How to Remove Paint from Mirror Frame?

This post will teach you how to remove paint from a mirror frame in a few easy steps. We have done thorough research and consulted experts on this topic. And we have put together all our findings in this comprehensive post. We even go a step further to tell you what you can do to update your mirror frame after removing old paint.

How can you remove paint from mirror frames? You would need a chemical solvent to dissolve the paint from your mirror paint. Brush a coat of the solvent on the mirror frame and leave it in place for as long as the manufacturer recommends. You can use a stain remover or a varnish remover, depending on the type of paint on the frame. Later, scrape the solvent away with a scraper, and it would come off with the paint. Once you’re done scraping, finish off by wiping off the paint with a wet piece of cloth and washing it with water.

Removing paint from mirror frames is simple and easy. But then, the process will be complicated if you don’t already have the required tools before you start the project. In the sections that follow, we will show you all the tools you need and share the step-by-step process for removing paint from your mirror frame.

What Items Do You Need to Remove Paint from a Mirror Frame?

The major item you need to remove paint from mirror frames is a chemical solvent, or what some people call “a paint peeler”. But then, you would also need a brush and a soft spatula. You would also need to have some water on hand. What’s more, you may need to use goggles and non-latex protective gloves to ensure safety.

 Here are the different items you need to remove paint from a mirror frame:

Chemical Solvent

A chemical solvent will help you dissolve the paint for easy removal. Some experts say that chemical solvents with 80:20 composition of dichloromethane (or methylene chloride) and methyl alcohol. Some of these solvents are available in the form of a gel.

 The best chemical solvent to use will have the following features:

  •       It doesn’t have a pungent smell.
  •       It doesn’t burn the skin.
  •       It’s not toxic to the environment.
  •       It is affordable.


You need a brush to apply the solvent. You can use any kind of brush, so long as it’s not too harsh. You can even use an old toothbrush. You can also get a wire brush or a stripping brush. You need at least two brushes; one to apply the solvent and the other to clean off the paint later.

Wooden Spatula

You need a spatula, preferably soft, to collect mashed-up dissolved paint from the mirror frame. But make sure the spatula is soft and isn’t sharp.

Paint Scraper

You may eventually not need this. But it is good to have it handy. After removing the curled-up paint, some paints may remain in the grooves of the frame. For these “stubborn” areas, you may need to use a scraper to scrape off the paint. Learn how to refurbish your frameless mirror by reading this article titled, how can I make my frameless mirror look better? We have shared tips and information that you can follow.

Latex-Free Nitrile Gloves

If you are working with chemicals, it’s a good idea to protect your hands with gloves. In this case, latex-free nitrile gloves will be your best bet. You can use disposable or reusable gloves, depending on your preference. But disposable gloves seem to be better because the stains on reusable gloves may be difficult to wash off.

It is important to use non-latex gloves. If you use a regular latex glove, the latex material will disintegrate once the stain or peeler touches it.

Other Necessary Tools

Other necessary tools you would need are as follows:

  •       Some water to wash the frame after removing the paint
  •       Goggles, in case your project requires eye protection
  •       Cardboard or newspaper to cover your work surfaces

How to Remove Paint from Wood Mirror Frame

You can remove paint from your wood mirror frames in seven easy steps. Apply the paint peeler (or chemical solvent) to the frame and leave it in place for some time. Once the solvent fully dissolves the paint, remove it and it will come off with the paint. Make sure to take care of grooves and other areas with left-over paints. Then clean up the frame and finish off the surface with sandpaper. This same process works well for removing paint from laminate and metal frames too.

Video – How To: Remove Paint

This video explains a safe and easy way to remove paints from wood mirror frames. This process is basic and doesn’t require protective equipment. It works well for indoor mirror frame paint removal, as well as for other small home furniture.

