Adobe Photoshop Tip: How to Remove Unwanted Objects from Photos

Welcome to the 220th Metamorphosis Monday!

A while back I took you on a little tour of my home town.  It was around Christmastime and the homes were decorated for the holidays. This house has always been one of my faves.  It reminds me a little of the home in the movie, Father of the Bride.  (You can tour that movie house here: Father of the Bride Movie House Tour)


When I used this picture in a post, that ugly old “One Way” sign was really bugging me.  It ruined the whole picture.  Often when I want to eliminate something small from a picture, I’ll use the “Clone” tool in Adobe Photoshop.  Since the sign was so big and was in front of the house, bushes, yard, steps and sidewalk, I decided to try a different tool.  This time I went with the “Spot Healing Brush Tool.”  The spot healing brush is the one that looks like a band-aid.  (See arrow below.)

Use Spot Healing Brush in Adobe Photoshop
I found it easier to use than the clone tool.  With the clone tool, you have to use the alt key and move your cursor over the area you wish to clone and then move the cursor over the item you want to make disappear.  But with the spot healing brush, you just click on that tool on the menu and then move your cursor over the item you wish to make disappear while pressing down on the left mouse button and when you lift your finger, it magically fills in the area with the colors/image it found around the item.

I started with the top of the sign.  You can see I got a little bit into the white section of the house.  I fixed that with the clone tool, more on that in a sec.

Remove Unwanted Objects in Pictures with Photo Editing Software

Next I spot healed the section of the sign pole that was running in front of the brick steps.  See how that section of the sign pole is gone.  Note:  You can adjust how wide a brush stroke you are using by adjusting the pixel “Size” at the top left corner of the Photoshop screen.  When you open up Photoshop, you’ll see the word “Size”  up at the top left of the Photoshop screen.  For something like the sign post, I used a narrow 7-8 px size brush.

Remove unwanted objects in pictures with spot healing brush

Then I spot healed the section running in front of the bushes up near the house.

Remove Unwanted Objects in Photos with Spot Healing Brush, Adobe Photoshop

Next I spot healed the section of the sign above the bushes and in the grass.  Each time I spot healed a section, if I was happy with how it looked, I saved my picture at that point so if I didn’t like the next change I made, I would at least have the photo saved to the point where I did like it.  If you make a mistake, there’s an “undo” button at the top.  You can click it as many times as you wish to remove any changes, going all the way back to your last “saved” version if you like.

Remove Unwanted Objects in Photos with Spot Healing Brush

Finally, I got rid of the section of the sign that was across the sidewalk.  I also used the clone tool at the end to fix the edge of the house and fill in the greenery visible through the porte-cochere.

Remove Unwanted Objects in Photos

Run your mouse over and off the photo below to see the “Before and After” of the photo.  (The mouse-over of the photo below may not work on iPads. ) You’ll find a tutorial showing how to create “mouse-over” photos of your “Before and After” projects here:  How to Create a Mouse-over Photo


You can do all kinds of things with the Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop.  Just for fun, I decided to make the table umbrella disappear in the picture below.

Summer Table Setting

It was really easy with the “spot healing brush” tool.  Amazing all the things you can do in Photoshop!  If ever you’re trying to figure out how to do something in Photoshop, just Google it.  I guarantee you’ll find multiple tutorials online explaining in detail how to do whatever it is you’re trying to do.  That’s basically how I’ve learned to use Photoshop.  (Tablescape below can be viewed here: A Corny Setting with Mr. Scarecrow

Photography Tips:  You’ll find lots of additional photography tips in this previous post: Photography Tips for Better Blog Photos

Summer Table Setting


Looking forward to the Before and Afters linked for this Met Monday!

Metamorphosis Monday:

One on sidebar

If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday you will need to link up the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

Please observe these few rules:

Only link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, DIY related.

Do not link up if you’re doing so to promote a website or product.

Do not link up a post that was just linked last week since a lot of readers will have already seen that post.

Do not type in ALL CAPS.  It spreads the links waaaay out.

Let’s try something fun today! Please visit the person who linked before you and after you…that way everyone will get some visits.

Welcome! Thanks for coming to the party!

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  1. Oh my, that’s photo magic! I’ve been using a free trial of Adobe Lightroom and have decided to purchase both Photoshop and Lightroom tomorrow. I can’t wait to do some photo magic, too! Thanks so much for hosting your great party, and have a great week!

  2. You are so smart to figure out that tip. Your picture looks so much better without the sign.

  3. That is great. It loooks as if it were never there. I have something similar on iPhoto but it is not as thorough as this. I may need to invest in photoshop. xoGinger

  4. What great information to bookmark, thanks so much for sharing. Thanks for hosting a great party each week. fondly ~lynne~

  5. I’m trying to learn to use Photoshop. Thanks for the how to!
    Thanks so much for hosting!

  6. Susan,
    I’m thrilled at the things one can do with the computer aided programs!!!
    Thank you for hosting Metamorphosis Monday each week!!!
    Have a wonderful week ahead!!!

  7. Thanks for the info. I have been using the “retouch” feature on W7 and it does not always work out.
    Thanks for hosting again this week! Appreciate what you do!
    Have s great week.

