Sticky pictures
March 31, 2007 5:23 AM   Subscribe

How do i get photos to unstick to the glass in picture frames?

We have lots of nice photos that glue themselves to the glass and we can't get them off without tearing part of the picture? Why does this happen and is there a way to save them?
posted by BigBrownBear to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If they're photos developed from film, you can soak them in water and see if they come off.

Quick googling turns up this site.
posted by misozaki at 5:59 AM on March 31, 2007

Try holding it over some steam, such as over a pot of boiling water. Then, CAREFULLY peel, and don't force anything.
posted by houseofdanie at 6:30 AM on March 31, 2007

It sticks because the emulsion is hygroscopic, and a little dampness just grabs the glass. That's why they tell you to put a mat around it and frame it in a larger size.
You can just soak it in the sink in room temp water for a minute. When it lets go, allow it to dry flat. Remember it's wet when they process it; think of this as just re-washing it.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 8:08 AM on March 31, 2007

Yep, I've successfully done this just by soaking. Water that's a little soapy helps (you can use Photo-Flo, or a small dash of dish soap works). Submerge the paper and glass for a few mins. When it's good and sodden, the paper should gently slide/peel away. Slow and easy. Don't apply any force. Hang the picture vertically (clothes pegs) to dry without rinsing. The dash of soap or Photo-Flo should help the water run off evenly and dry without leaving marks.
posted by normy at 9:12 AM on March 31, 2007

The melting point of the gelatin base of many photographic emulsions appears to be right around 35 deg. C-- close to body heat.

I'd guess the photos might have melted to the glass; I'd also guess you might be able to free them without too much damage by playing a hair dryer on low heat over the front surface of the glass.
posted by jamjam at 11:34 AM on March 31, 2007

« Older My First Yard! (tm)   |   Help me identify this song Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.