Q: I just bought an antique mirror, but the reflective surface is blotchy. I know it used to be possible to have a mirror re-silvered—does anyone still do this?
A: Plenty of shops advertise re-silvering services, but hundreds of them just ship your piece to the real fountain of youth—Walter’s Mirror (32-11 Junction Boulevard, East Elmhurst; 718-446-5757; waltersmirror.com). In business since 1958, Walter’s can strip the damaged silver off the glass and apply a new backing. In one to two weeks and for about $20 per square foot, you’ll have your looking glass back on the wall. Owner Frank Hippel notes that his company does work on antiques bound for Sotheby’s auctions, and adds that if you’ve ever snuck a peek at yourself at Pastis or downtown hotspot the Park, you’ve seen his work. Be aware, of course, that re-silvering can only do so much. “Moisture exposure, like 60 years of someone shaving with boiling water, is going to stain the glass,” says Hippel. “Re-silvering can improve it 90 percent, but scratches and chips will always be there.” Hmmm—maybe we can blame the mirror for those little lines we see every morning?