How to remove decoupage on a picture without ruining the picture?

Linda Sturgill
by Linda Sturgill

I have a picture of my nephew that his grandfather decoupaged onto a piece of wood. Over the years the finished has darkened and turned red. I would like to remove the old finish and re-apply a new coat so I can give the picture to my sister but I am afraid of ruining the picture. Any ideas?

  4 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jun 28, 2019

    I don't think.you can. Anything to remove coating will ruin the photo. Some old photos turn that redish color over time, I have several. So removing coating will not help.

  • Liea Liea on Jun 28, 2019

    It depends on what was used to attach the photo, some adhesives are removable and some are not. As Kellie mentioned, the discoloration might be in the photo itself as well, because of the inks and paper that was used. Most likely, though, the wood itself us the culprit here, it is very acidic and tends to cause discoloration of paper that is right up against it. There are things you can try to do to remove the photo, but the chance of success is low. I'd recommend, instead, to scan or photograph the image, run it through a program like Photoshop to correct the damage as best you can, reprint and remount it using acid free materials to avoid the same problem in the future.

  • Tuula - Color Me Thrifty Tuula - Color Me Thrifty on Jun 28, 2019

    I've done many decoupage projects over the years and I doubt very much that you can remove the finish without ruining the photo. Sorry, I wish I had better news for you.

  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Nov 28, 2020

    I don't believe it is possible.