Updating Grandma’s Vanity Mirror
It is not uncommon for someone to inherit a gorgeous heirloom. Often it may have been impeccably maintained by a previous generation. The aging Americans who survived the privations of the Great Depressions are well-known for purchasing quality pieces of furniture and preserving them for decades. Loved ones will often find the pieces they inherit in perfect condition. However, although Grandma’s vanity may have a flawless finish, no amount of dusting and cleaning could prevent the mirror from losing the silver finish on the back which creates the mirror’s reflective properties. Although services exist that promise to restore that old mirror, the better option may be a custom mirror replacement.
On its most basic level, a mirror is a bit of glass with one side lined with a silver coating. This coating is usually protected with a top coat sealant. Eventually, time will erode the effectiveness of the protective coating. As the elements of the silver and sealant age, changes take place in their properties. They begin to degrade from age just like everything else. Cycles of humidity and dry conditions, as well as extreme temperature fluctuations, can also contribute to the degradation of the silver and sealant. The abrasiveness of dust particles can even cause years of cleaning to take a toll on the beauty of a mirror. Thus, by the time a person inherits a vintage piece of furniture featuring a mirror, the focal feature may be in poor condition.
Replace or Restore
It may be more cost-effective to replace an old mirror than it would be to restore it. The re-silvering restoration process requires the following:
- Removal of the mirror from the frame.
- Stripping away of the old silver.
- Cleansing and preparing the surface before re-silvering.
Re-silvering requirements create these reasons to opt for replacement:
- Re-silvering will enhance any surface scratches or blemishes in the old glass.
- Time and labor to restore may be more expensive and take longer for project completion.
- Removal of old silver may conflict with personal convictions regarding the environment. Old silver methods involved the use of mercury which will need to be disposed of once removed from the old mirror.
It is always exciting to have an heirloom piece to hand down from one generation to the next. But that doesn’t mean each new set of hands that receives it cannot put their own unique mark upon it. Grandma may have preserved that vanity in its original condition. However, a custom mirror can be personalized with decorative etchwork, adding to the heritage and legacy of a family heirloom.
An old piece of furniture that features a framed mirror may have a wooden frame and support feature that have lost their structural integrity. The support system may no longer be able to perform its function safely. Whether a person attempts to restore or replace a damaged antique mirror, the surrounding wooden frame may be too fragile to withstand the removal and re-installation process. A frameless custom mirror would be the answer. This enables an heirloom to continue to function according to its design.
With the option to customize the shape of a mirror, Grandma’s vintage vanity can then integrate seamlessly into a room’s decor that already features certain geometric shapes or patterns. From minimalist to baroque, shape and style can be matched with a custom mirror replacement option.
Don’t trust the restoration or update of an heirloom to just anyone. Please contact us at 215-592-3433 for a no obligation estimate from experienced custom glass experts. Our skilled craftsmen provide glass and mirror solutions for small residential projects as well as large-scale commercial demands. We have the skill to manage the delicacies of an heirloom project. As a family owned business, we also understand that an inherited piece of furniture has more value than what a project costs. So give us a call and let us restore a vintage piece of furniture to its former glory with a custom mirror replacement.