How to uncurl heat/glue-warped photos?
June 11, 2008 1:59 AM   Subscribe

How can I "uncurl" photos that are no longer flat, but have somehow become warped?

I printed out some digital pictures at the "while-you-wait" Kodak kiosk at Target. Photos are beautiful, but as a result of either pasting them on some matting paper and/or the Los Angeles summer heat in my room, the photos now have a really annoying curve/curl to them.

I've tried subjecting them to a heavy weight, but that only solves the problem for a little while. Any suggestions on making them nice and flat again?
posted by beammeup4 to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
I've tried subjecting them to a heavy weight, but that only solves the problem for a little while.

Subject them to heavy weight for a long time. Lay them face down, on a flat surface, with the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica, all of your Reader's Digest condensed novels AND your family bible on top, for at least a week. They'll come out as flat as can be.
posted by amyms at 2:12 AM on June 11, 2008

Yes, heavy weight + time will help. Also, how are they being stored? If they are in an album, frame, or box with other prints, they should stay flat. If they're out or somehow exposed to the air or humidity, they will unfortunately eventually curl up again.

If you want to display them, but not formally frame them, I like the idea of Ikea Clip frames. (Ooh, the Finlir stuff will work too.) It's really just a piece of glass and a piece of cardboard that the print is sandwiched between. No frame, you just see little metal pieces on each side holding the whole thing together. I used to have a wall of randomly placed 3x5s in my bedroom hung on these, and it looked pretty cool. They're lightweight (I used tiny nails), or they have one of those things in the back that you can pull out to stand it on a shelf/tabletop.
posted by AlisonM at 4:44 AM on June 11, 2008

It sounds like the photo material and the matting material were at different levels of humidity when you pasted them together. As they normalized, one shrunk a little and the other expanded a little.
posted by gjc at 6:05 AM on June 11, 2008

If you don't care about a slight loss of quality, color photocopy or scan them and re-print them?
posted by jozxyqk at 6:39 AM on June 11, 2008

A weight will work (eventually) but the best way to do it is to use a dry-mount press. I went to school for photography in Savannah and my prints would always curl because of the extreme humidity, the only way to get them flat was about 45 seconds in a dry mount press set on medium heat.
posted by bradbane at 6:46 AM on June 11, 2008

« Older Suggest a basic html editor for XP, please!   |   Cycle GPS logger Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.