Glass & Mirror Blog

Are My Custom Mirrors at Risk of Developing Black or Brown Spots?

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Have you ever wondered, “Are my custom mirrors at risk of developing unsightly brown or black spots? It is a common question, especially given the condition of many antique mirrors people stumble across while shopping at flea markets, boutique shops, collectible retailers and the like. The answer we give our customers is, “not likely” and here’s why:

Brown and black spots are caused by one thing, substances seeping through the mirror backing. Those substances range from condensation and cleaning fluid to storm water and human sweat. The related stains use to occur often in the 1800s and early 1900s because custom mirror backing weren’t that strong. Today, many custom mirror fabricators use stronger materials that prevent seepage. As such, brown and black spots are thankfully becoming scarce.

Of course there are still antique and cheap mirrors out there that remain at risk of developing ugly spots. With that said, we’d recommend taking steps to prevent discoloration from occurring in the first place. Otherwise, once the spots form there is really no way of reversing the damage without cutting out the discolored areas. Here are a few solutions:

  • Use a dehumidifier, heater or air conditioning system to keep the indoor, relative humidity below 50% and avoid placing cheap mirrors in areas prone to developing moisture problems. Examples include rooms with hot tubs, saunas, whirlpools, glass enclosed showers, garden tubs and lap pools.
  • Bring your mirror to us and ask to have the backing coated with a protective material. Of course you could also try to bolster the existing backing yourself with specialty paints and films from the local craft store. They won’t be as effective as the commercial backing materials we have on hand but may do in a pinch.

To learn more about protecting wall custom mirrors and other mirrored items from turning shades of brown or black, please contact us today.

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