How to Safely Pack Your Artwork For Your Move

Moving house and looking for how to move your artwork safely? Learn how to prepare, pack and move your prized pieces of artwork properly. Don't risk a crack in the glass, a dent in the frame or a tear in the canvas.

Whether your artwork is a carefully curated selection of prized pieces or you have simply picked your works to go with your existing décor, there is no doubt that it would devastate you if they arrived at your new home after moving in transit with a crack in the glass or dent in the frame. Handling with care is a must. We’ve all been there and thrown things in a last minute dash into the back seat of your car and hoping they arrive safely; art, glass and any delicate possessions are not the ones to keep your fingers crossed on.

Before starting to move your artwork or framed items, it is essential that you have the right packing equipment to be sure they will be safe during transportation.

Here is a list of equipment that should be considered when moving your art pieces.

  • Bubble wrap
  • Glassine Paper or Wax paper
  • Packing tape
  • Styrofoam corner edges, folded cardboard edges would suffice
  • Strong Cardboard Boxes or wooden crates
  • Marker pens or Labelling equipment
  • Moving blankets if necessary

Ensure that you set enough time aside to properly wrap and pack your artwork to allow yourself peace of mind knowing it will arrive safely to its next destination. 

  • First things first, it might be wise to take photos of your artwork prior to wrapping. This way you have an inventory of your works and will know what their condition was prior to the move.
  • All artwork, pictures and paintings should be wrapped separately
  • For framed items or mirrors, taping an ‘X ‘onto the glass front with packing tape will prevent the glass from shattering.
  • For unframed artwork or canvases, use glassine or wax paper to cover the front and secure with packing tape, tape should not touch any part of the canvas, glass or frame, only the backing. Applying bubble wrap straight onto these unframed faces can cause sticking or potential to smudge the paint. Glassine is a grease proof, water resistant paper that is perfect for artwork which isn’t hard to find. Art supply stores are typically a great place to find glassine.
  • Secure Styrofoam corner protectors or pieces of card board around the four corners to prevent any damage to the edging and tape down with packing
  • Next, securely wrap each item with bubble wrap – twice if you can spare it and secure with tape. Think like you’re wrapping a present, you want the wrap to be firm.
  • Next up, pack your wrapped parcels standing upright into your wooden crate or sturdy cardboard boxes with pieces of cardboard in between each parcel. Standing them upright to go onto the moving truck. If there is any extra space in the box or crate ensure you pack it down to prevent items from moving. You want each box or crate to be as secure as possible. If necessary, wrap any items with packing blankets.
  • Each box should be clearly labelled with Fragile Artwork stickers or write with large marker pens.
  • Ensure items are safely and securely placed on the moving truck without any obstruction from other furniture items.

Your art is now ready to move! This should not be a daunting or stress filled process, however with the right care and planning your artwork will remain protected ready to be hung in its new home.

Disclaimer: For expensive or sentimental pieces of artwork, we strongly recommend contracting the services of a professional art moving specialist - particularly when moving long distances. This article should be read and used as a guide only, and not a foolproof way to ensure your artwork is not damaged. Certain art pieces are required to be kept at specific temperatures to maintain their quality. Such pieces should be handled by an art moving professional.

Written by Bec Wimsett from B Free Home Lifestyle Management

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