# Strip away a small amount of aluminium with household chemicals

I'm trying to turn a 6″ diameter mirror (I have spares) into a two-way mirror. It shouldn't be too hard to remove the backing, but then I need to remove most, but not all of the Aluminium plating.

My current plan is to remove the backing with paint-stripper, then soak the mirror in citric acid. However, I'm not sure how long it needs to be left in the citric acid, or even if that will work at all.

Are there any household, or easily acquired, chemicals I can use that will react with Aluminium in a controlled fashion?

Any help or pointers in the right direction would be appreciated.

• Thanks a lot! That's really helpful. So there's no way to slow down the reaction with $\ce{Al}$ without affecting the reaction with $\ce{Al_2O_3}$? – Zaz Nov 23 '15 at 20:43