  8. Awesome. I just got Photoshop! This will really come in handy!

  9. That’s a great tool, Susan! I hope you and Max are doing well! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for hosting!…hugs…Debbie

  10. I just love your house Susan! I know how you feel about the one way sign. We have an ugly telephone pole to the side of our house. I wish I could photoshop it out. LOL!


    • Jeanine, the white house isn’t mine…wish it was! It’s just one of the many beautiful historic homes in my area. I do love that house…reminds me so much of the one in Father of the Bride.

  11. What a great editing tool…and love, love that house!!…I truly enjoy riding through historic neighborhoods admiring the beautiful architecture!…Thanks for hosting Susan and have a great week!

  12. Thanks for the party! Life to the full! Melissa

  13. I have iPhoto on my Mac, but I am seriously considering Aperture, the next step up. I think it does almost everything Lightroom does. I find it amazing that we can “fix” a photo.

  14. Susan, you make it sound so easy. My husband gave me one on one tutor sessions with someone so I can learn Photoshop. I’ve had one session, then haven’t been back because of scheduling. I’m going to try some of this to practice. Thanks for the great tutorial. I linked up this week, but you may feel I’ve stretched it a bit to include my post here. All I did was change out a French two prong round plug for an American grounded plug. Hope you don’t mind. ~ Sarah

    • Sarah, that sounds like a great Before and After…glad you linked up! I’m hoping to find a class in Lightroom locally, but it always seems I need “just-in-time-learning” where I have to actually have the need and then search for the tutorial online, before it really seems to stick in my head.

  15. Thank you ever so much for the PS tips! and thank you for hosting.


  16. Susan,
    Your blog is amazing. I don’t see how you keep coming up with such great ideas every week. I was noticing how you have it set up, and I really like everything about it.
    Great tips on the editing pics at Photoshop!

  17. That’s neat, Susan. Thanks or the tutorial…Chistine

  18. Thank you for the tip and for hosting! Have a happy week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  19. Susan – that is fantastic! Would it also work on the power lines? As you know, your home town has a fantastic festival every March. All of the beautiful trees are in the older sections of town and the power lines ruin every picture that I shoot of them. The tool in Picasa does not work on them Thanks!!

  20. Thanks for the photoshop information. Do you know if they have a beginners version or if you have to buy the expensive one? My son had a trial version which has expired and I would love to buy for myself. Love all the things you can do with it and being able to remove unwanted ugly things would be great.

    • Susan, when I bought my copy, I purchased it on Amazon. The one I bought was Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. I noticed that have version 11 out now and it’s $64.99 on Amazon. Check out Lightroom. I purchased it a while back because I hear it’s more user friendly. I still haven’t taken time to play with it, yet. Once I learn how to do some things on it, I’ll create a tutorial or two showing how it works, but that may be a while.

  21. Thinking of you and Max….
    Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

  22. Photo editing programs are great for fixing things like this! I use Photoscape, which is free (in case anyone needs a free program that has several bells and whistles without having to pay). Thanks for hosting, Susan!

  23. Thanks so much Susan! I have been using Photoshop for years and have never taken the time to learn more than just the basics…your tutorial is so easy to follow and something I know I will use all the time now! Thanks for sharing this valuable tip! I love all the movie houses you feature, that is so much fun.

  24. Thanks for hosting! Have a wonderful Monday!

  25. thanks for the tips! so cool, i can’t wait to try them out.

  26. Hi Susan, thanks for hosting once again. Enjoyed your photoshop tutorial. Reminds me how much I miss having that!

  27. Thanks for hosting! and that was a great tip on the photoshopping technique. I’ve been using picasa, but I don’t think it has that type of tool on it… I’m going to be sure and if not, I may need to check out the software you use, seems much more detailed. Little Bit from

  28. Good Morning Susan!
    The photoshop tip was great! Keep em’ coming : )
    I appreciate you hosting the link party!

  29. Great tips on how to get rid of unwanted things in pictures. I wish I had the patience for those type of things…but it isn’t my strong suit.
    Thanks so much for hosting!

  30. Nancy Crane says

    I have a photographer friend who has a professional version of something simliar and has done this…love all the tips though for just us folks who would like to use some tips but not “all”…I took several shots years ago while visiting Martha’s Vineyard that has a few power lines (like on the top of your photo) that I would love to take out…thanks for sharing these great tips!

  31. Hope Max is feeling better.

    What bugs me in a lot of photos are those wires — have you ever tried this to get rid of wires? You always see them in areas with older homes or in historic areas. I had a version of photoshop with my scanner, neither of which will now work with my newest computer! I had taken out some wires on older photos with it with varying degrees of success.

    • I haven’t tried taking out the wires but I’m guessing that could be done, too. Just take some time probably to do it. I don’t like seeing the wires either.

  32. You are a genious

  33. Seriously, isn’t Photoshop the best invention ever??? Still amazes me to this day, and I use it daily (I’m a graphic designer). LOVE that house. Definitely makes me swoon πŸ˜‰

  34. Pattie (Lilacnpearls) says

    Wow…I had no idea about that tool, thank you !

