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How To Safely Pack Your Artwork For Your Move

When it comes to packing for removal day, many people don’t think about their artworks, mirrors and photographs until the last minute. This is a mistake because these items need to be carefully packaged to avoid damage.

Packing artwork can be a challenge and many people have never done it before. So, in this article, we are going to cover how to protect these precious items to avoid damaging the frame or tearing the canvas.

Document your collection

Before you do anything else, you should document your collection. This may sound like overkill, as not many people have an art collection that needs documenting, but you should take the time to inspect all pieces and photograph them before packing.

This will help to prove the items were in good condition before being packaged. This could be a lifesaver for expensive artworks in the unlikely event that they are damaged by a careless removalist.

Once your collection is fully documented, it’s time to start packing. We have divided this next section into framed and unframed items because these need to be packaged differently.

Unframed

Unframed items are the easiest to manage. Take each individual artwork, be it a print, photograph or original painting. Lay each piece out flat and cover the front with a layer of wax paper or glassine (a type of greaseproof paper available from most art shops).

Now, take two pieces of cardboard or foam board and cut them down to size. It should be around 2-4cm larger than the painting itself. Place the artwork between the two pieces of cardboard and seal the edges with packing tape.

Valuable or sentimental pieces can be further protected with bubble wrap. Then, place the packaged artwork in another cardboard box. This should be around 4-6cm larger than the largest artwork in your collection.

Packaged this way, you should be able to place several unframed artworks together in a single box, but be careful not to squeeze too many in or you may damage them during the removal process.

Framed

For framed artworks, protect the front of the artwork using wax paper or glassine as before. Do not tape this directly to the artwork itself, just lay over the edge of the frame and tape it to the back.

Then, wrap the entire frame in packing paper like you are wrapping a present. Now, you need to protect the edge of the frame with styrofoam corner protectors. These are available from most hardware stores.

Many people do not protect corners this way, but in our experience, this is how most paintings get damaged. So, if you have a large painting or the artwork is protected by glass, it really is worth investing in a set of corner protectors.

Once wrapped, the entire painting should then be further protected in bubble wrap. The paintings should then be placed in separate boxes. For valuable paintings, we recommend wooden crates, otherwise, a standard cardboard box will do.

For mirrors, the mirror glass should be protected by taping a large X across the glass front. Then, wrap the mirror in packing paper as before. The corners should be protected with styrofoam corner protectors before the entire thing is wrapped in bubble wrap.

Need help transporting your art collection?

Do you have a valuable art collection and need help shipping it to your new home? Get in touch with our removals specialists today to obtain a FREE quote. We are specialists in shipping valuable artworks to homes across the country.

Complete the contact form here and tell us where you are and where you are moving to. One of our experts will then be in touch to discuss your available packing and shipping options.

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