How do you get mold off paper? Estate Sale Steal!

Decor Ideas 12.28.14
So my husband and I stopped by the final minutes of an estate sale today and found these really great old prints! I guess sometimes the late bird does catch the worm! They were published by Vanity Fair (these are obviously prints of originals) in the late 1800s and are of prominent political figures of the time. They’re called “Men of the Day.”

Anyway, since it was the final minutes they were in a great bargaining mood! So we got 3 prints and a silver tray all for $50! One of the prints was originally $65! We’re super stoked on them, but now need to clean them up and hang!

Two of them have some mold damage, it’s mostly on one. Not sure how to get rid of the mold though? I’ve heard that you can put them in plastic bags and put them in the freezer and then brush off the mold. Want some feed back before I ruin them in one foul swoop! Has anyone dealt with mold on paper before? Any successful ways to get the mold off before re-matting and framing?


  • Woodbridge Environmental
    Contact your local insurance company. They have resources that would be local to you to have them professionally cleaned. Its not just about removing the mold on the surface. If the mold is not properly removed and the paper sanitized even the slightest
  • Suzie
    Suzie Lakeland, FL
    good advice on the insurance co but it's going to take more than what you paid for them
  • Kat Tellez
    Kat Tellez Torrance, CA
    You can do a search for professional art restorers in your area (or ask your insurance company for a referral, as mentioned by Woodbridge Environmental above). It
  • Itrmph2
    Itrmph2 Cherry Valley, IL
    If you still want to try this yourself... venture off to some book sales/garage sales/goodwill store and try to find a similar mold situations to practice with. Mold can be a tricky thing to kill. If the cost of repair exceeds the purchase/value of the
  • Gigisdiamonds
    Gigisdiamonds Wichita, KS
    Ok This link has some good answer at the very end! Good luck! :)
  • Michelle Downs Taylor
    Michelle Downs Taylor Weirsdale, FL
    I just thought of this: Most of the mold damage in your prints seems to be on the mats in the prints. I don't see where the mats add much to the value of the print,but what does it matter if you are just keeping them for yourself to hang in your own
  • Gail lichtsinn
    Gail lichtsinn Cincinnati, OH
    Call a restorer and ask..Old paper is almost always acid based and will eventually destroy what is printed on it..Mold has spores so even if you remove what you see its still going to be in the paper..Doesnt hurt to ask and is better than losing your
  • Cass
    Cass Alexandria, VA
    You might try here: and the search engine here: And be careful.
  • Lee McKenzie
    Lee McKenzie Callao, VA
    If you aren't interested in spending a lot of money on restoring them, you might just test a mold remover/neutralizer on one of them. I can't remember the name of the compound, but I know it is used for flood and fire restoration. If there is a local
  • Florence Schmidt
    There are products on the market that will kill the mold. I would copy the back of the frames that have the Vanity Fair info, remove the prints and put them in new frames with new matting. The frames don't look as though they warrant redoing, not sure if
Blythe Brownlow