How to fix damaged blue mirror glass tables

November 28, 2012

Q. We own four vintage art deco cobalt blue mirror glass tables that we love because they fit into our small living room space. However, after 25 years, the glass has some chipped areas underneath the foil. Plus, our first dog did some teething on the wood. Who could repair or restore these items for us? They look a bit shabby and not very chic!

Chevy Chase

A. Cobalt blue mirror glass is a distinctive art deco detail, so your tables are true collector’s items. As such, if they show a little wear, it just makes them look more authentic.

However, if they look too shabby for your tastes, a company that specializes in antique furniture repair can repair the wood and its finish.

For the glass, your best option is probably Chaudron Glass in Baltimore (410-685-1568), one of the few companies in the area that resilvers mirrors. The company does this in batches approximately every three weeks. The price varies by size. Recoating a mirror that’s three square feet costs $56. The cobalt blue that you love is in the glass; the mirror coating is the same regardless of the color.


A reader's blue mirror glass tables need repair. (Reader Photo)

Another option would be to replace the glass, but colors available in mirror glass tend to vary according to what’s in style, according to Kevin Sharbaugh, owner of Chevy Chase Glass in Bethesda (301-654-2022). Currently, that means mostly bronze or gray — not the same look at all. Companies that specialize in stained glass supplies, such as Weisser Glass Studio in Kensington (301-571-8966), carry a wider selection.

If you do resilver the glass, be extremely careful when you clean it so that nothing acidic or alkaline seeps onto the back. That, rather than scratches, is probably what damaged the original mirror coating.

YOUR TURN

I think your advice about cleaning and remounting needlework from the 1930s (How To, Sept. 20) is overly grand for a family needlepoint cleaning problem. Somehow I don’t think that it is a textile museum or conservator problem. I expect that it is a needlework shop problem. I would advise your writer to go to one of the several wonderful specialist needlework shops and ask for advice. They mount, frame, and protect work all the time and will probably be able to put its value (likely to be mostly sentimental) in perspective. Off the top of my head, there is In Stitches in Alexandria near Woodlawn, Waste Not in Arlington, and From Start to Finish in Potomac.

Alexandria

Have a problem in your home? Send questions to localliving@washpost.com . Put “How To” in the subject line, tell us where you live and try to include a photo.

The Checklist Read Jeanne Huber’s roundup of home-improvement tasks you should tackle in December, such as combatting dry air.

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