Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, and More: How to Pack Artwork for Moving

Your artwork reflects your personal tastes and also holds value as a collector. When it comes time to move, properly preparing it for transport is crucial to ensure it arrives intact.  

It’s not as simple as putting it in a box and hoping for the best. The right approach and supplies are necessary to prevent the chance of breakage. You’ll also want to deal with a moving company that takes care when handling specialty items

Read on to learn how to pack artwork for moving, so you can continue to enjoy it in your new space. 

Preparing Framed Artwork

Chances are your paintings or photographic art is framed. There’s no need to remove the works from the frames while preparing them; however, you’ll want to use the right material to cushion the pieces for the journey. 

Don’t use newspaper as packing material for exposed artwork, as it can transfer ink. Instead, trust plastic (or palette) wrap for this purpose. Use several layers to enclose the work and consider using cardboard corners to protect the frame’s edges.

Bubble wrap is essential to provide cushioning between the pieces. Add several layers of bubble wrap both horizontally and vertically, and use tape to secure it in place (but be careful not to tape the artwork or frame itself.) 

Following this step, you’ll want to add padding in a sturdy box to keep the works from shifting around. Crumpled newspaper is okay to use on the bottom, as long as the artwork is appropriately sealed using the plastic and bubble wrap. You can also add it to the sides—try gently shifting the box to determine whether the contents are still moving around. 

If you don’t have these supplies, some moving companies make it available for an additional charge, but it saves you from sourcing it from other locations. 

Packing Loose Artwork

For those pieces that aren’t in frames or are on canvas, you’ll want to take a slightly different approach. 

Glassine paper is ideal for covering unframed works, as it is resistant to moisture. Use a piece of Glassine paper that is large enough to go over the entire piece. Place it in the middle. When the piece is completely enclosed on both sides with this paper, use acid-free tape to secure it. Sandwich the art between two foam core boards larger than the wrapped piece, using painter’s tape to keep it from sliding around. 

If you plan to roll the artwork, use the Glassine paper that is slightly larger than the piece on all sides and lay the print face-up on it. Roll only one piece at a time. Keep in mind that the art may be difficult to flatten again once it has been rolled. 

Master How to Pack Artwork for Moving

Taking the time to prepare your prized artwork for correctly moving is worth the effort. You’ll also want to have the right supplies on hand, including plastic/bubble wrap or Glassine paper, depending on whether it is framed. 

The next step is securing a moving company that has experience handling specialty items such as artwork and antiques. To learn more about how to pack artwork for moving or get a quote, please contact us today.