Professional Movie Poster Restoration - What to expect

Professional Movie Poster Restoration - What to expect

October 11, 2021

Every vintage movie poster collector knows that professionally repairing antique posters is crucial to conserving them. When customers purchase our posters they have the option to go for poster restoration, poster cleaning, deacidifying, patching, pressing, archival mounting and retouching and of course framing. We can also remove backings, mats, tape and labels, if necessary. In this article we share a poster restoration before-and-after example.


The poster shown here is for the 1929 movie ​​Let's Get Married (directed by Gregory La Cava, starring Richard Dix and Lois Wilson). The poster is a Long Australian Daybill (Size: 14 1/2" x 39 3/4") and was printed in 1926 (Stone Litho print). Originally the poster had stains at the bottom and was mounted onto a heavy board. As you can see in the image below, the poster also had blue stains scattered in the middle from a printing defect. We decided not to paint over the blue stains in order to keep the character of the poster intact. Read on to learn how other defects were resolved. 




Sticker & Tape Removal

Tapes of various types are often applied to posters to keep them together and stickers. These tapes must be removed, before the paper can be conserved, and before it is Linen-Backed. To remove stains, we first determine what type of stain it is. Dried liquid stains are spots which are not wet anymore. They can be removed by brushing. If the spot can be brushed off, we do so with a brush, without scratching the poster's surface. In the case of this poster bleach was used to remove a stain in the bottom left-hand corner of the vintage film poster. 




Poster Relining

Antique movie posters often need relining. In this case the original linings were in a poor condition. Therefore the old lining and the adhesive were removed. The poster was gently washed with distilled water. Special tools, acid free adhesives, blotters and layering sheets were used. Finally the poster was rebacked on premium masa paper and put on a canvas.