If you are thinking of starting your own classic poster collection, one of the most important things to know is how to get creases out of a poster without damaging it. Unless the poster is really old, you want to display your collection in as pristine condition as possible.
When you receive posters, especially old, original pieces (not just reproductions), they will almost always have a couple of creases here and there. Before you can put your posters on display, you have to get those creases smoothed out as much as you can, and here are some ways you can do it.
Please keep in mind that these are just methods on how to straighten out a poster, the creases will be somewhat reduced but they will not be perfect. Removing creases completely will require professional work, which can sometimes be expensive.
The methods below are things that you can do at home that can at least make your posters presentable.
Method 01: Weighing It Down
What to prepare:
- A large, flat surface – Ideally, the surface should be available for at least 24 hours, so your dinner table might not be the best choice.
- A flat board that is a bit bigger than the poster – Plywood is the best choice, but if you do not have one, a large piece of cardboard will do.
- Weights – You can use anything that has enough heft. Among your options are books or pots and pans.
Step 1 – Prepare the surface
Make sure that the surface you will be placing your poster on is completely clean and dry. Wipe down the surface and allow it to dry. If you are dealing with a rather fragile poster, you can sandwich the poster in between sheets of parchment paper.
By doing that, you can protect the colors of the paper from transferring onto the surfaces that are weighing it down.
Step 2 – Lay down the poster and weigh it down
Place the poster down on the prepared surface and then put the plywood over it. the next thing to do is to put the books all over the plywood. Make sure all the parts of the poster are weighted down.
The plywood will ensure that the weight is distributed evenly over the entire surface of the poster. If there are creases, add more weight to those parts.
Step 3 – Wait for at least 24 hours
Since you will only be flattening the poster and smoothing out the creases using just the weight of objects, the creases will take a bit longer. You have to leave the poster alone for at least an entire day before the wrinkles and creases would get flattened.
Method 02: Using an Iron
What to prepare:
- A dry flat iron
Step 1 – Prepare a flat surface
Place the poster on a flat and level surface that is bigger than the poster. Make sure that the surface is free of any debris that may stick on the poster when you iron it. You can also place a sheet of parchment paper on the surface as you will be ironing the backside of the poster.
Step 2 – Place parchment over the poster
Place the poster over the parchment paper and then put even more parchment paper on the backside of the poster. If you do not have parchment paper, you can use a cloth sheet and put it over the poster.
Step 3 – Proceed to iron the poster
Get your flat iron and set it to the lowest setting. Wait for the iron to warm up before giving your poster a couple of passes. When the iron has heated enough, pass it over the poster until you are satisfied with the results. If the heat seems too low to iron out the creases, gradually increase the heat until you are one hundred percent satisfied.
If you do not see any improvements, place a bedsheet or towel over the poster, and sprinkle a bit of water all over it. The towel should only be slightly damp and not wet. Iron the towel until it is completely dried. The steam coming from the iron drying the towel should relax the fibers inside the poster to make them easier to iron flat.
Make sure to avoid using too much heat as it will deteriorate the colors of the posters and might even scorch the paper.
If you know how to get creases out of a poster properly, you can display your precious collection without having to deal with the unsightly fold marks. However, you need to be very careful when you do these techniques as overdoing them might damage the posters.
Do keep in mind that you won’t be able to remove serious creases from old posters but you can still flatten them somewhat to make them a little less conspicuous.