  35. Pattie (Lilacnpearls) says

    Wow…I had no idea about that tool, thank you !

  36. Susan,
    Thanks for all your wonderful tutorials! You are a wealth of information. I need to learn Photoshop. Thanks a bunch for hosting Met Monday!! Have a great week!!

  37. Thank you for the tip! I would like to try this.I am a bit nervous I have only used picmonkey for editing and felt intimidated to try this.Thank you so much for hosting Susan!

  38. Susan,

    Your tips are so easy to follow.
    I purchased Photoshop Elements 11 back in December.
    I have no idea how to use it. I was at the point of wanting to return it. (BestBuy)
    Now I’ll wait and see if you can give a few pointers.

  39. I am in awe at your computer skills!!! I am so UNSAVVY, technically speaking! In have a hubby who has worked in IT for 40 years but has no patience to teach me this stuff. I’ll just keep plugging along. I just wish I knew how to change my header!!!!!!!!!!!!:):) XO, Pinky

  40. I’m a long time lover of Photoshop. I upgraded from CS3 to CS6 a few months ago, and I still have a few things to figure out with the change. Who am I kidding? PS is so unbelievably awesome. How could I ever learn all the tricks?

    Thanks for hosting, Susan. I hope you like the change in my dining room. I love it.β™₯

  41. Cherry Goodson says

    Good morning Susan,

    I’m guessing this post is for MM. Again, I have no pictures of other blogs. This has happened a few times before so wanted you to do your magic again so that I can see all the lovely things everyone did this week. Thanks Susan. Cherry

    • Cherry, just click on the title of the post to open the post. All the links are there at the end of the post. There are 163 so far. I’m not sure why they aren’t visible for you. You may want to try a different browser to see if that helps.

  42. The “Undo” feature (Control + Z or Command + Z) in Photoshop only lets you go back one step. If you decide you need/want to go back further you can use the “History” feature. Go to Window > History and the History palette will show as a tab on your “Layers” palette. You can then go back any number of steps all the way back to when you opened the file. And you can toggle back and forth to view your changes by clicking on various “steps” in the history tab to see how far back you want to go.

    • Linda, it always lets me go back to the last saved picture. I just click it several times and it removes the last few changes I made back to when I last saved it. Thanks for the info about the History feature. That sounds very handy.

      • Really? Maybe it’s a setting in Preferences then and I only have mine set for one “undo”. I can only toggle between undo and redo so I always use the History palette to choose how many steps back I want to go. I meant to also say great tutorial in my last post. Thanks!

  43. That’s a nifty tool…I’m thinking I need to take a course on all this photo doctoring stuff…my old brain needs to see it…right in front of me =^)
    its great to see it step by step in action…do you watch the show on bravo…next great artist..or something to that effect…been a while since it’s been on…they had a guy that used photoshop for all of his was really amazing what he did to change a photo with that…my old brain needs to see it…right in front of me =^)

  44. Margo Kuhn says

    Thanks Susan. I bought photo shop a while back and have not really worked with it as I didn’t know what to do. I appreciate this tutorial.

  45. Susan, I love your tutorials. You have such a cute way of documenting every step. It’s always very helpful! It’s funny, because being a Realtor we are not allowed to photoshop out all the imperfections like signs, utility boxes, wires and so forth as it’s viewed as false advertising. Still, it’s great to know for personal projects! Which reminds me …. I’ve got to get on that …. haha! Have a wonderful day, Susan. πŸ™‚

  46. Thanks for hosting! I love the tips! Thanks so much….and I’m going to check out that mouseover tutorial!

  47. Thanks for the great tip on using photoshop, I ned to spend more time learning how to use it. Thanks for hosting, Laura

  48. Thanks for hosting, Susan. Your tutorial is great- I have photoshop elements, but I’m still so unfamiliar with the way it works, I don’t use if much because it takes me hours to figure out what I’m doing. You make it look easy! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

  49. That is absolutely amazing!! Great tutorial.

  50. I second the previous Jocelyn’s comment:) I knew how to use the clone tool but was clueless about the spot healing brush. Thanks so much for this. Bookmarking for future reference.

  51. I love Photoshop! I still have tons of thing to learn though! Thanks for hosting the party, have a great week, Susan!

  52. Thanks so much for hosting! Great tutorial πŸ˜‰
    Jamie @

  53. Susan, Thanks for hosting another party. I’m linking up again this week.

    Have wonderful evening,

    Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos

  54. Thanks for the tutorial, Susan! I have a photo right now that I need to do this on. My husband and I took a Photoshop Elements class last year at our local community college. I found the class very frustrating because we had one woman in the class who didn’t seem to know the first thing about PC’s, and she kept slowing the class down to ask the teacher the most ridiculous things. The teacher told us about a great set of online tutorials for Adobe Elements, and I’m going to have to sit down and do those.

    Thanks for hosting Met Monday and have a wonderful day!


  55. Susan, you are a natural teacher! I always enjoy your tutorials. Glad to be able to bookmark this to read over and over. Thanks for all the info and for the party.


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