7 amazing (and free) Photoshop photo restoration tutorials

October 9, 2019

Photo restoration is an in-demand skill that preserves history and presents a lucrative graphic design niche. For most designers, Photoshop is the photo restoration software of choice.

You can learn photo restoration by following along with tutorials that address specific photo damages: stains, scratches, tears and faded images. With careful practice, you can become a photo restoration expert over time.

Whether you want to restore a treasured family photo or pursue new and interesting design opportunities, you can get started with the following Photoshop photo restoration tutorials.

1. How to restore torn photos

It’s not uncommon to sift through old family photos and find some of your cherished prints marred by creases, rips and tears. Torn photo restoration involves “stitching” the pieces back together, then fixing the edge blemishes. You might even need to remove tape marks if the photo was previously taped together.

This tutorial presented by PHLearn’s Aaron Nace walks you through how to restore a torn photo in less than 30 minutes.

2. How to repair scratched photos

Scratches are among the most common photo blemishes. You can fix scratched photos with a few Photoshop techniques. In fact, learning how to restore photos in Photoshop will help you master the software’s tools and apply those skills to other design projects.

In this tutorial by SimpleHow2z, you’ll learn how to use the spot healing and clone stamp tools to remove scratches from photos.

3. How to remove stains on a photo

Water damage can devastate photos, but you can eliminate liquid lesions with Photoshop. Whether you’re dealing with water spots found on photos in a musty basement or you accidentally spilled a glass of wine over a collage you’re putting together, you can remove the blemishes with hue and saturation adjustment layers.

See how it’s done in this photo restoration tutorial by PiXimperfect.

4. How to fix faded photos in Photoshop

We adorn our living rooms and offices with our favorite photos, but over time exposure to light causes those photos to fade. Fading is also a common issue with old photographs stored in dark places, but you can give vintage and antique photos new life with Photoshop.

This tutorial by InAffinity shows you how to fix faded photos in Photoshop.

5. How to fix photo silvering

Photo silvering, or silver mirroring, occurs over time when black and white photos are exposed to skin oils, acids and light. The result is a silver, mirror-like appearance over part of the photo. Fortunately, you can use Photoshop to preserve your image before silvering erases it from history.

This tutorial by YouTube user nomicrowave demonstrates one method for removing silvering from a damaged photo.

6. How to restore faces in Photoshop

You might have the hang of general photo restoration, but what can you do when the subject’s face is damaged? Since faces are so distinct, it’s important to get every detail right; otherwise, the photo won’t look like the person it depicts.

This tutorial by Somnath Photography shows you how to reconstruct missing portions of a person’s face in a damaged photo.

7. How to colorize old photos in Photoshop

Not every photo restoration project is about fixing damages. Sometimes, you want to colorize an old black and white image to give it a modern look. It can be charming to view ancestors how the world saw them — in full color.

Start with this photo colorization tutorial by Premiere Gal.

For a more dramatic effect, check out this combination repair and colorization Photoshop tutorial by Shah Sujat.

Finally, this photo colorization tutorial by PiXimperfect shows you how to add realism to your colorized photos.

Practice makes perfect, and the more you practice photo restoration the sharper your skills. Master the art of photo restoration, and you can not only restore cherished family memories, you can seek lucrative photo restoration projects from clients who wish to preserve their own memories.

Want to immortalize your restored images with fun print projects? Restored photographs make beautiful coasters, magnets, mounted posters and calendars!

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