In the next section, we will give a more detailed explanation of the seven steps for removing paint from mirror frames:

#1. Take Out the Mirror

Before you start the process of paint removal, take out the mirror, and separate the frame from it. To do this, loosen any hooks or nails holding the mirror in place. In cases where you can’t take the mirror out, you can protect it with cardboard or newspapers. Tape the cardboard or newspapers down on the mirror but take heed not to cover any part of the mirror’s frame.

#2. Protect the Working Surfaces

You should also carefully protect your working surfaces from stains before you start working. Lay out some newspaper or cardboard on the surface to protect it. Then lay the mirror frame on the newspaper or cardboard.

#3. Apply the Chemical Solvent

With a brush, apply a coat of chemical solvent to the frame. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and directions. There are different types of solvents for different kinds of paints. Make sure to cover the entire frame with the solvent, including the grooves.

#4. Leave the Solvent in Place

You must allow the solvent to sit for it to effectively dissolve the paint. This should take between 30 minutes to one hour, or even more. This usually depends on the type of solvent you are using.

#5. Scrape Off the Paint

Once the solvent has done its job, scrape off the paint (with the solvent) with a scraper. This will remove both the paint and the solvent. You can use a toothbrush to get out the paint from the grooved and corners of the frame, as well as other areas that the scraper may either cause damage or not reach. Use a soft spatula to collect the paint.

 While scraping off the paint, use firm strokes, but make sure the strokes are not harsh strokes when removing the paint. Stiff brushes could be quite harsh, so make sure to use a soft brush for this step. If you use a stiff brush or apply harsh strokes, it will scratch or scar the frame.

#6. Clean the Frame

Wipe away the stain from your mirror frame with a damp piece of cloth. Afterward, use clean water and a brush to wash the frame. Make sure to completely remove all stains, even from the grooves.

#7. Finish the Surface Texture

After the entire paint removal process, the frame’s surface texture may need some finishing. For this, use sandpaper to smoothen the frame’s surface. This should scrub off any remnant varnish or paint. This step will make it easier for you if you want to refinish or update the mirror frame.

How to Refinish a Mirror Frame

To refinish your mirror frame after removing old paint, you should apply a paint primer on the frame, followed by spray paint of your desired color. Remember to remove the old paint first, clean it thoroughly, and finish off the surface texture with sandpaper. Also, remember to keep the mirror covered while updating the frame.

 As you read on, we will explain the two main steps for refinishing and updating your mirror frame

Apply Paint Primer

Apply two thin coats of spray primer in even strokes. But allow the first coat to dry well before you apply the second. Choose the paint primer according to the color of paint you intend to use for your frame. For dark colors, use a gray color primer. And for light color, use a white color primer. Do you have a beveled mirror? You can also check out this article that discusses if you can frame a beveled mirror. Check out the article for more information.

Spray Paint Mirror Frame

Spray the desired color of paint on your frame in thin, even coats. Two coats will be enough to achieve full coverage of your desired color. But some paint types and colors require more layers of paints than others. You may need to use your judgment and discretion. In any case, make sure that one layer dries completely before you apply another.

 Spray paint is preferred above acrylic paint because it ensures a smooth finish. Acrylic paints, especially when applied with a brush, will scar the frame surface with brush marks.

Related Questions

How Do You Remove Paint from a Picture Frame?

You can start by softening the paint with vegetable oil. And for tougher paints, you can try denatured alcohol, or acetone, or any other solvent. Nail polish remover contains enough acetone to get the job done. Once the paint is softened, gently scrape it away with a brush or plastic knife.

 Make sure to protect the picture before you start the paint removal process. Also, protect the working surface. And after removing the paint, clean off every trace of the chemical solvent. You can use warm water and dish soap for this.

Can I Paint My Mirror Frame?

Yes, you can paint your mirror frame with either acrylic paint or spray paint. But spray paints achieve the best results. There are several colors and textures available for you to pick from. Just make sure to cover up the mirror before you start painting the frame. Also, apply two coats of paint primer to the mirror before spray painting it.


Removing paint from mirror frames is very easy and simple. We have explained all the tricks and tips for you in this post. We hope it helps you in your upcoming mirror frame update projects.

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