If your photo is stuck to glass there is a solution.

There are many different ways to fix a photo that is stuck to glass, a more common occurrence than you think. Let us take a look at the problems and solutions.

How does a photo get stuck to glass?

Modern homes are sealed up tight to keep out draughts and keep in the warmth. They also keep in moisture. Cooking and wet washing will cause moisture in the air. On a cold window frame sits your photo. As a rule, the moisture in the air likes to condense on cool glass. The relative warmth of the wood or board backing against the cold of the glass means any unsealed photos could get water vapour condensing inside.

This becomes an issue where the moisture softens the top surface of “modern photographic papers” and you end up with photos stuck to the glass. Sealed frames correctly taped up from a professional framer should not suffer this way. Modern frames with open edges and loosely fitting backs can suffer.

If this does happen you may start to see a change in colour where the photo has stuck to the glass. Perhaps a “greying” in areas or a strange pattern forming under the glass. Sunlight adds to the problem making these areas loose colour faster than those not directly contacting the glass surface. You end up with a photo irregular faded and tricky to fix.

photo stuck to glass

photo stuck to glass

How to remove a photo stuck to glass

Risk the removal or go down the sensible route of photo restoration. Best not peel it, it hair dry it or freeze it! These methods can be used but without proper identification of the media, it is printed on you can’t be sure which methods may work. You may read about these methods on the internet. These only work if you are 100% sure the photo is an old fashioned chemically printed, wet lab print. Even then there is still a risk of further damage.

Don’t try to peel the photos off the glass. 99 times out of 100 it will rip and bits will come away and remain stuck. The trick is to remove the glass from the frame with the photo still stuck to it. We can now deal with the photo in a more manageable form.

Scanning a photo stuck to glass

Clean the front of the glass. You may notice some dirt along the edges where the glass has been held by the frame. With some warm breath on the front side of the glass, use a soft tissue to clean it. Sometimes the back of the glass is also dirty where the image is not stuck. Take great care when cleaning here. Any additional moisture will cause more “sticking”. Clean with a dry tissue or lint-free cloth by gently bending the photo away from the glass. Be sure not to rip it.

Now the photo is clean it can be scanned through the glass on a flatbed scanner. When glass touches glass a petrol-like pattern can occur called “moire”. To avoid this, the trick is to support the glass on the glass scanner bed with four triangles of thin card.

Scanning a photo stuck to glass

Scanning a photo stuck to glass

This not only prevents damage to your scanner but also stops this “moire” pattern from occurring.

NOTE: The side effect of this is that it raises the image further away from the point of focus. On cheap all in one printer scanners, this focus point is where the photo touches the glass. So raising the image away will in many cases prevent a sharp scan from being made. More so if the glass is thick.  Dedicated, expensive scanners have a deeper focus area and can even cope with objects 5 to 10 mm away.

Once the image is scanned using the recommended scanning technique for photo restoration the image can then be restored!

Get in touch!

Once you have a good scan get in touch with me and I can restore your image for you.

How to remove a photo stuck to glass and methods to fix them, including photo restoration!
Article Name
How to remove a photo stuck to glass and methods to fix them, including photo restoration!
More common than you think photos stuck to glass can be a problem for your family photo’s health. Let us take a look at the issues and cures for this problem.
Neil Rhodes