Separating Photos Glued Together

I have 2 very, very old pictures I can't replace. My daughter thought she was helping by gluing the small picture onto the bigger picture. How can I get them apart without damaging either? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you.

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August 20, 20180 found this helpful

Try putting in the freezer for a half hour.

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August 20, 20180 found this helpful

Heat with a hair dryer for a few seconds on low setting, the nozzle being a few inches away from the photos, then run a length of dental floss between the pictures to separate them. I did that once to a picture that was stuck to a photo album page and it worked.

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August 20, 20180 found this helpful

what kind of glue? If it was just stick glue it will probably work. If it's Elmer's glue it may sadly not work because the acrylic delivery method will create a photo transfer situation.

if other things mentioned by people here don't work, it is possible to soak the photos in lukewarm water for 20 - 30 minutes so that the glue loosens. Then you can unstick the photos and let them dry. This is a last resort measure however.

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August 20, 20180 found this helpful

Oh that drives me nuts when things like you describe happened with photos. The only way I have had success is to hold them above a boiling tea kettle and very gently let the steam do it's magic. Not too close as you don't want them to get wet, but close enough to get the glue to loosen.


I have separated a whole batch with this method. You do have to work very carefully as rips can happen. If it is a clean rip, you can often work from the back to repair. If it is not a clean rip, you will have to look for creative ways to salvage as much as you can Good luck!!!

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August 21, 20180 found this helpful

Not to be a Negative Nelly, but if the photos are very sentimental I'd be fearful of doing anything that might damage them beyond repair. That being said, before trying anything, I'd have both photos scanned. My printer scans but in this case I think I'd take it to a local photographer who will have better equipment than mine and more know-how. That way, worse case scenario, I'd have a good quality replica.

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August 22, 20180 found this helpful

If these are pictures that you treasure and they cannot be replaced then you should not attempt any DIY method as you may cause more damage that cannot be corrected.


You should find a professional restoration shop and pay their price so you can enjoy having your photos around for many years to come.

There are probably several in your city - just Google Photo Restoration shops with your zip code and find one near you.

You may wish to get more than one estimate but be sure to take the glue container with you so they will know what they may be dealing with.

I have used this type of service with older faded pictures and was usually well pleased with the results but it may be expensive..

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