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How to Pack Paintings for Moving

Relocating your household should involve a lot of security steps and caution. If you have a lot of artwork you need to pack, make sure you learn how to pack paintings for moving to minimize the chances of damage. Some art pieces can be worth tens of thousands of dollars, and you can lose a significant investment if anything happens to them. The value of the art you own usually increases through the years, and investing in it is a smart move. On top of that, some of it can have sentimental value, and that doesn’t make them any less important than your expensive pieces.

What Resources Do You Need to Secure Your Art

If you are hiring a relocation company to move your belongings, you’ll be offered to use their packing services as well. You will spend a few extra bucks, but it will be worth it. Relocation companies usually have all the necessary supplies to ensure the safety of your items. This is especially important if you have valuable things to transport. 

Another thing you should consider is insurance. Relocation companies have many options when it comes to compensating for any damage during the move, but this is a case when you should consider employing an insurance company. Your valuables may need an evaluation from a professional, and you have to organize that in advance. 

If you have to put your items in storage, research the security levels of the facility. There are state of the art secure storage units, and this can be a great solution if you are not planning to hang your valuable pieces at home for any reason.

Packing Materials

If, however, you decide to tackle this task on your own, you will need the following packing supplies:

  • Duct tape
  • Plastic wrap
  • Packaging paper
  • Strong, sturdy boxes
  • Custom crates
  • Foam peanuts
  • Bubble wrap
  • Labels

Now, there are situations that may require additional supplies to secure your belongings, such as, for example, straps for transport. Be prepared in advance for all possibilities. There are also ways to obtain cheap moving supplies, but when preparing artwork for transport, it would be wise to stick to high-quality materials.

Why You Should Use a Single Box for Larger Paintings

Art is one of those things that is best packed separately. Anything can damage your painting in the box, even if you protect it adequately. Sharp, hard, or breakable objects shouldn’t be inside the box with your paintings. Since most of them are probably framed, the glass can damage the painting if it breaks. Large canvases are especially prone to damage since it is hard to find appropriate packaging for them, and you may be tempted to try to save some money and place them with other items. Large canvases have a bigger surface, and they are much more fragile.

How to Pack Paintings

How to Pack Paintings for Moving to a New Home

There is a difference in the technique used for packing framed vs. unframed paintings. Wrapping all of them is very important. Since packing paper may not be enough, taking extra precaution with bubble wrap or foam peanuts is necessary. Not all artwork has the same value, but if you own a painting, it most likely has at least a sentimental value.

How to Pack Paintings for Moving to a New Home

How to Pack Framed Artwork

Framed art requires an extra step to secure the glass. You should make an X with duct tape over the glass part. In case the glass part of the frame breaks during transport, you want it to stay in place. Broken glass can damage your painting easily if it comes in contact with the canvas. In the best-case scenario, it will scratch the paint. In the worst, it will tear the canvas. 

After you secure the glass with tape, put a piece of cardboard on the glass, and you can wrap the painting in plastic and/or paper and put it in a box with foam peanuts. If you are using peanuts, make sure that the painting is sitting tightly in between. The best solution is to use bubble wrap for framed art.

It is also very important to protect the canvas from moisture, and that is where shrink wrap can help. Although the canvas is protected with glass and tape from the front, the back is unprotected and exposed to moisture if you don’t shrink wrap it.

Unframed Paintings

Unframed pieces are even less protected from potential damage. Tearing can happen a lot easier if they are not in a separate box. If it is possible to take the painting off from the wooden frame, do it. The safest way to transport such a painting is to roll it up in and fit it into a tube box.

How to Pack Paintings for Moving to a New Home

Tips Related to Transporting Expensive Art 

In this instance, protection is needed on many levels – from damage, transportation, and theft. Besides packing your items properly, you should figure out a labeling system that is clear to you but not so transparent for any unwanted spectators. Attracting attention to your valuable property is the last thing you want when transporting it. Also, it is important to position the box with valuable items in the right place in the truck, and that is in the back. You should also be aware of the other things you are transporting since they can damage your pieces if they fall over. 

How to Pack Your Expensive Artwork

When packing your most valuable pieces, you may want to order a custom crate for every one of them. This way, you can be sure that your painting is protected from physical damage and external threats like humidity. Hiring professional packers is also a good investment since they will know how to secure your expensive items properly.

Moving to a Storage Unit

There are times when you won’t be able to display your artwork in your home, and you’ll consider renting a storage unit. No matter the level of security in the facility, play smart and hide the contents. You can come up with a distinctive marking that will make sense to you but won’t attract attention. If your storage unit is password protected, don’t write down the password and leave it in a visible place. You can always backup all your passwords to a cloud and have instant access without leaving the paper laying around. 

Transporting valuable items is not to be taken lightly. Professional moving services are a smart investment in this case and will save you money in the long run. It is always better to be safe than sorry and risk losing thousands of dollars if a single item gets lost or stolen.