I want to make paper look aged and then print on it a picture, I tried with coffee but the results were bad, the picture quality is poor on the coffee paper compared with the white paper, the colors are really dull and it is less saturated. I tired to fix this with photoshop but nothing worked out, We don't have ivory/yellow/brown papers available in my country and I can't get it online too. I was thinking to buy maybe a fixative spray, I contacted all stores here, they don't sell it but they do sell a acrylic varnish mat spray, will that helps ? or I shouldn't be using an acrylic spray on an inkjet photo ? it'd be much appreciated if you guys can help me with an aging technique (it doesn't need to appear really old or something) just a yellowish/brownish color. I don't want to wet the paper with coffee or tea or anything because I lose quality

  • What about a brown paper bag? Do you have those? Or some paper packing material? – bgmCoder Dec 9 '19 at 3:50
  • What do yo umean by "I would lose quality"? Is your paper a photograph or something? What would happen if you wet it (I know "lose quality") but what do you mean? Now, an inkejet print would smear - so I can understand to not want to wet that. – bgmCoder Dec 9 '19 at 3:53

If you're printing, why not print the aged effect as well?

Print it as close to the margins as possible - your printer may even do borderless, but if not you need to crop (physically) to the aged bit. This doesn't have to be perfect; in fact it may be better done rather roughly, depending on just how old and weathered you're looking for.

If you do tea- or coffee-stain your paper, you need to dry it really well before printing. This may make that an option after all.


If you have a candle or heat source you can try to hold the paper over it carefully and "bake" the paper to get it to a different color. You will need to go slow to ensure that you do not light it on fire, scorch, or get too many crinkles.

I have done this this make scrolls for a project, it works fairly well. If you end up getting some waves or crinkles in the paper you can try to lightly mist it with water and then put it under something heavy.

It might be worth it to print the picture first and then try to weather the paper as well!

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    Just curious--given the inherent risk of destroying the paper or starting a fire, would it be possible to achieve the result by baking the paper in an oven at a controlled temperature, or is it the irregular scorching that produces the aged look? – fixer1234 Nov 1 '19 at 19:05
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    @fixer1234 You could possibly achieve the same thing in the oven! I have not tried literally baking paper. I like using the heat gun or a lighter to get darker spots and/or burns where I want them. Which reminds me that OP could also maybe burn a piece of paper and smudge/rub the char on a new piece to make it look older? – ninjabrer Nov 1 '19 at 19:55
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    On longer bake times, the parchment paper I use for food prep does start to get an "aged" look around the edges, so with some careful experimenting, it's likely that printer paper could also achieve this look, but there's risk of ignition there as well, and the final project would have to be treated post-printing as it will get brittle. – Allison C Nov 4 '19 at 17:26

May be you should try smoking it with a candle. It might help i am not sure. It can be done in many ways , smoking means as simple as showing the paper on top of the flame. Its better to fix it to a wooden frame or cardboard and then showing it upon a flame so as to prevent burning . Showing the paper alone might work but may burn the paper and also takes time since we should take care not to burn it. After smoking the paper we can smudge it with finger or cotton. I am uploading a picture here of a paper piece i smoked right now using a candle without smudging.(only a small portion is smoked). enter image description here

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    It may seem self explanatory but can you expand your answer for those who may not know what you mean? Good idea tho... – rebusB Nov 9 '19 at 3:14

stick the paper in your dryer with something heavy, like poker chips, the kind they have in vegas, not the little thin ones for home use. Or you can use racket balls or tennis balls. Use low heat or none at all if your dryer has an air dry setting, that would be best. Run it for about 5 minutes and see how its coming along, might want to go about 15. That outta add some years to it. Add some wadded up news paper to the dryer as well, for a little color transfer.


At first color that page with deep dark yellow color (Crayons or water color). Then give it a very small amount of spray of black color. That should give it a nice old look.

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    Hi there. It would be much more helpful if you would edit your answer to include more details. As it stands, this seems like more of a comment, because of the lack of instructions. For example, color the page with what and how? And why would black spray make it look old, rather than just spotted or dirty? An example image of this being done would also be great. – user24 Nov 8 '19 at 17:37

I hope this can help you

  1. Squeeze the paper
  2. Spray the paper with liquid
  3. Shape the paper. Moisture paper will make it easier for you to do this. You can tear the edges, make small circular holes with your fingernails, or make small folds.
  4. Spread the paper to dry it

Thank you

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    This doesn't answer the question, which is specifically asking for methods to age paper that do not involve liquid/moisture, not for options on how to "sculpt" paper with moisture. Was this meant for a different question? – Allison C Nov 4 '19 at 17:25

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