How to Restore a Faded, Old, and Smudged Photo with Photoshop (Example)

Restoring an old photo is a job that seems only professionals are trained to do it, or at least it is a belief that has prevailed over time.

Today the reality is different, because unlike a few years ago, we have tools that can facilitate the process of retrieve a photo.

That is why currently anyone who owns basic knowledge about editing You can make these types of modifications.

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The truth is, there is no exact way to restore an old photo. Well, not all have the same defects and the arrangements depend on the style of the editor.

Nevertheless, tools like Adobe Photoshop They have several options that can help you recover them in a simple way.

Removing spoilage will help you restore an old photo

The first step to recover the state of an image, obtaining a perfect result, is erasing the marks of deterioration that it has.

This type of detail can be accentuated when the scanning process is completed, which is why it is essential to hide them in the best possible way, through options such as clone, colorize and define lines.

restore an old photo

Each user who uses Photoshop has their own preferences when it comes to editing. But when it comes to restoring, there is a certain group that will help you get the result you want.

Cloner buffer

It is probably the most accurate way to disguise image deterioration based on the content it has around it. Well, it consists of copying and pasting the selected area, to make it look as uniform as possible.

Its method of use consists of pressing the «Alt» key on the computer while simultaneously selecting the source area to be cloned.

Once done, with the same brush, will replace the damage with the content that has been extracted from the image, applying the necessary effects so that the transition does not seem forced, and finally you can restore an old photo.

Spot correction brush

It is a very common tool within the world of publishing. Well, even not very advanced programs count on it to improve the image significantly.

It is a brush that with just one click, will take the information that it has around it, and will generate a erasure or patch similar to your environment. In order to opaque or make a defect disappear.

Strengthen the features to finish restoring an old photo

With characteristics we refer to the texture, color, contrast, brightness and all those details that give life to the image. Which must be perfected or accentuated to achieve a perfect result.

Determine the brightness

Some photographs have an exaggerated amount of light, due to the flash, which must be eliminated from the image; others in turn, have a low level of brightness and acquire opacity, which is the result of time.

finish restoring an old photo

In Photoshop it will be enough to simply open a new layer that is intended only for modify the brightness and contrast values who owns a photo. In order to add or take away, until the image comes to life again.


Another result of antiquity is losing sharpness. So through the «Smooth Focus» tool you can outline the silhouettes of each object in the image, without being exaggerated.

Recover the tone of the image

Whether through sepia, black and white, or color photographs, adjusting the tone of the image is the option that will allow to reaffirm this characteristic. It will only be necessary to determine the style of the image, and recover its color, or its black / white tones or sepia.

Once all the steps you consider necessary to restore an old photo have been completed, it will be enough to save it using an optimal quality, and be able to share it with the client, family or the community, so that they can enjoy what you have achieved.

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