Helpful 6-Step Guide On How To Smooth Water Damaged Paper

This is not the time to panic as you search how to smooth water damaged paper. This article will make you leave your worries with grace. 


how to smooth water damaged paper

How To Dry Water Damaged Paper

First of all, you have to know how to dry a water damaged paper. Knowing how to properly dry wet paper in the event of a disaster might save a lot of misery. 

Quick intervention can create all the distinction when your paper art or photographs get damp. Follow these tips to get ahead of further destruction.

Step #1. Pick a comfortable, low-humidity workspace to work in when you have damp papers to mend. A bright kitchen table or desk would be excellent.

Step #2. The paper should not be blotted. Drawings, watercolors, and ink may be further damaged as a result of this.

Step #3. If you have a couple loose sheets of moist paper, place them flat in front of a low-speed oscillating fan. 

The paper will wrinkle as a result of the fan, but you can repair that later. Wrap the paper with a large, thick book or other flat object when it is just damp to press creases out.

Step #4. To evaporate part of the water, reheat the paper for about 15 seconds. To get rid of creases, push the paper flat with a hefty item.

Step #5. If you have a damp book or binder, use a paper towel between every ten or so pages to remove the moisture. The papers should then be placed in front of a light fan.

Step #6. If you have a stack of damp documents and don’t have time to handle them right away, place them in a plastic bag and freeze them. Don’t divide the pages until you get time to properly deal with them, as described in the first two instructions.


How To Dry Water Damaged Photographs

Photographs are still papers with different textures. Drying images differs from drying papers because photographic paper responds to water strangely than conventional paper. 

Here are some more suggestions for drying drenched photos:

  1. While freezing can aid in the recovery of wet paper, it can also aid in the recovery of several images that have become stuck together. In reality, you should freeze damp images until you have enough time to work with them and check their drying process.
  2. If two photographs are glued together, do not attempt to separate them. Make an appointment with a picture restoration specialist who can use specialized procedures to isolate and save both photos.
  3. Place a damp photograph, image-side up, on a fresh hand towel. When drying photos, avoid using a fan.
  4. For old or rare images, enlist the services of a conservator to fix the unavoidable curling.


How To Flatten Wrinkles In Paper

Upon drying the paper, you might see wrinkles that need to be straightened out. Here are tips you must consider in doing so.

Regular paper has the disadvantage of ripping readily if not handled or stored appropriately. When you fold receipts, artwork sketches, or other essential documents and keep them in your drawers or put them into your pockets for an extended period of time, something happens. 

Normal paper or office paper, on the other hand, is prone to creases and obvious folds due to its delicate texture. While forcing them down with heavy books may work, there are two methods for flattening warped paper that you can try: pressing and ironing.


Pressing The Paper

Step #1. Set the paper down on a clean, dry surface.

Step #2. Make a water spray bottle out of it. Make sure you keep it 6 to 8 inches away from the paper. 

You’ll be able to touch all of the bases this way.

Step #3. Spray lightly on the paper. Only a few spritzes are required. 

Recall that you’re working with fragile or thin paper, and soaking it in water will only make it worse. If there are any prints or colored inks on the paper, flip it over and spray the backside very lightly.

Step #4. To absorb the water, place it between two paper towels. Make sure you’re using paper towels that are smooth. 

Textured or patterned textures may shift to the paper surface.

Step #5. Wrap the paper with heavy books and press it flat.

Step #6. Allow it to air dry for a few hours or overnight. Inspect the paper from time to time to check if it has become soggy. 

Replenish the paper towels if this happens.


Ironing The Paper

Step #1. Placing the paper on a flat and stable surface is essential. You can iron the paper flat by laying it flat on a large piece of cardboard.

Step #2. Ensure the paper is fully flat before using it. You can smooth out any wrinkles or creases on the surface.

Step #3. On top of the paper, put the towel or cloth. Some people iron the paper straight on the lowest temperature setting without using a towel or cloth. 

However, if the paper is light, this may cause it to be damaged or torn.

Step #4. Reduce the iron’s heat to the lowest setting. If the temperature is too high, the paper may become brittle or yellow.

Step #5. To cover all areas, softly iron the towel and slide it across the surface. Allowing it to sit in one place for too long may cause it to absorb too much heat, ruining the paper. 

Iron it the same way you would your clothing.

Step #6. If the wrinkles are still apparent, softly spritz the paper with water. After that, iron the towel and repeat the process. 

Spraying too much water on the prints will destroy them and cause ink bleeding and fading.

If you find that your water damaged paper has been infested with mildew, here is an article on how to remove mildew from paper. To avoid having the same problem in the future, know how does paper get water damaged



Knowing how to smooth water damaged paper will elevate your problem-solving skills as a homeowner. Keep this guide for easy reference in the future.

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