May 17, 2019

How to Pack Large Artwork for Your Upcoming Move

Are you moving your valuable works of art to another home?

Even if you’re moving inexpensive works of art to another home, they’re probably irreplaceable; that’s why you need to learn how to pack them properly. If you don’t do it the right way, you’ll run the risk of damaging them in transit.

Large art is challenging to move; that’s why we’re here to help you. Learn how to pack your large artwork to avoid any unwanted damage. It’s not difficult, but it requires some patience and a few supplies.

Let’s get that art packed up.

Moving Large Artwork In Steps

Packing art isn’t like packing up other valuables. Large artwork is a special kind of fragile, so you need to give it a little extra TLC if you’re going to get it to the next place without any damage.

Don’t Use Normal Packing Materials

Depending on what you’re packing, you’ll need either a mirror (artwork) box, a china carton for smaller items, or a crate for more substantial items. For large, framed pieces of art, you’ll need flat picture boxes.

Be wary of using any packing materials that you would usually use, as they may damage the artwork. In particular, avoid using newspaper and packing peanuts to stuff boxes, as the ink could come off of the newsprint and packing dunnage can break apart and wedge itself in crevices.

Buy bubble wrap, cardboard corners, tape, and plastic wrap. These are the materials you’ll need, along with the boxes, to properly secure the artwork.

Buy Different Sized Boxes

Buy different boxes to fit different pieces of art. You don’t want the artwork to be floating around too much in the box. You want just enough room for the piece to fit with a small amount of room for cardboard corners and bubble wrap.

Packing the Art

Now that you’ve got your materials, it’s time to pack.

If the artwork has a glass cover on it, take some painter’s tape and mark a large X across the glass. This’ll prevent the glass from moving around if it happens to break in transit. If it doesn’t have a glass cover, don’t worry about this step.

Next, take the plastic wrap and put at least three layers of it over the entire frame. This will keep everything in place and prevent any friction damage that might occur when it moves around in the box.

Then, you’ll want to put the cardboard corners on. This is especially important if you’ve got a custom or valuable frame for the art. Put it over the plastic wrap, not under it.

Lastly, bubble wrap the entire painting for padding. This will protect the painting or print when it inevitably moves around during moving.

Once you’ve prepared the artwork, you can put together the box and fill the bottom with your packing materials. We recommend wadding up kraft paper. Put the prepared painting in the box and fill the sides and top with more packing materials until you can move the box around without the artwork shifting.

If you’re confident that the artwork won’t shift within the box, you’re all set to seal up the box with packing tape and mark it fragile for the moving company. The safe transport will be left up to them!

Never Lose a Piece of Art Again

It might take a bit of time, but it’s worth it to protect those essential pieces that you can’t replace.

To book moving services in St. Paul/Minneapolis or Rochester, visit us at Metcalf Moving & Storage. Our dedicated team will get your artwork from point A to point B. While you’re there, check out our blog to learn more about how to properly pack up your valuables for a big move.


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