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I've read that the best way to "antique" a mirror is to use hydrochloric/muriatic acid to burn away some of the metallic backing. According to different sources it can be found easily at hardware stores, but I've had no luck near me and employees look at me like I'm crazy. What products use this strong an acid? I tried CLR, but it wasn't really strong enough. Any ideas?

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You need to find a better hardware store. FWIW, you can order it online:


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Yeah, apparently I do. – unusualhabit Sep 21 '11 at 14:32

A lot of times you'll find it in the masonry section of your hardware store. It is used a lot for cleaning brick after it is set.

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Hydrochloric acid is the key component in swimming pool acidifying products (pH Minus). These products usually contain a buffer, which may make them less useful for your project. But, you can also by the stuff "straight": Crown Muriatic Acid - 1 Gallon at Lowe's.

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Since the answer's so old I won't edit, but as a post-script, most residential-grade pH-Minus products use an "acid salt" which forms a weak acid in water; examples include sodium bisulfate. Muriatic acid is used more often in commercial-size pools like community or school pools, where the staff don't have the time to mess with several pounds of powder. It's also used for concrete surface prep (it'll eat into the surface of existing concrete, so an additional "parge coat" of concrete or thinset for various flooring options adhere better. – KeithS Sep 8 '15 at 22:52

Muriatic Acid is also commonly sold for cleaning heavily stained toilets.

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