Water damaged paper example

Water damaged photograph before

Water-soluble art, such as watercolours and ink, may bleed or become lost due to water damage. Our professional paper conservator is on hand to save moisture-disturbed documents, paintings and prints, even when they have been severely affected following a spillage, flood or leak.

Our ICON accredited paper conservator is able to professionally restore issues such as:

  • Mould growth and moisture disturbances
  • Foxing, staining and discolouration
  • Tears and creasing
  • Water damage
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Acidic mount and frame deterioration
  • Damages following a household disaster or accidents

Historic water damage

Water damage may have happened recently or over an artwork’s lifetime. Typical visual disturbances from previous water damage range from staining and dark marks to the rippling or warping of the surface and loss of detail to the image or writing. Historic damage is often restored by our paper conservator with excellent results. 

Mould growth

Wet paper is at high risk of mould growth. In the aftermath of any flood or disastrous situation, damp or fully saturated paper should be dried flat in a clean environment. Our team can step in to professionally eliminate mould growth before it becomes severe. 

Restoration process

Our paper conservator clears away any contamination from water or other liquids which have disturbed the surface of the piece, as well as aspects such as mould spores, foxing and staining.

The paper can then undergo professional heat, weight and moisture treatments to bring back the original structure of the fibres, flattening them to avoid further disturbance from cockling or warped areas.

Any areas which have been lost can in some cases be sensitively retouched, and any mount or backing board can be replaced with conservation appropriate materials.

Severely weakened paper may be relined on a Japanese tissue paper, which is very strong yet unobtrusive and importantly acid-free. 

Protective framing

If your original frame is water damaged this may be able to be restored by our frame conservators. If not, a new frame can be chosen from a range of appropriate options.

Our specialist technicians offer frames that ensure the ongoing protection of artworks, this includes acid-free mounts and backing boards.

For all works on paper, our team recommends UV protective glazing to avoid fading and visual disturbances from sunlight. 

Water damaged photograph after

Water damage tip Jo

Watercolour mould restoration

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Before and after - slide to restore

torn photograph
Modern pastel portrait
Queen poster
Modern art poster
Antique map
Discoloured antique print
Torn discoloured watercolour

Although my print was badly degraded by the artist's use of double-sided tape and an acidic backing mount, it had great emotional significance for me. It felt like a risky leap of faith to send it as I had not used Fine Art Restoration Company before. It came back immaculate and transformed, returned to its original condition and with no discernable damage to the subtle graphite drawing. The company were reassuring and returned it with no hassle. Highly recommended.

We sent in a very mouldy print that came back probably in better condition than when it was bought! We were constantly updated as to the status of the restoration and the service was impeccable. We had previously sent in a small oil painting for cleaning that now hangs in pride of place. Both had sentimental value of familiar places. I can highly recommend the quality of the work and the fantastic customer service.

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