MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Dec 1, 2004
New Westminster, B.C. Canada
A buddy of mine asked me yesterday to put new glass in two of his framed pieces. He had taken them down and left them leaning on the wall. His youngest (son) did a flying manuver landing in a leap around the corner, and guess what....broken glass. One of the prints has a few spots of blood on it (DNA samples). I didn't look to close to it but it may be original (at least it is pencil signed) on some paper/foamboard combo. Is there a safe way to fade or remove those blotches?

The other has a small pressure spot (size of a quarter) in the foamboard, visible from the front...Any way of "fluffing" that out?

Blood: I’ve had reasonable success with cold water and Q-tips. Lightly moisten the Q-tip and roll the cotton over the stain. Rubbing it will scuff the mat. Once the blood is gone (or mostly gone), dry it gently (not too much heat) with the “hair dryer” shrink wrap gun. I’ve usually done this with fresh blood (my own), so I don’t know exactly how this will work with archeological corpuscles.

Dents: I haven’t tried this, but I have heard that if you dampen the dent a wee bit (again with a moist Q-tip) the fibers of the mat board will swell and eventually reach the level of the rest of the surface.

I wonder if Q-tips are good for anything else?
Hi James

Assuming this is not a valuable print in which case you'd want to take it to a paper conservator...

If any excess blood can be carefully scraped off with out damaging the paper, do so. A scalpel and magnification are helpful as is raking (angled) light.

Then dot with distilled water and blot. Dot and blot, dot and blot...

When no more comes off that way, try a bit of saliva (enzymes) on a q-tip and gently roll. No scrubbing allowed! Looking at lemons helps. (!) Rinse with dot and blot method.

Any little stains left can be SPARINGLY treated with drugstore 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let dry then dot and blot rinse.

You should stop and let everything dry after each step, to see how it looks. Dry and wet/damp look different.

This may or may not work, depending on how much blood, type of paper...

Things that can go wrong:

Sreading water soluble discoloration in the paper to make unsightly tidelines.

Spreading stains if too much water is used.

Changing texture of paper.


I'm sure there are more things that can go wrong. but you get the idea. Start slow and easy, and be prepared to stop if things start to go sideways.

Good Luck!

Get the kid to spit on a qtip. A trick I learned from an old framer. The saliva of the person who bled on something will come off with their own spit and only their spit. Sounds gross but it really has worked when I cross stitch and get poked or framing and find I'm bleeding on the foamcore. It comes right out with a little spit. Of course I've never asked someone else to spit on it. May have to test that one. NOT!!! TO GROSS
James, not much you can do about the dent in the foam. Doesn't fluff out. Best off just replacing it with new foamboard.

I've always used hydrogen peroxide to remove blood.
Originally posted by Bill Henry:

I wonder if Q-tips are good for anything else?
Yeah, I hear they are good for cleaning out your ears. I don't know, just a rumor I heard.
OH my gosh don't think I could live without Q-tips!
Originally posted by Bill Henry:

I wonder if Q-tips are good for anything else?
Yeah, I hear they are good for cleaning out your ears. I don't know, just a rumor I heard.

<font face=arial size=4>What?</font>

<font face=arial size=6>Speak up!</font>

<font face=bellevue=0>… Silly Canadians</font>
Remember Fizzies?

Take one of those Q-Tips, dip it in some of that hydrogen pyroxide, stick it in your ear as far as it'll go and twist it a few times.*

But don't try that at home.

*Some of you will actually be able to pull it out of the other ear.
A.Wise, you are so right and I agree with your advise. In another thread I referred to the "spit" as framer's juice (being the southern lady that I am).