Paint Shop Pro Tutorial: Repair a Photo That's Aged

You can use photo editing software like Corel Paint Shop Pro to repair a photo repair that has become faded, discolored, creased or stained. With the right tools, it is actually very easy to remove all of these imperfections.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Scanner
  • Old Photo
  • Paintshop Pro (or similar tool)

Step 1 - Scanning the Photo

The first thing to do is convert your old photograph into a digital image, the easiest method of doing this is to use a scanner. A scanner works in a similar way to a photocopier but instead of printing a copy, it creates a digital image. The scanned image can then be saved on your computer for further editing. When scanning the image in make sure that you are using a high enough resolution to get a high quality copy.

Step 2 - Opening the Image

If the photo isn't already opened in Paintshop Pro when you scanned it then you will need to load it. To do this click on File, Open and navigate to the file you just scanned.

Before you do anything else you will want to ensure that the paintshop pro workspace is setup correctly. Make sure that the layers palette, tool options palette, overview palette and toolbox are all visible. These are all required to perform the restoration properly.

Step 3 - Copying Layers

When the image is opened you should notice that there is only one background layer consisting of your photograph. You will now need to duplicate this layer so that you can make changes without affecting your original photo. To do this, click the Duplicate Layer button on the layer's palette.

The new layer will normally be called "Copy of Background" changing this to a more memorable name will be helpful. Call this layer "Corrections" as it will be used to save all of your various corrections.

Step 4 - Repairing Torn Edges

If the edges of your photo are torn then you will first need to repair them. There are a few different ways to accomplish this and you will need to carefully choose the right option for your individual photo. You could use the clone brush to fill in the tears, or alternatively you can use the marquee selection tool to copy an undamaged section of photo and move it into place. If the opposite photo edge is not damaged then this will be the easiest option. Copy the selection, paste it as a new selection, then mirror the border by pressing Control + M.

Step 5 - Repairing Tears in the Photo

If there are any tears in the rest of the photo then you will need to use the clone brush tool to paint over these blank areas of image. It's important to take your time doing this because you need to ensure that it matches the rest of the image. Rushing will leave obvious borders between the original and corrected image.

Stains can be removed and painted over in exactly the same way, use the clone brush to select a similar and undamaged area of photo.

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