Vintage Poster and Paper Restoration Techniques
Restoration for posters and paper
Restoring vintage posters, artwork, LP record covers and even the original product packaging for music memorabilia and can dramatically increase the value of vintage collectables, especially now as investors turn to alternative types of assets with high growth potential like posters and ephemera.
First, poster conservation is used to stabilize the physical condition of the paper and reduce the effects of acid which will eventually discolor and disintegrate the paper. Once the condition of the paper is fixed, more extensive work can begin.
Poster restoration techniques are used next to return any kind of paper memorabilia back to their original appearance by making structural changes to the paper (filling holes or missing pieces), and making cosmetic changes to the ink or pigment on the paper.
How much restoration is acceptable?
Is it worth the expense?
Restoration techniques vary from minor repairs to complete reconstruction of the paper and repainting parts of the artwork. Some collectors would find these techniques too severe by altering the fabric of the paper and ink. But because most posters are printed in large editions on paper with a limited life span, most collectors do not object to buying posters that are sold as a restoration, as long the changes made to the poster are reversible.
Restoration of posters and fine art - Highest rated books on Amazon
Poster restoration techniques
There are two ways to repair holes and missing pieces of paper. Japanese rice paper can be used, or antique paper that closely matches the age and condition of the original paper. These repairs are easiest when the damage is limited to the unprinted margin of the poster.
Paper matching and infilling require tremendous attention to detail but the results can be dramatic and nearly invisible, transforming a damaged poster with some potential into a valuable work of art. Read more about poster condition and grading for works on paper sold at live auctions or on eBay.
Poster restoration video - Classic James Bond & Planet of the Apes poster
Story of a movie poster collector who does his own restoration work on a valuable poster collection which hangs all over the walls of his house and studio.
Fine art restoration
Beatles before and after
And in the end...
Water damage is another paper defect that requires reconstruction of the basic paper material. This original Beatles '65 album cover soaked up water like a sponge along the bottom edge. The paper is first cleaned and prepared using conservation techniques. Then, poster restoration can replace the missing paper, layer by layer, and even add "in-fill painting" to complete the image.
Field Guide to collecting Beatles - Vinyl records, autographs, toys and memorabilia
Warman's Beatles Field Guide
The Poster Series
Collecting original posters
Read more about collecting posters and restoring artwork.
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