Paper strengthening agents play an important role in the papermaking industry with the increase of secondary fiber applications. The objective of this study was to create a dry-strength agent by esterification. The fines from the pulp were collected and modified with trimesic acid and citric acid, respectively, to obtain the dry-strength agent. The influences of acid type and dosage on the enhancing effect were investigated. Compared with the control sample, the physical properties of paper sheet were improved after adding modified fines. The properties of recycled paper were also improved by the modified fines. When the dosage of citric acid agent was 7%, the effect on paper properties saw the greatest improvement. The tensile index, burst index, and folding endurance were increased by 60.3%, 18.3%, and 146.2%, respectively, compared with the control. The improvement of paper properties was due to the increase of carboxyl content in the modified fines. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that the esterification is an effective approach for producing paper dry-strengthening agent.