Literally Being Underfoot

During the renovation of a house in Toronto, the owner discovered several posters under the hardwood flooring. These three-sheet posters were used as under padding. Again, further evidence of the value placed on posters back in the day.

Among this find was a three sheet for the 1936 film The Man Who Lived Twice. The poster was in rough shape, but the image was almost entirely intact. The poster was glued to a heavy brown paper, there were tears and a number of border pieces missing, there was water damage and mould, and of course, nail holes in lines across the poster.


We started by soaking the poster overnight in a water bath. The next day, two of us spent five hours removing the brown paper and dried glue, linen backing, cleaning the poster and replacing approximately 120 pieces of missing paper. (Typically on a 3 sheet we would replace about a dozen pieces of paper)


Once the poster was dried, we set out to restore the poster, airbrushing the border and using a combination of brush and pencil crayons to replace the colour. However, we did very little touch up on the left side of the poster as the hardwood had left an impression of the wood grain right in the image. This is what truly makes this piece unique.

This project required nearly 22 hours of our time to bring it back to life, but it was worth it. The poster looks incredible and is a unique conversation piece for the owner of his newly restored house.


We truly enjoy working on all kinds of posters from different eras. If you or a friend or colleague have a poster you would like to bring back to life, a movie poster, a war era poster, a travel poster, a concert poster, a sports poster or a map, please reach out to us at Backingtothefuture. We guarantee we will provide top quality service for a fair and reasonable price.

Backing to the Future is a Canadian firm that has been expertly restoring posters since 1999.



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