Tips to Repair Old Photos Using Photoshop

restoring-imagePhotography is about bagging the best moments possible and trying to make them keep going forever. But then what happens when the photograph is old, shabby, or ruined by liquid? Hassle no more! There are ways to save and preserve that photo back to life.

To start, you will need the following:

  • A scanned image of the photo (or all of the pieces of the photo)
  • Photoshop CS4 or above
  • Patience!

If Your Photo Is In Altered Pieces

  1. Ensure that you’ve scanned every single part and they are composed in one picture. When you’ve opened this picture in Photoshop, you then need to put the torn pieces together. “But how?” you may ask. Simple!
  2. Outline each part using the magic wand tool. If your image pieces are on a white background, this should be easy for you.
  3. Right click on each part at a time and create a new layer by cutting and then pasting as a new layer. When you have all the parts on specific layers, this is where the fun part comes!
  4. Click on each layer and drag the piece to its place. Make sure you will be attentive to detail and line everything up perfectly or your finished product may look a bit creepy.

Once you have ended dragging the pieces to their relevant positions in this jigsaw puzzle, it’s time to restore the rest of the image!

Restoring the Image

We need to repair the coloring problems on your photo as well as any discolorations known as tears, rips, stains, etc.

Before anything else, make your image spotless. You can choose to either merge all the parts so it looks as if it’s one photo already, or you can select to edit each piece on a separate layer.

Fixing Blemishes

Take your spot healing brush tool and go over any small blemishes that don’t have muddle around them. Once you have spot healed them, the blemishes will disappear.

The spot healing brush is the best to start with because it samples other portions of your image to cover the part you’re portrait over. It’s an amazing way to clean up the image. If your photo isn’t excessively torn and discolored, this may be one of the only tools that you use.

If you’re trying to fix someone’s skin or face, the clone stamp tool is the finest tool of the two to use. The spot-healing tool takes samples from places that don’t basically replicate the color or texture of your subject’s skin, while the clone stamp tool samples from the place of your picking.

On a new layer, select your clone stamp tool and click on a blank area that you want to replicate somewhere else. For example, if there is a part of the skin on the photo that isn’t damaged, click on that part for the sample. When you’ve done that, paint above the blemishes on the face to create a new layer of skin. Keep doing this until your subject’s skin, background, and clothes are pretty much clean.


If your photograph is older or has any discoloration by any means, this next step is helpful for learners to put a touch of life into their photos. Click on a new adjustment layer and scroll down to the bottom until you see “selective color.” If your photo is more yellow, go to the yellow segment under your “selective color” part and tone it down a bit. If there are excessive darks, lights, or any other colors, you can go to their specific color selection slider and adjust them on this layer.

When you’re happy with what you’ve done, merge all of the layers, save the photo, and you’re done.

That’s it! If you’re a learner, it may take some time to restore photos depending on the difficulty, but start out with somewhat that doesn’t need to be fixed back together and something that isn’t one big blemish. Once you’ve grasped an easier photo, you’re ready to start saving bigger memories!


If you have any questions, please ask below!