June 1, 2011

#25- I'm Talking to the Man in the Mirror

With the tile, lath and concrete finally out of the house, and the new wood sub-floors installed, we were almost ready to lay in the new wood floors.  Almost.  Seriously, this project was dragging on like a artsy Brad Pitt movie. (When is he going to take his shirt off so that it can finally get interesting?)  But there were just a few more projects we needed to finish first to make sure that our beautiful new maple planks wouldn't be damaged.  The biggest project on the list was my personal favorite. Finally- we get to remove the big mirrors in the Dining Room.  At least I felt that way, the Hubs felt more like this:

This is Jason's, "Seriously Erin?  We need to remove the mirror right now?" face.

I'm on the other side of the camera going, "Pretty please?  They will come out really fast." The good news is that it didn't take too much persuasion, because he hated these big ugly guys as much as I did.  For months I have been dreaming about the day that they would meet their maker, and in my mind it always included a lot of preparation and tools, like what we have seen on HGTV.  In reality though, it was about 10PM, after a long day of working, we had no idea what we were doing and no appropriate tools.  Jason wasn't even wearing shoes. Do not try this at home.

We started by taking a crow bar and chisel to the track that they were sitting in and bending it back so that we could slide the mirrors out.  We also stuck the chisel back behind the mirrors gently and applied a little force to unstick the mirrors from the wall behind it.  It was totally dangerous, and we definitely should have taped the mirror, had the correct suction style grips to hold the mirror, etc...  But we didn't.  We're dangerous like that.  Then we simply pushed the mirrors out of the track, and surprisingly, it worked.  We hauled the mirror out to the dumpster safely and in one piece.  It took no more than 10 minutes.  It was a miracle.

This is one of the few photos I was able to take during the removal, because it was a two person job, and Jason wasn't a huge fan of, "Hey honey, hold that dangerous and heavy thing by yourself for a second so that I can snap a photo."

Quick shout out to Vern from Vern's Dumpsters.  He was quick and had the dumpster out to out house within 30 minutes of our call.  He was also dirt cheap.  Well, I mean his dumpster was cheap.  I don't know him personally so I can't judge.

Mirrors, along with all our hauled out concrete and lath, as seen the next morning when we had light.

Afterward, we had a wall that looked like this:

The funny thing is that this sheet rock below had never been primed or painted.  Which means the mirrors were original to the house, and that this wall had seen nothing but mirrors on it for over 30 years.  Suddenly I felt a whole lot of pressure to do something great on this wall.  And I'll be honest and tell you right now that with the mirrors down, the room felt a whole lot smaller.  Those people in the 80's maybe had the right idea...  But even though it makes the room look bigger to have the mirrors in, that's no reason to live with terrible design.  We'll just have to work to incorporate a smaller, more artistic looking mirror or two in our final design.

As if we haven't done enough scraping lately with the paint trim and the concrete on the sub floors, now it was time to scrape again, but this time it was the wall adhesive, which looked like this:

It wasn't too bad though, as most of it came right off with the sheet rock paper.  Which means we just had to patch and skim coat with joint compound.

We let it dry overnight, then the next day gave it a good sanding, and then applied another thin coat.  (Which was a total mess, and is why I am so glad we did this step before the wood floors were installed.)  After our second coat dried, we sanded again making sure to take our time to get a perfectly smooth surface.  The thing with drywall is that it can look just fine, and you don't realize that it needs to be sanded, until you apply your first coat of paint and the imperfections jump out at you.  So we've learned (the hard way) to spend a lot of extra time sanding to make sure that it is perfect. After that it was a quick coat of primer:

Unfortunately I'm still hopelessly lost on a direction for this room, so we agreed that it would be okay to paint it after the floors went in, if we promised to be incredibly careful and be over-cautious with the drop cloths. (And when I say "we," I mean me, since I'm typically the paint spiller in Team One Project at a Time.)  I'm actually pretty shocked how quickly and easily these mirrors came out, so I can't help but wonder why they weren't removed when they went out of style.  You know, like 2 decades ago.  What about you guys?  Anyone have large full mirrors in their homes that they are afraid to tackle?  Anyone else have a tough time with sheet rock and sanding?  It's an art I tell you, and I'm no artist.


  1. Mirror DIY idea: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/eagan-multipanel-mirror/?cm_src=SEARCH_TOPPRODUCT||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Sku_Top_Marketing_Rule|Mirror%20Search%20Term-_-&cm_re=OnsiteSearch-_-SCHBillboard-_-SEARCH_TOPPRODUCT||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Sku_Top_Marketing_Rule|Mirror%20Search%20Term-_-

  2. Oooh- that mirror is perfect! And would be relatively easy to make too. (Famous last words.)

  3. AnonymousJune 18, 2013

    I'm looking for a way to remove a long mirror of a dinning room table due to spills of sugary liquid it has stuck to the table top. Can anyone help me with this?

    1. Wait- the mirror is adhered to the dining room table? I would start with warm water. Pour a little in the areas where it is stuck, and see if you can get the sugary liquid softened up. I'm no pro- but that's where I would start.

  4. I have a large mirror that takes up the entire upper half of my dinning room wall. Not sure how to wedge it out because there are two walls cornering it in.

    1. Hmmm... maybe start with a small crow bar at the bottom? Good luck!