How To Fix A Water Damaged Autographed Picture: 3 Easy Steps

Are you wondering how to fix a water damaged autographed picture? If so, then you’re in the right place. 

Expect that you’ll also learn how you can adequately take care of your autographed picture to store it. Without further ado, continue reading and explore the content of this article.

how to fix a water damaged autographed picture


Autographed Picture

Autographed pictures are signatures of a known individual written on their photo. It may seem nothing much, but it is a priceless treasure for other people.

If you are a collector of autographed pictures, you would understand how this small thing can be of much value. And it does have varying monetary values linked to it.

The more known the person is, the better valued their autographs are. Professional collectors would be highly likely to acquire such things even if the value is expensive. 

If you are interested in selling some of your collected autographs, it is best to know what would make them more valuable to others. So, here are some of the features that make others want an autograph picture:

  1. First on the list would be the authenticity, and actually, this is the most crucial factor for an autographed memorabilia. No matter how good it is, no one would want it if it’s fake.

    You may visit this article for help regarding how to detect a real or fake autograph.

  2. A good autographed picture should have a discernible signature. A bright image with a dark inked pen or a dim view with a luminous inked pen is one of the best tandems.
  3. Specially inscribed autographed pictures addressed to you are less likely to be bought unless the addressed person was of a similarly known person related to the person who signed.
  4. An autographed picture free from wrinkles, cracks, taints, faded inks, and other damages have more significance.
  5. Collectors prefer larger-sized formats. Going over 15 inches, though, would be too much.
  6. The professional photographer’s stamp can add to the overall value of the autographed picture.
  7. In some cases, an iconic photo with a signature was more appreciated than one with standard pictures.
  8. It is best if the photo shows the character of the person or their iconic pose or performance.
  9. A legible signature is always preferred.
  10. Autographed pictures mounted on a cardboard mat may lower their value.


Fixing A Water Damaged Autographed Picture

It is challenging to save water-damaged autographed pictures, but it’s doable as long as you were able to take action before further damage immediately. In cases like this, though, looking for a professional conservator is the best option for this situation.

Anyways, here’s what you can do once you accidentally spill water or dunk it on any liquid:

Step #1. If you placed it on displayed album/cases, frames, or toploaders, it’s best to remove them. Be careful and do not carelessly rub or touch the damped parts.

Step #2. If you dunk the photo in a juice or coffee, it’s better if you rinse it with cold water, but don’t let it soak.

Step #3. Lay the autographed photo on a paper towel. Change the paper towel every 2 hours until the pictures are dry.

It’s best to leave the photo inside your home, direct sunlight can affect the signature, and the wind might cause the picture to curl. Bright lights inside your home also wouldn’t help; it might cause more damage.

If you can’t immediately dry your water damaged photos, place them in between wax papers, seal them in ziplock bags, then leave them in the freezer for a while.

For further information, visit this article about water damage: eight ways to dry out and move on.


How to take care of an autographed picture?

To properly take care of your autographed picture, it’s best to know what might cause harm to it. See the following to understand what you need to watch out for:

  1. Warm and damp conditions are detrimental for your autographs, so storing them in attic and basements isn’t the best choice you can consider.
  2. Constant touching, and direct ones at that, might cause more accidental damages. Accumulation of dirt from being held by people wouldn’t also help.
  3. Application of chemicals you think would help restore it might just cause more deterioration.
  4. Direct sunlight and harsh fluorescent lighting may increase the speed of fading.
  5. Damages might also occur naturally after a long period displayed in glass frames.


Storing an autographed picture

Here are four ways how you can store your autographed photos:


Method #1. Framing

This is the more common method you can try. It’s preferable if the frame is deep-set so that the picture won’t touch the glass.


Method #2. Displaying

Autographed pictures can be kept in display cases created from glass or acrylic.


Method #3. Toploaders

This is best if you aren’t planning to display the photo. You may use acrylic toploaders, archival-grade photo boxes, or PVC-free plastic sleeves.


Method #4. Professionally framed

This is your safest bet if you want to display and show off your memorabilia with lesser worry that it’ll be damaged.



For avid collectors and devoted fans, autographed pictures of their idol or other known people have much worth. So, it’s understandable if you are in a dilemma to know how to fix a water damaged autographed picture. 

Hopefully, you found the content of this article helpful. If you want to know more, you may visit other content such as how does paper get water damaged and steps on how to fix a water damaged card.

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