Can Faded Art Prints Be Restored? The Sad Truth Explained Now

Can Faded Art Prints Be Restored

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may sometimes earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties at no additional cost to you.

Can faded art prints be restored? The sad truth is that there is no way to easily restore faded inks used on art prints without making a copy and reprinting it or using hand restoration methods.

In this post, I will describe these two methods in a little more detail so you can decide if it is worth restoring your faded art print. Keep in mind that faded art prints are permanently damaged and restoring faded colors and lines is a slippery slope for an inexperienced or amateur art restorer.

Have you ever had an art print that is so old that it has been exposed to too much light and has started to fade? It can be heartbreaking to see something you love slowly losing its vibrancy with the original image barely visible and its colors fading back to white.

As I mentioned in the introduction, there are 2 ways to restore faded art prints. When it comes to restoring faded art prints, the most important thing is to understand what kind of print you have. Different types of prints require different methods for restoration.

Faded paper based art prints & lithographs

If you are trying to restore a faded paper art print or lithograph, then these can be restored by hand.

Restoring an art print by hand basically means you will be tracing over the lines with ink, pencil or paint and restoring faded colors will require either applying a coat of paint that best suits the print finish. This can be either with using watercolors, light washes of ink or applying colored pencils in a fine manner.

Word of caution, when you start embarking on restoring faded colors you will be tempted to restore all the faded colors as you will see some sections are now more vibrant than others. At what point do you stop? If you end up restoring all the faded colors, have you just turned a faded art print into a hand-embellished reproduction?

Food for thought…

Faded canvas art prints

If you have a canvas print, it likely has a protective coating of varnish or sealant that will make it difficult but not impossible to paint over. Whether you cannot or you can get the protective coating off, a canvas print can be restored to its original condition by applying and layering acrylic paint. Be careful not to totally repaint the whole canvas print as this defeats the purpose.

Should restored art prints be annotated that they are restored?

Not all restored art prints need to be annotated on the back. Some restorers like to write a small note of the restoration date and a quick summary of the changes/fixes made and their name. This is purely optional but does provide future owners of the art print a record of how much of the art print is still original.

Should you restore an art print in the first place?

I have linked to a great article that talks about the merits of restoring –

I believe you should only restore an art print if it is indeed valuable, rare, or has a high degree of sentimental value.

Can Faded Art Prints Be Restored? – Wrap Up!

It’s important to note that while these methods may help improve the appearance of your faded art print, they won’t be able to restore it completely back to its original state. Fading is permanent damage and cannot be undone or restored easily – but it can sometimes be made to look much better.

If you’re worried about your art print fading in the future, there are steps you can take now in order to protect it from further damage.

Make sure that any artwork is hung away from direct sunlight or other sources of bright light and keep them away from humid areas such as bathrooms or kitchens where moisture could cause further damage.

If possible, try not to hang artwork near windows as this could expose them even more so than normal lighting conditions would allow for. If your faded art print is in a very bad state you may need to store them in an archival folio that will permanently keep it away from direct strong lighting.

Overall, can faded art prints be restored? While faded art prints cannot be restored completely back to their original state, there are still ways that you can improve their appearance and protect them from further damage in the future. With proper care and maintenance of your artwork, you’ll be able to continue to enjoy them for many more years.

latest Posts

Latest Posts

About the author
Joe Colella - Chief Wasted Talent
Joe Colella – Chief Wasted Talent

Latest posts

  • Is Strathmore Watercolor Paper Good? A Comprehensive Review

    Is Strathmore Watercolor Paper Good? A Comprehensive Review

    Hey there! If you’re an artist who loves using watercolors then you know how important it is to use high-quality paper that can make or break your watercolor paintings. One watercolor paper brand is Strathmore. Strathmore is a well-known brand that offers a range of watercolor papers, but is Strathmore watercolor paper good? The answer…

    Read more

  • How To Start Selling Art Online: 10 Ways Checklist for 2023

    How To Start Selling Art Online: 10 Ways Checklist for 2023

    If you are an artist, it can be difficult to monetize your creative talents and expand your profile. With so many options available it is important to have a smart approach when starting to sell art online. The right platform and portfolio website are key elements to ensuring success in this space. It is essential…

    Read more