How to Pack and Move Art

Learning how to pack and move art can be stressful if they’re valuable to you. Your new home won’t be the same without them, so it’s crucial you move paintings and sculptures with care.

Art pieces are the defining characteristic of most homes where there is art.

With all of the steps involved in moving, you’ll need to make sure to prioritize the packing and moving of your art.

If it’s not done right and with care, the art could be damaged forever.

This is why we recommend working with experienced moving companies.

That being said, you can actually do it yourself.

We have created a full guide that describes all of the steps to packing and moving fine art.

Let’s get into it.

How to Move Paintings and Framed Art

If you need to know how to move paintings and framed art, there are a few crucial steps to take.

This includes using the right supplies, packing it properly, and loading it into your vehicle or moving truck to prevent damages.

Gather Needed Supplies

If you’re moving framed art, it’s worth investing in mirror boxes (also known as artwork boxes).

Choose ones that are a few inches bigger on all sides than your frames. This will give you enough room to adequately pad the box and protect the art.

If you don’t have mirror boxes, you can also learn how to pack and move art with regular cardboard boxes. Just flatten them out and tape multiple boxes together until they make the shape you need.

You’ll also need the following packing materials:

  • Blue painter’s tape
  • Glassine paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Masking tape
  • Packing paper
  • Packing peanuts

Prepare the Art

If your framed art is covered by glass in the frame, your first step is to protect the glass.

1.Using blue painter’s tape, place a big X on the glass. Both strips of tape should run from one corner of the glass to the opposite one without touching the frame.

This X will keep the glass from shattering and potentially harming the art with its sharp pieces.

2. If there isn’t glass in the frame, use glassine paper to cover the entire piece of art and part of the frame.

This paper is air, water, and grease repellent, so it will keep your watercolor and acrylic pieces safe. Don’t substitute glassine paper with newspaper, wax paper, or parchment paper because it can harm the art.

There’s no need to stress if you don’t have glassine paper. Instead, you can skip this step and continue to the next one.

3. Wrap the entire framed piece in plastic wrap. Then, wrap it in bubble wrap, and secure it with packing tape.

Pack It Properly

Once you’ve protected the art itself, it’s time to prepare the box for it.

  1. Fill the first few inches with packing paper.
  2. Then, lower the frame into the box.
  3. Continue to fill all the space around the frame with packing paper, including the top. Before you seal the box, hold it closed and give it a shake. If you can feel the frame shifting, add more packing paper until it’s immovable.
  4. You can then seal the box and place a “fragile” label on all sides.
  5. If you need to know how to pack posters for moving, the steps are less complicated. Simply roll it up and store it in a cardboard tube. Make sure the ends are sealed, and it’s ready.

Load with Care

Once the moving day comes, it’s time to move the artwork to your new home.

  1. When loading each box into the moving truck, don’t lay the boxes flat. It’s less susceptible to breaking when standing on its sides.
  2. Place them between heavy items that won’t shift during the move. Just make sure you don’t place other boxes on top of them.
  3. If you’re moving fine art with high value, you’re better off moving them in your personal vehicle. This will keep them safe from harm.

How to Move Sculptures

The other part of knowing how to pack and move art involves non-framed pieces like sculptures. These come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to adapt your methods to each piece.

Gather Needed Supplies

All you need for moving sculptures are moving boxes, plastic wrap, bubble wrap, and packing paper. The number you need will vary on the size of each sculpture, so plan accordingly.

Strengthen Weak Points

Because sculptures can be fragile, it’s most important to protect thinner protrusions from harm. For example, arms and legs are more susceptible to breaking than the torso of the piece.

  1. To start, wrap the entire sculpture in plastic wrap. Press the plastic into all of the nooks and crannies, and use extra pieces around the weak points.
  2. Next, cut pieces of bubble wrap and wrap it around the weak points.
  3. You can then cover the entire piece in bubble wrap. By the time you’re done, your sculpture will likely take on the shape of an egg or a ball.

Store Carefully

If you have multiple small sculptures, you can fit them all in a moving box. Add packing paper for extra padding. You should then label the box as “fragile” on all sides.
If you have a large sculpture that’s too large and heavy for a moving box, use a wooden crate instead. This will offer the most protection during the move.

When packing your sculptures in the moving truck, place them so they won’t move around or fall. You also shouldn’t place other boxes on top of them.

Maintain Its Value by Learning How to Pack and Move Art

Art is part of what makes each home unique, so it’s important to know how to pack and move them safely. If you do, they’ll maintain their value and continue to brighten your home.

Do you have any additional tips on how to pack and move art? Share your knowledge with us in the comments section.

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