Un-Du on Old Photos?

Two Peas is Closing
Click here to visit our final product sale. Click here to visit our FAQ page regarding the closing of Two Peas.

Posted 10/10/2012 by kstpeter in General Scrappin'

Will I ever get to Buckethead?!

PeaNut 501,708
March 2011
Posts: 439
Layouts: 0
Loc: New Hampshire

Posted: 10/10/2012 10:48:18 AM
I have never used Un-Du before. I have childhood studio portraits of me and my husband that have been in frames since we were married 22 years ago. Due to our dramatic climate changes here in New England, the portraits are stuck to the glass in the frame on the photo-facing side.

I am told that Un-Du will work, but I'm still hesitant and turning to the Peas for reassurance.

I do have some other photos of my daughters cheerleading portraits that are in the same conidition and will likely test on those since I have other sizes from the portrait package that I can scan if needed.

How does the Un-Du work? Doesn't the photo get saturated with it? Does it just dry normally?

Help reassure me or tell me "Oh, God, don't use that!"

- Tina

Rick Springfield Junkie

PeaNut 78,429
March 2003
Posts: 16,052
Layouts: 5
Loc: Mountain High Pea

Posted: 10/10/2012 10:53:23 AM
I have never had Un-Do ruin any pictures yet. I have used it on a lot of pictures, new and old.

You just squirt some on and use the scrapper thing to gently remove the picture... if it doesn't start to come off, repeat again. Just go slow and it should work. It will dry by itself..

Duchess of Stuff

PeaNut 449,226
December 2009
Posts: 2,562
Layouts: 0
Loc: Pea-get Sound

Posted: 10/10/2012 10:57:12 AM
I had good luck taking things (paper, stickers) off the front of pictures with Un-Du. I am not sure if it would work for what you need it for because you would have to soak it from the back and that *might* be too much.

Can you scan them first with the glass on? If you are going to try it I would start at an edge.

Hope someone that has had this problem and good results will come in and tell you to "go for it"

It does dry normally and quickly

~ "full price is a F-word" ~


PeaNut 106,912
September 2003
Posts: 2,024
Layouts: 37
Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted: 10/10/2012 11:00:54 AM
I have used undo for the same situation you have. I have bad news: it won't work to separate the picture. But It won't ruin the picture either. The problem is the the ink in the picture melted and dried in the glass. Basically it's fused between both. The ink will crackle before stating in the paper. I'm sorry! I can tell you I feel you pain! I've know with my husband for 20 years. I had this beautiful photo of us just about 3 months after we met. Can't find the negatives and the glass broke. I actually cried!

Uploaded with iPhone client

Will I ever get to Buckethead?!

PeaNut 501,708
March 2011
Posts: 439
Layouts: 0
Loc: New Hampshire

Posted: 10/10/2012 1:27:56 PM
OH, bugger, not what I wanted to hear, Niko!

I really thought it was more of a humidity thing rather than a heat thing...hmmmm. I'll take a close look at the portraits tonight. I may try it on the cheerleading photos, like I mentioned, and see what happens.

Duchess, yes, I would totally scan the pictures through the glass before I attempted anything.

Will let you know how it works out.

Thanks for the input!

- Tina

Helen *Mc
Gone Walkabout

PeaNut 4,068
April 2000
Posts: 10,438
Layouts: 214
Loc: Aussie in SC. USA

Posted: 10/10/2012 1:53:19 PM
Test this if you can on a less important picture first (if you have another available in the same condition) but believe it or not, soaking for a few minutes in water might work (in real photos from film process papers are soaked in this way as part of the processing procedure).

I am hesitant to say it definitely will work only because your picture might be too badly melted. I've done this with photos before and it worked well. Don't scrape it either, it should come off by itself with gentle rubbing on the back (while under water) and very slight movement to help loosen.

Photos under glass should always be matted, so there is a bit of space between the glass and photo. Humid conditions are horrendous like that. My parents lived in very tropical Cairns in Queensland Australia, and had the worst time with humidity up there. I feel your pain.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 35,782
April 2002
Posts: 5,098
Layouts: 1

Posted: 10/10/2012 4:21:10 PM
I agree with Helen. If your photos are 22 years old then they were processed from film and in that processing they went through a water bath. It is traditional processing vs. a process that is done today where ink is applied on top of the photo paper. So for the old photo that is stuck to glass bathing it in water should help release it, without the colors of the photo running. Notice I said should. I don't know the chemical process that was used in your photo so I can't say for sure. In your case I would scan the photo first just in case this doesn't work.

If it does work string up a line of string and hang the photo up by it's edge with a clothes pin that won't leave a mark until it dries. Maybe a wooden one?

I have used Undo lots of times on older photos without any damage. Back when I first started scrapping (1998 with CM) the thought was get your old, precious photos out of the dangerous albums and into safe albums. We didn't have scanning back then. Now I'm taking those old photos out of the safe albums (1959, 1960 black and white photos) so I can get them scanned. I'm using Undo to remove the adhesive and it's working really well. Luckily I only scrapped a few pages and then went on to another project so I'm only having to remove about 20 photos.

But Undo does work and it is safe.

Debbie in MD.

Will I ever get to Buckethead?!

PeaNut 501,708
March 2011
Posts: 439
Layouts: 0
Loc: New Hampshire

Posted: 10/10/2012 7:07:57 PM
Thanks, everyone. The portraits are actually, ahem over 40 years old...they've only been in the frames for 22 years. so, in that case I should def go with the soaking with water approach?

- Tina


PeaNut 58,996
December 2002
Posts: 801
Layouts: 12
Loc: The City That Never Sleeps

Posted: 10/10/2012 8:53:03 PM
While I love and wholeheartedly recommend UnDu for removing adhesive or pictures that have been adhered with a dry adhesive, I don't think it will work for what you need to do. UnDu is formulated to dissolve dry adhesive, but I don't think it will loosen the ink that has fused with the glass. The UnDu itself won't harm your photos if you want to try it, but your photos might rip when you try to remove them. The water bath sounds like a good idea for your photos, and I really hope it works for you.

Show/Hide Icons . Show/Hide Signatures
{{ title }}
{{ icon }}
{{ body }}
{{ footer }}