Old Photos Restoration — 4 Easy Ways

By Shannon Gurnee
In Lifestyle
February 1, 2023

Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about old photos restoration.

old photos restoration

Photos are precious moments frozen in time and captured on paper. However, photo paper is rather delicate and requires proper care, if you want it to last. But what is there to do with damage that’s already done? There are actually plenty of ways to restore old pictures partially or completely. In this guide, we will show some means to give new life to old photos and let them live on as tender mementos or family heirlooms. Without further ado, let’s begin!

Hire a Pro

As already mentioned above, old photographs are delicate. If you are confident in your skills and willing to take risks trying to fix them yourself, then go for it. In any other case, the first you should consider is getting some help from a qualified specialist.

Finding someone who provides photo restoration services is not that hard. However, despite all the benefits of professional care, going this way has its pitfalls. Photo restoration services can be rather expensive, which may not be acceptable to everyone. The fact that strangers will see your personal photos may be another deal-breaker.

Consider carefully whether you can go this way. Despite its drawbacks, this approach to recovering ancient images is still a viable choice, especially for individuals who lack retouching expertise.

Try Photoshop

Regardless of what you’re going to do with the actual photos, having a digital backup is a good idea. It may not be as heartfelt, but it still works for the preservation of images and related memories. Plus, you can mess with digital restoration with no risk whatsoever. And what program is better for this task than the famous Photoshop? Here’s what you can do with it:

  1. Open your image. Load the digital copy of your picture to the program. Then, go to Layer > Duplicate layer.
  2. Fix the defects. Put the tools you have at hand to use. Spot Healing Brush removes small blemishes, spots, and so on. Clone Stamp uses parts of the picture itself to hide greater defects.
  3. Fix color fading. If your image looks dull, use the Curve controls to saturate the colors, remove the cast, and make faded tones vivid again.
  4. Add color. If you have one of the latest versions of Photoshop, you can use an AI-powered tool to automatically colorize a monochrome shot.


Photoshop provides sufficient capabilities for photo restoration, but at a high price and with a challenging learning curve. However, Photoshop is more than capable of photo restoration if you know your way around it.

old photos restoration

Try PhotoGlory

If you still want to take the digital route, but Photoshop is a bit much in terms of complexity and price tag, there are plenty of alternatives. They may not be as powerful, but much easier to grasp and use to a full extent, getting amazing results. One such alternative is PhotoGlory, a neat photo editor designed specifically for processing old photographs. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Cut the torn corners off. Load the picture in the program. Then go to the Tools tab and select Crop. Then place the frame in a way that leaves the torn edges out of the picture. Then click Apply.
  2. Mask the defects. Now open the Enhancement tab and select Restore Old Photo. The program will fix scratches and cracks automatically. In case there are some defects left, go to the Retouch tab to use Healing Brush and Clone Stamp.
  3. Restore faded colors. To refine washed-down colors manually, go to the Enhancement tab. There you can meddle with saturation, clarity, exposure, and other sliders to bring the vibrancy back into the picture.
  4. Colorize black & white photos. PhotoGlory lets you colorize it in a single click. Just load the monochrome picture, click Colorize black & white photo, and let the program work. If the result looks a little off, you can add the finishing touches with manual tools.


Now your picture looks way better. Colors are vibrant, fractures, and stains are gone. And it took a few minutes. PhotoGlory is focused on helping you get professional-level results with the least amount of work. So don’t let time destroy your family photo archive, preserve it with PhotoGlory!

Restore Photos Manually

Now, if you have considered all of the above and are ready to do something with actual photos, let’s see what you can do at home. A friendly reminder – old photos are usually one of a kind, do anything at your own risk. So, put the rubber gloves on and try something of the following:

  1. Fix curls. Photo paper, unlike regular paper, is much more tolerant of water, and you can use it to your advantage. If the picture has curled edges, build a humidifying chamber. Take a plastic bin or a casserole, place a wire rack in it, pour some water inside (the rack should not be completely submerged!), place the photo on the rack, and cover it all with a lid. After a few hours, take the picture out and let it dry under a weight.
  2. Detach stuck photos.  Another way to use water is to separate pictures that are stuck together. Instead of tearing them apart and causing further damage, put pictures in distilled water for half an hour. Afterward, carefully slide the pictures apart.
  3. Brush the dust away. With a soft brush, you can gently wipe off the dust, sand, and fluid. To deal with stains, you can again use warm water, just don’t rub the picture too much.
  4. Repair the tear. Tape can fix anything, including torn old photos. You can use transparent tape to mend torn edges. Just make sure your tape is acid-free, or you will do more harm than good.


You now know how to repair old, damaged images by yourself. Sounds not too difficult, does it? You simply need a bit of time, some basic tools, and some effort.

Final Words

Now you know 4 ways of preserving old family pictures from your archive. If you want to learn more about how to restore old and faded photos, just follow the link. Let’s do a quick recap of what we have covered here. Hire a professional if you lack the knowledge, the time, or the desire to repair old photographs yourself. If you have little faith in technology, do everything by hand. Alternatively, you can try Photoshop or PhotoGlory, if your resources and expertise are constrained. Whatever route you take, just remember that you are honoring your memories, which is a good thing to do.

About Has 2149 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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