How to Care For Your Antique Mirror

November 15, 2021

Any mirror can add depth and dimension to a space, but antique mirrors do something unique: they further enhance a room by producing an enchanting, old-world atmosphere. If you’re looking for something that will make a bland space more distinctive, an antique mirror will certainly add character and a touch of history to your surroundings. However, these mirrors need to be maintained a very specific way since they are typically more fragile. Depending on how old the piece is, you’ll want to take extra care to preserve it so it can be passed down to further generations.

Not sure what makes an antique mirror “antique”? To be considered an antique, the mirror must be at least 100 years old. You can usually spot an antique mirror by taking note of its flaws; creases and spots are common blemishes.


You should always turn to expert advice before restoring your antique mirror. Any change you make could lessen its value, so you want to make sure you have a professional look at it first and provide their opinion.

If the mirror has too many flaws, you may want to consider certain repairs. The frame could be damaged, for instance, or de-silvered due to moisture. Purchasing an antique mirror means you have most likely come to love its imperfections, but you still want it to be an attractive addition to the room. Completing a minor restoration might be a good idea if it is needed. Again, however, this work should only be completed by an expert who can increase your mirror’s worth rather than devaluing it.


Any antique mirror should be installed very carefully. It has already survived all these years, and you don’t want to watch it shatter to pieces before your eyes. Mirror glass experts should take over this process so preventable accidents don’t occur. No matter its size, shape, or glass thickness, an antique mirror should be installed with secure brackets to ensure its protection. It’s also a good idea to hang the mirror away from direct sunlight, and somewhere your kids and pets won’t reach it. The last thing you want is to cause a hazardous situation or to invite little ones to finger paint all over antique glass! Luckily, a professional will be able to help you choose the right location and prioritize the safety of your antique mirror. 


Once as your frame is installed, you’ll want to know how to clean it properly. Harsh chemicals could damage the mirror’s surface, so you should follow separate guidelines when it comes time to clean your antique mirror. First, dust your mirror’s frame with a soft microfiber cloth. If that doesn’t do the job, a small duster or brush might help for hard-to-reach areas. Next, you have a few options: you could use a cloth wetted with methylated spirits, a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water, warm water doused with a couple drops of ammonia, or paraffin. No matter which method you select, wipe the glass with careful circular movements.

Lastly, clean the frame by using a wet cloth and let everything dry completely. Another dry cloth could hasten the process as well. If your antique mirror has a wooden frame, rubbing it with polish will be in your best interest.


In all likelihood, you’ll want to hang your mirror right away to get the most out of its beauty. However, storage might be necessary if you’re moving or renovating your home. You may be surprised to hear that before storing your antique mirror, you should clean it. After all, it’s going to collect a little dust anyway, right? However, if dirt piles up it could cause harm to the mirror surface and frame. Next, wrap it multiple times using acid-free tissue paper and finish it off with a layer of durable bubble wrap. Placing it in a tight-fitted box is also recommended. Finally, use a sharpie to label the exterior as fragile in large letters that movers can read easily. When choosing a storage facility, prioritize a moderate climate and a company with professionals who have experience handling antiques.

We Can Install Your Antique Mirror With Care

We install antique mirrors and design wall-to-wall mirrors in any shape you desire. We bring our mirrors to homes and businesses in all of Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland. A River Glass Designs installation expert will double-check all measurements at your home or business before we fabricate the glass for you. We ensure that your mirror will perfectly fit on your wall.

Our mirrors come with a one year full workmanship warranty. Call us today at 301-977-3020 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

Ask about special mounting and installation options.

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