Frequently Asked Questions
My vintage movie poster has a tear. Can you fix it?
Yes, we can! We can either mend the tear by linen backing the poster, so that the tear is still visible but won’t come apart, or we can linen back and restore the tear, so that the tear is not noticeable.
My vintage poster’s paper is brittle and weak. Can you strengthen it?
Yes! We have three different methods to fix weak or brittle paper. Linen backing adds a sturdy fabric and paper backing to the poster, making it strong but flexible for storage or framing. Resizing is a process that adds a strengthening agent to the poster’s paper without adding a backing. Paper backing is similar to linen backing except a Japanese mulberry paper called Okawara is used, and there is no layer of fabric. We will be able to help you decide which method is best for your situation when we see your item.
My vintage movie poster was in a flood. What should I do?
Contact us as soon as possible. Water almost always stains old posters, and that’s usually an easy fix, but the real killer is mold and mildew. They attack the sizing in paper, or the agent that holds the paper fibers together, and this can turn your poster into powder.
I’m getting my original art print re-framed, and I need the original hinges removed. Why should I have you do this instead of my framer?
It’s better to have us de-hinge your print because we have the right tools and techniques to do it without damaging the back of the print. We will spend the time and energy required to make sure the hinges come off without pulling up any paper, known as skinning. This is especially important if your artist’s print is worth some money.
My original artist’s print is looking dusty and dull. What can you do to brighten it up?
First we will test the ink for colorfastness. If the ink does not react to water then it’s a simple matter of a gentle cleansing process, possibly followed by a light bleaching treatment. Our bleach is made specifically for paper and is safe. It can be very effective in brightening paper and removing brownness that can occur over time. After that, the print is resized so that it dries flat without the need for a backing.
My vintage poster was repaired with masking tape, packing tape, scotch tape, or some other kind of tape that has decayed over the years, the adhesive has either calcified, seeped into the paper, stained the paper, or done some other horrible thing to the paper. What can you do to fix this?
No matter what kind of tape it is, there is a good chance we can remove it safely and repair or restore any stains, residue, or damage it’s left behind. We use a combination of either heat, steam, solvent, water, combined with scraping or lifting tools to get the offending tape off.
My French advertising poster was mounted directly to linen without any barrier paper, and it’s falling apart. Can you fix it? How?
Yes, we most likely can do something for this situation. 150 years ago, when linen backing was invented, the process actually did involve linen with no paper barrier. The poster or map was just mounted directly to the fabric. It can be more difficult to remove the paper from the fabric in these cases, but we almost certainly can do it. After the poster is removed, it must be washed and re-backed with a more archivally sound material.
My vintage poster has a large section missing. Can you replace it? Will it look good?
Yes and yes! We can easily replace missing sections of paper and since we specialize in photorealistic painting you can rest assured it will look great! The paper we use for patching is acid free and archival so it won’t deteriorate and darken, and our unsurpassed skill in restoration ensures a seamless transition.
I live in a humid climate and my art print has become wavy from moisture. What can you do to make it flat?
We have a few different methods to flatten wavy paper. In the case of art prints, we can resize them. This means that the back of the print is coated in a clear strengthening agent and temporarily mounted to a board. When the paper is dry, it can be removed from the board, leaving the paper flat and stronger.
I have an old book jacket that is falling apart. Can you fix it?
Yes! We do have several methods to repair torn book jackets. What we choose to do depends entirely on what kind of paper the jacket is made of, how thick it is, how large the tears are, and what you plan to do with the book, ie: use it or keep it under glass.
My vintage movie poster was folded several times. Can you fix the fold lines? Should I leave them the way they are?
This question is totally a matter of opinion. Some people like the aged look of fold lines. Others feel they interfere with the design and focal point of the poster. We can easily flatten and restore the fold lines. Whether you should have it done is completely up to you. One popular option is to have the poster backed without restoring the fold lines. This flattens the poster while still leaving evidence of the folds.
I have a Byobu, or Japanese folding screen painting that is torn and damaged. Can you repair it?
Most likely we can do something to repair it. Often Japanese folding screens come apart along the margins, or the painted sections start to come up off their panels. We can adhere and smooth the sections back down, and even add missing margins back in. We have many tried and true methods to deal with Japanese folding screens.
I have a brand new silkscreen with damage, a tear, crease or water stain. Can you work on these items or do you deal solely with vintage poster restoration?
We can usually repair most typical problems with new silkscreens. They can sometimes be tricky so we consult with silkscreen clients on a case by case basis.
I have an old photograph that has staining, a tear, a fold line, or is trapped inside a deteriorating frame. Can you restore old photos?
There are many different types of old photos, and we can restore some more successfully than others. A good rule of thumb for photo restoration is the less glossy it is, the more easily we will be able to fix it. Keep in mind this rule is only for photo restoration. Glossy vintage poster restoration is a much simpler thing.
I have a very old engraving (ie: Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt Van Rijn, etc) that is stained, brown, grimy, dusty, torn, creased, folded, or damaged in some other way. Can you do anything for it?
Yes, we can very easily restore old engravings! We have a number of methods to clean, brighten, repair, and restore very old paper. It is in fact often easier to work with than newer paper.
I have a vintage standee (self-standing cardboard promotional item usually placed in a theater lobby) and the head has been torn off or folded over. Can you repair this?
Yes, torn standees and folded standees are very common projects for us. It’s simply a matter of adding reinforcing material to the back of the cardboard and re-attaching the missing limb with archival adhesive, or unfolding and flattening the folded area. We’d then restore any cracks or fold lines left from the damage.
I have some very old and damaged wallpaper in my home. Do you do on-site wallpaper restoration?
We are capable of restoring wallpaper on location. This special type of project is taken on a case by case basis, but if your wallpaper is coming off the wall in places, has been stained by water damage, is wrinkling or torn, or has missing pieces, chances are we can help.
I have a vintage counter top cardboard display that is coming apart, torn, stained, dusty, faded, or deteriorating. Can you fix this?
Yes, we repair vintage cardboard displays all the time! We can add thin reinforcing material to ragged edges and corners, restore fold lines and tears, replace worn-off text and images, and generally improve the appearance of these items.