in the past, silver was one of the most common elements used for the backing. Mirror backing has come a long way since then.

Materials such as aluminum, foil, and more are now being used for silver backing. In addition, materials such as nickel, tin, and chromium are also being used now to ensure quality yet cost-effective mirror backing.

A foil coat is used to cover silver backing in order to protect it from moisture, salt deterioration, and other forms of damage. So you will also need to ensure a proper protective coat in order to ensure the quality of the mirror backing.

What is mirror backing made of?

A range of materials is now being used to make mirror backing. In the past, silver was pretty much the only material that was used in mirror backing.

This caused mirror backing to be formerly known as silvering. However, mirror backing has evolved quite a lot since then.

Now a range of materials is used in mirror backing, including silver, nickel, tin, aluminum, foil, and more. Even chromium is used in mirror backing. Such diverse options allow us to produce mirrors in a range of price points.

Good quality material is a crucial factor that will determine the quality of a mirror. The better the quality of your mirror backing, the greater the quality of your mirror.

How do you attach a backing board to a mirror?

Ensuring quality mirror backing is crucial in order to produce a good quality mirror. You will need to attach the backing board to a mirror properly in order to ensure good quality. Here’s how to attach a backing board to a mirror: 

Buy a mirror and a backing board:

You will need to buy a mirror and a backing board of roughly the same size. It is crucial that you ensure the same size for the two because this will allow you to mouth the backing board to a mirror smoothly.

Otherwise, you will have to cut the mirror, but the process will require advanced skills and several tools.

So it is better that you buy both the mirror and the mirror backing board of the same size. You will find these components in any local mirror stores and dealers.

We suggest that you buy a plywood backing board for your mirror. You can get the plywood backing cut by any local hardware store to ensure that it is in your desired size. Make sure that the mirror and the mirror backing fit well together. 

Cover the floor with blanket:

Before you proceed, make sure that the place that you’re working in is well ventilated. It is important to ensure that in order to keep the mirror in good condition.

Then cover the floor with a blanket in order to protect the mirror from any scratch or crack. The blanket will also catch any glue if they fall.

So the blanket is important to ensure the cleanliness of both the mirror and the surface underneath it.

Place the backing board on the blanket and glue it up:

Now place the backing board, which is supposed to be the plywood board in this case, flatly on the blanket. Now cover its surface evenly with glue.

Make sure to spread glue throughout the surface. In addition, you should ensure that the edge of the plywood board is well covered with glue so that the mirror can stick to it perfectly well.

Place the mirror on top of the board:

Now it is time to place the mirror on top of the plywood board. Make sure to press the mirror gently once it’s placed on top of the backing board. This will ensure that the glue is working and the mirror sticks to the board.

Wipe excess glue from the sides:

Now you should wipe out any excess glue that might be sticking out from the sides of the mirror. Use a wet cloth for this step.

Make sure to be prompt with this step, because the glue will create an ugly mess if you do not wipe it out before it dries.

Keep the mirror on top of the board for 24 hours:

To allow the mirror to stick to the board, keep it as it is for 24 hours. By that time, the mirror should stick to the plywood board properly. And this is how you should attach a backing board to a mirror.

How do you protect the back of a mirror?

Here’s what you can do to protect the back of a mirror:

Protective adhesive:

In order to protect the back of your mirror and ensure that it lasts longer, you can apply protective adhesive on the back of the mirror. This product will help you ensure that the back of the model is protected during remodeling or painting jobs.

Place a carpet underneath:

If your mirror is mounted with the wall, you can place a carpet underneath it in order to protect it from any unwanted scratch. It will also be protected from shattering.

What causes mirror desilvering?

Mirror desilvering is a very common yet bothersome problem. This problem arises when your mirror gets exposed to moisture.

Moisture causes oxidation in the metallic mirror backing, which eventually causes desilvering. You will notice black spots on the mirror when this issue begins to show up.

Can you and how to repair a mirror backing?

Yes, you can repair mirror backing. Here’s are some simple steps following which you can repair mirror backing:

Repair the dark spots:

Mirror backing sometimes develops dark spots due to desilvering. This happens when the mirror is exposed to an excessive moisture level.

In order to repair such issues, you can use resilvering spray or mirror backing paint and spray it on the mirror backing. This will repair the mirror backing.

In addition, make sure to control the moisture level in the room where the mirror is placed. Otherwise, the issue will show up again.

Repairing cloudy mirror:

If your mirror gets cloudy, then you will have to take some quick steps to repair it. It is likely that the surface of the mirror is clouded with some build-up. So you should address it with a cleaner and a washing cloth.

What is mirror backing paint?

Mirror backing paint is a colored material that does film-forming tasks. This paint is applied to the silver mirror backing in order to repair it when the backing wears off. Mirror backing paint is a great and convenient way to fix your mirror.

Does mirror spray paint work?

Yes, mirror spray paint works. There are some highly functional mirror sprays that are available in the current market. It is a great product that will help you form an illusion of a mirror on glass surfaces.

It performs the job of mirror backing, minus the hassle of attaching a metallic surface to the back of the glass.

All you have to do is spray the paint on a glass surface and the job will be done. This paint is generally used on windows to offer you some privacy.

Final thoughts

Mirror backing is a reflective coat that’s placed under the glass surface of a mirror in order to ensure good quality reflection. It is made of metallic materials such as nickel, tin, foil, aluminum, chromium, and more. Ensuring good quality mirror backing is important for the quality of the mirror.