For an art collector, moving can present a special type of challenge. Your collection is your baby, and treating it with the kindest care is an absolute necessity. Whether your art has sentimental value or real market value, here’s what you need to know about moving it safely.
Wrap the Art
Before packaging paintings, photos, collages or any other flat artwork, you need to carefully wrap it. Using the wrong wrapping products can destroy the paint, glue or other media used. Never wrap your artwork — framed or not — in newspaper. The print can easily rub off onto the art and ruin it.
Start the packing process with a layer of acid-free archival tissue paper. Cover this with a protective second layer of plastic sheeting. This will help keep any dampness away from the art if it’s raining or humid on the day of your move.
Cover the plastic with a layer — or more — of bubble wrap to cushion it. Then securely tape the bubble wrap before you pack the painting.
Separate the Glass
If the frame comes with glass that covers the artwork, remove the glass first. Otherwise, if the glass shatters, it could puncture a delicate painting or drawing. Use painter’s tape to make a letter X on the glass. This helps hold large pieces together in the event of damage.
Use several layers of bubble wrap or a combination of bubble wrap and foam boards to wrap the glass. Transport the glass in its own box/package.
Use a Crate
Larger-framed art requires its own special mode of transport. Unlike your breakables, such as dishware or glassware, placing a painting in a bubble-wrapped box simply won’t do. A wooden crate can help to keep your oversized artwork safe from bumps and bruises during the move.
Avoid a generic wooden crate or box. You need a crate that’s specifically sized to the artwork, including room for packing materials such as plastic sheeting and bubble wrap. A crate or container that’s too large will allow the artwork to slide and bump into the edges. This can result in damage. A crate that’s too small will bind the artwork, scratching the edges of the frame or damaging the painting itself.
If you’re handy, you can build your own plywood crate to fit your artwork’s size. Line the crate with foam board. This means you’ll need to build a crate that’s slightly larger than the actual painting. If you’d rather, you can purchase a custom-sized crate.
Smaller-sized artwork may not require a crate for your move. Wrap a smaller painting, photo, drawing or collage the same way you would a larger one. This includes removing glass, using archival quality tissue, and covering the artwork with both plastic and bubble wrap.
Place the wrapped art into a well-fitting cardboard box. Choose a size that most closely resembles the packaged painting. Never add the artwork to a box that contains other items that you’re moving. Stuff the box, around the painting, with crumbled plain (no color or print) white paper or more bubble wrap. Make sure to tape the ends of the box securely.
Label the Packaging
Whether you use a crate or a box, you need to label the outside of the packaging. Use a marker to label which end is up, which side is the front, and where you should open the crate/box. This will help to keep the items safe during the move and when you unpack.
Ask an Expert
If you have any doubts when it comes to moving your artwork, talk to a professional. Consult both moving and artwork experts. A local gallery or museum may be able to give you pointers or direct you to contractors that can crate or package the artwork for you.
Do you need a reliable company for your next move? Contact Island Movers for more information.