How to Pack Delicate Artwork for Moving in 2024

How to Pack Delicate Artwork for Moving

Moving delicate artwork can be challenging. You have fragile frames and valuable canvases. You want to ensure they will not get damaged after you pack and place them for transport. Whether moving to a new place or sending your artwork to a show, ensuring your pieces arrive safely is crucial.

Protect your artwork during transport by using the proper packing techniques and materials. Learn how to pack delicate artwork to move and feel at ease.

Gather boxes and other packing supplies

The first thing you should do is gather your packing supplies. Try to use acid-free cardboard boxes and packing paper to prevent artwork from yellowing. This is even more important if you need to store your artwork for some time before unpacking it.

It would help if you also had bubble wrap, art plastic wrap, packing tape, painter’s tape, masking tape, scissors, a marker, and a box cutter. If you have unframed artwork, wearing cotton or latex gloves while handling it is a good idea. This will prevent finger oil from staining your precious art.

Find the right box size or build a custom one

Some boxes are designed to protect the artwork. If you can get such boxes, make sure each box is slightly larger than the frame you want to place inside it. It will give you extra room for protective padding. If you have many small pieces of artwork, you can put them together in one large specialty box.

You can make your own if you can’t find picture moving boxes. Take a regular cardboard box, flatten it out, and close one of its open ends with packing tape.

Put some balls of packing paper or bubble wrap at the bottom. When packing your delicate artwork, use your flattened box as a cardboard sleeve to fit around it and protect it. Seal the top with packing tape, and you’re done.

Place your artwork boxes in your portable storage container

When you place your artwork boxes in your portable storage container, put them on their sides with the arrows pointing up. This will protect your artwork more than lying the boxes flat. Try to position them between heavy boxes or pieces of furniture that will not shift to prevent falling over.

Prepare your packing space for artwork

Preparing the space where you will work is an important part of learning how to pack delicate artwork for moving. You don’t want your artwork covered with dirt or dust, so you can’t just place it on the floor in a messy room.

Find enough space on a table or countertop and place a clean blanket on it. Wear gloves as you carefully remove each piece of artwork from the wall and start working.

Cover the glass of framed artwork with masking tape

If you need to pack framed artwork, use painter’s tape to mark the glass with a large “X.” If the glass of a frame breaks despite your precautions, the tape will prevent the shattered glass from moving around and damaging your artwork. Since painter’s tape peels off easily, it will not leave sticky residue on your framed artwork when you unpack it.

Carefully wrap each artwork piece

If you need to pack non-framed artwork, wrap it in acid-free packing paper. Do it as if you were wrapping up a present, and secure the edges with masking tape. Whether your artwork is framed or unframed, you should cover it in a layer of art plastic wrap and then in a layer of bubble wrap, securing it with tape.

Use crumpled paper to prevent your artwork from shifting

Now that each artwork has been carefully wrapped, it’s time to put it in its box. You should aim to use crumbled paper or bubble wrap to ensure nothing shifts while moving boxes around. Fill up any space in each box and gently shake it to check if the artwork shifts. If it does, add some more paper before closing the box.

Seal and label your boxes properly

Seal each box with packing tape. Use your marker to label each box. On both sides of the box, write down what’s inside and the word “FRAGILE.” You can also write the room where this artwork should go and draw an arrow pointing to the top of the box.

If friends or movers help you with your move, they will know how to handle your artwork boxes carefully.