Can You Restore My Old Photos?

A Guide to Our Photo Restoration Services

Discovering a precious old photograph with stains or rips is sadly a common phenomenon. Accidents happen and with pre-digital photography there’s often only one copy of each print. These unique photos are priceless to us, but also vulnerable to all manner of wear and tear. If you have a picture you fear may be ruined, our photo restoration services are here to help. It may surprise you how much of this damage is repairable.

Here are some of the problems we regularly fix:

Torn and Cracked Photographs

Whether someone has deliberately tried to destroy a photograph, or it has torn accidentally, this doesn’t necessarily mean the end. Rips and tears are one of the most common problems we encounter and often the most satisfying to work on. It’s great to see a torn apart picture come back together again. If you’ve previously used sticky tape to try to fix it, the discoloration this can cause is likely to be rectifiable too.

Recreation of Missing Pieces of a Picture

2. How Much Research is Required?

Sometimes parts of an image go missing after a photo is torn. A corner is lost in a house move or, like a sock in the laundry, it simply disappears. At The Photo Restoration Center, we use artistic skill and historic research to recreate the lost section with amazing results.

Old Photographs Stuck to Glass

What to do When an Old Photograph is Stuck to Glass

When an old photo is stuck to the glass of a picture frame, the sticky part often leaves a nasty mark and any attempts to remove it causes rips and tears. First things first, if this has happened DON’T try to physically remove the photo from the glass – it’s likely this will make it worse. Often, we can fix the image using a high-resolution scan of the photo with the glass and all. Read our guide on what to do when an old photograph is stuck to glass, and let us know if we can help.

Spilt Water on an Old Photograph

water damaged photoBecause of the delicate materials old photographs are printed on, they often suck up water like a sponge. This can leave an image with blotches, splotches, and even remove some of the detail and color. In the same way as a torn old photograph is fixable, our photo restoration services can digitally rebuild the picture in question. It gives us a real buzz when a unique portrait previously thought to be beyond repair ends up looking as good as new.

Stain Removal for Printed Photographs

As well as accidental spillages, various pollutants can cause stains on old photographs. Household chemicals, such as cleaning products, cigarette smoke, and dust can damage the printed image leaving unsightly marks, smears, and faded coloring. When this occurs, our process of restoring the photo will vary depending on how much of the image is affected. But, in the same way as we can fix photos affected by spilt water, it’s likely we can help.

Removing Mold from Photographs

Removing mold from photosIf you store photographs in a warm, damp environment, like a garage, attic, or basement, they are susceptible to mold. It’s a serious problem, especially when there are many prints together in a box.  Any attempts to wipe off the mold risks extra damage. So, it’s important to take a high-resolution scan of the image as soon as possible. We can then advise on its chances of restoration – we may also be able to offer a discount on a bulk order.

Sun Damage and Faded Photographs

Extreme reconstruction of image detailWhen your favorite portrait has been hanging in your hallway for a good few years, you may notice that the colors start to fade and look washed out. This is because UV light affects the chemical make-up of printed photographs. The ink used to print photographs contains a light absorbing body called chromophores. The sunlight breaks down the chemical bond of this compound, causing colors to fade away. But, don’t despair. It’s remarkable what can be done to restore old photos – even if the detail has almost completely disappeared.

As with many things in life, prevention is the best way to avoid these problems. Storing your photographs safely is key. Plus, using high quality, UV protected picture frames and museum glass to display your photographs helps too. Our guide to scanning old photographs for preservation and restoration has more tips for creating a digital backup of your most precious old photographs.

If the damage has already been done, get in touch. We’ll be happy to come to the rescue.