What is more fragile: framed or unframed art? Some might answer that since a frame provides additional support to the structure of the piece, unframed art is more exposed to harmful outside influences. While that is partially true, glass-framed paintings and prints are much more vulnerable than you think. So, how do you pack framed art for storage and shipping? Here are the things you must remember before you start.
How Do You Pack Framed Art for Storage and Transport?
Tape the glass
Taping the glass front of the framed artwork is generally recommended when shipping artwork but can be useful for storage as well. Tape can prevent shards of glass from getting all over the package in case it breaks. While the chances of that happening in storage are very low, it is always better to be prepared. Use low-tack artist tape to avoid leaving marks and make an X shape on the glass.
Protect the corners
The corners of your framed pieces are their most fragile parts (apart from glass). To protect the artwork itself and its frame from damage during transport and wear while in storage, secure the corners with pieces of thick cardboard or foam.
Apply several layers of packing materials
Layering is crucial to optimizing your valuables’ protection in transit and storage. Before putting your framed piece in a box, always make sure to wrap it with acid-free materials like glassine paper or art plastic. Then, use cushioning materials like bubble wrap or kraft bubble to create a soft cocoon around your artwork. After that, you can finally place it in a box or an art shipping crate. For storage, layering does not necessarily need to be as elaborate. Nevertheless, storing both framed and unframed pieces in acid-free cardboard boxes and art crates is highly recommended.
When it comes to storage, you need to be able to easily tell which piece is where without tearing open its protective packaging. Write the name of the painting or the date when it was finished on the box or crate you are using. Do not forget to add a “fragile” label and mark the bottom and front of your piece before shipping. Information about the artwork’s materials can also be helpful to art handlers and movers.
How do you pack framed art for storage and shipping? Do you follow the rules we just mentioned, or do you prefer to entrust this delicate task to professional art handlers? Whatever you choose, we hope your art collection stays safe for as long as possible.