How to Cut Mirror for Your Mosaic

Mirror is a great material for mosaics - its reflectivity adds such a great element. But cutting mirror is a little tricky. You need to be deliberate and careful. A very talented stained glass artist is kindly allowing me to share this information with you. You will need to use stained glass tools such as a scoring tool and running pliers and possibly a glass grinder.

Here are some great tips:

  • To avoid scratching the silvered back of the mirror place it on a towel or something soft
  • Make a score in the same way as you would regular glass. Do this on the top of the clear glass not on the backing. NOTE: Mirrors are often 4mm deep, not 3mm.

It’s very easy to chip the backing when you run the score. To minimize this, do the following:

  • Break the mirror immediately after scoring
  • Use running pliers from both ends to open the score first
  • Intricate curves can also be a problem. Press with your thumbs or the padded handles of your pliers rather than tap the score. If you do decide to tap to open the score do it very gently.

Grinding Mirrors

  • Silver backing chips very easily so use the finest grit grinder head you can get – super fine if possible. Alternatively, use an old grinder head which is dulled already. If you use a coarse grit it will chip into the mirror backing
  • Keep the backing uppermost to stop any scratching on the grinder bed
  • Apply gentle steady pressure as you grind
  • Wash and dry the mirror

Important note:  Only use glues that are specifically for mirror like Loctite Mirror Adhesive. Other glues can and will "eat away" the silver backing.

This information was originally shared from Milly Frances, Stained glass artist, at https://everythingstainedglass.com - she has lots more stained glass info there.

4 comments

  • Would the adhesive on the back of copper foil ruin the mirror backing?

    Bee
  • Great information. I’ve stayed away from using mirrored glass, now I’m ready to try it in a project.

    Nora Condland
  • Thanks so much! I’ve used mirror pieces to make copper foiled stain glass items. Your news would certainly have greatly aided in the cutting and grinding!
    Thanks
    Rick

    Rick Berlinrut
  • Thanks for the info. Cutting mirror is a delicate procedure where technique is
    Paramount.

    Hank kuhlmann

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