Restore Old Photos

Restore Old Photos

By Discovery Center Team

Learning how to restore old photos can ensure that cherished memories last for generations to come. Restoring old photos is one of the most useful and exciting possibilities in PaintShop Pro. Using a variety of powerful tools you will learn to revitalize and restore old photographs whether they be faded, cracked or scratched. Don’t let time erode what is most precious to you and your family.

You will learn how to:

  • Use Fade Correction to dramatically improve the quality of older photos.
  • Use the Smart Photo Fix features to enhance image color and brightness.
  • Use the Burn Brush to touch up areas of a picture which have faded.

What you will Learn

  • How to use Fade Correction to dramatically improve the quality of older photos.
  • How to use the Smart Photo Fix features to enhance image color and brightness.
  • How to use the Burn Brush to touch up areas of a picture which have faded.

Fade Correction

The image being used in this example is of a professional ballerina, who was with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal Quebec. Since the photo was taken in the mid 1960’s, it has faded significantly over the years.



1. To breathe new life into this photo you will first need to have the file open in PaintShop Pro and the Edit screen active.

2. Click on Adjust from the main menu followed by Color and then Fade Correction.



3. With Preview on Image checked you will be able to see the adjustments taking place on the image as you make them.

4. In this example the image is extremely faded and so a high level of correction will be needed.



Smart Photo Fix

The fade correction makes the photo look much better but there are still some options available to restore color, saturation and brightness.

1. In the Learning Center menu, select Quick Adjustments followed by Smart Photo Fix.



2. The Smart Photo Fix dialog box allows you to preview your adjustments as well as showing a Before and After images.

3. In this example the color is being adjusted to 27% and the brightness to 7%.

The Burn Brush

If you have an area of a picture which has faded more than the rest of the image then you can use the Burn Brush to touch up just that area.

1. Zoom into the area you’re going to be working on by rolling your mouse wheel forward or by using the Zoom tool from the interactive properties bar.



2. Select the Burn Brush from the Standard Toolbar, and carefully brush over the area you wish to darken while holding down the left mouse button.

3. In this example the Size and the Opacity have both been set to “42”.





4. After the adjustments are complete you can zoom out to view the completed image.

When it comes to Cherished memories, a restored photo can make a very special gift.


Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

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Comments (4)

  • kevin cliffe Reply


    September 5, 2018 at 2:40 pm
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Kevin,

      As demonstrated here, you can certainly use PaintShop Pro to restore old photographs! As for improving the focus, that can be a little harder to do. Modern software can do a lot with image sharpening tools, but there is only so much that can be done before the image starts to develop artifacts or lose other details from the process.

      Finally, what size would the original image be for your A1 prints? Enlarging a photo will always cause a loss of image quality, as the computer is forced to take each pixel of the original image and stretch it to cover a larger space. Doubling the size of an image means each pixel becomes a 2×2 square. Again, modern software does apply some additional image processing when a picture is enlarged, but the act of blowing up a photo will always cause a loss of detail and an increase in artifacts, edge blur, or graininess.

      Hope this helps!
      Discovery Center Team

      September 9, 2018 at 10:58 pm
  • Brandon Harris Reply

    Old photos have a charm of their own. They are beautiful in their own way. But sometimes giving them, a touch-up makes them look even more beautiful. The same has been explained quite well here. I think it’s a great tutorial.

    January 17, 2018 at 7:22 am
    • Chuck Reply

      With years of photo repair I can offer advice to use your air brush tool, practice makes perfect. There are no tricks to repair grandmom’s torn, faded, taped together b/w photo dated 1900 from a fire and flood. Masking and layers next and you might have to re-paint the entire photo on a new background. Paint Shop is a fine tool but please stop with hi-res photo tutorials. There is no such thing in the restore photo world.

      March 19, 2020 at 1:26 pm

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