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Blog July 7, 2021

How to Pack Paintings for Moving

Posted in Moving Day Tips
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Whether you’re a dedicated art aficionado with a sizeable and valuable collection, or just happen to have a few pieces with sentimental value, you should take some time to learn how to pack paintings for moving without damaging them.

Gather all the necessary materials, then decide whether to ship your precious belongings with or without frames because the packing techniques are different. Nevertheless, all have the same mission – to ensure that your precious artwork reaches your new home without a scratch.

Wondering How to Pack Paintings for Moving – The First Step Is Obtaining the Right Materials

When you are getting ready to relocate, you won’t just pick up items you love and throw them onto a random pile. To avoid losing or damaging delicate objects, you’ll need to obtain proper materials to wrap everything neatly. You should also make an inventory list and see just how many boxes and other supplies you should get.

Use a Variety of Materials When Packing Artwork

You made a list, which is the first step, and you know exactly how many pictures there are in your home. Make sure every picture or fragile mirror you own can be wrapped and put into a fitting box. To do so, you will need a variety of packing supplies:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Tapes (masking and duct)
  • Boxes of different sizes
  • Markers
  • Cardboard
  • Corner protectors
boxes Gather all the supplies, and the packaging process will run smoothly.

Any Large Mirror and Framed Artwork Can Be Packed Using the Same Technique

When you think about it, those framed pictures on the wall or the mirror in the hallway may seem sturdy but are actually easily breakable. To avoid losing any large and fragile object dear to you, use the already established and time-tested packing technique and protect them during the move.

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Use the “X” Technique and the Right Box to Pack Paintings for Moving

Framed art usually has a really fragile glass pane. Use tape to make a big X across it. This way, the tape will absorb vibrations during the move, but also, if the glass cracks, it won’t shatter everywhere. Cut a piece of cardboard and place it over the frame and then wrap it with bubble wrap.

When you are done, tape the wrap and get the box of the right size to put the frame in and fill the empty space with cushioning materials. The box shouldn’t be too big because any movement inside could damage the object.

photo frames Large objects with glass surfaces are easily breakable.

How to Roll a Frameless Picture for Shipping

If you have some frameless canvases and prints that you want to take with you, there is a way to pack them and ensure their safety in transport. To do so, you will need a clean and big surface to lay bubble wrap or clear paper on. Then put art on it and cover it with a layer of paper. Cut the paper to be at least two inches larger than the canvas. Then it is time to create a roll.

Don’t squeeze or make the roll too tight because you will ruin the picture. When you are done, tape over the protective material, and put it in a plastic tube that is large enough to hold your artwork.

roll-paintings When moving, you should roll paintings and place them in a tube to ensure safety.

Labeling and Sealing Are the Final Steps of Packing

You are almost done when everything is boxed up, but don’t forget to seal the filled crates before loading them into the truck. Use wide duct tape and ensure that boxes are shut and won’t open during the trip. Having an open box is an accident waiting to happen.

Get markers and write “FRAGILE” on two visible sides of containers. This is especially important if you are hiring professional movers to load and relocate your belongings. They should know which crates demand special attention. You can also use colors to code your boxes. This way, you will know where everything goes in your new home, which will make unpacking that much faster.

woman packing fragile boxes Labels will make unpacking in your new home easier.

Extra Tips for Packing Art

When you are doing everything on your own, you could use some tips and pointers that will speed up the whole packing process, but also make it more efficient. Follow these simple hacks, and you will soon have all of your valuable artwork safely tucked away and ready for relocation.

Before You Wrap Your Painting, Beware of Materials That Leave Stains

You will buy high-quality materials to put around your precious objects, but in case you run out of padding supplies, avoid using those that can leave stains. Newspapers are a great example because the ink can rub off and stain your canvas.

Also, packing peanuts shouldn’t be used as “dunnage.” Firstly because they break into smaller balls, and secondly, they are made out of corn or potato derivatives, and with even the smallest bits of moisture, they can turn into glue.

Transport Delicate Frames Inside Professionally Crated Boxes

If you have some very old, almost antique, or delicate frames that need to be boxed up, you should consider having them professionally crated. It will be worth paying a little bit extra if you get to keep them intact. Also, if you have some loose canvas, the safest and most efficient way to transport it is by using cardboard tubes.

couple with paintings One of the useful tips is to avoid using inked paper.

DIY or Professional Movers – That Is the Question

Doing it all by yourself might seem fun, but sometimes it is more trouble than it is worth, especially if you end up losing valuable pictures or other fragile art. Even if your packing skills are enviable, hiring professional movers comes with many benefits. For starters, you won’t have to move a finger; they will do all the heavy lifting and moving. On top of that, your things will be covered with an insurance policy. You can kick back and relax, knowing your precious things are in safe hands.

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