How to pack your artwork like a pro

How To - June 21, 2019

If you love art and the moving day has arrived, you will definitely need to pack your artwork like a pro. For some people, ensuring that valuable items are safe and sound is just as important as moving all other furniture.

All your paintings, prints, and statues can be packed in a so-called mirror box or an art box. For large and heavy items, you may need a wooden box, as you will see below. Smaller items can be packed in a cardboard box or plastic moving bins NYC. They have strong walls to keep your pieces safe.

In principle, there are two main stages in packing the works of art: the protection of the product and the filling of the box in which you place it.

Moving framed work and prints

Investing in a flat picture box will help keep your paintings and prints safe. They will cost more, but they are worth it. Or maybe you can find them with green box rentals. Try to find one that is larger than your artwork by about 3 or 4 inches on each side. If it is larger, you will have to use more materials for stuffing, and if it is smaller, you will not have enough space for stuffing, and you risk damage.

Steps to pack your artwork like a pro

Painting on canvas
Now it’s time to protect your artwork and pack it
  • Mark “X”. If your painting or print has a glass cover, take some tape and place an X through the glass. This will prevent the glass from moving if it breaks. Naturally, if there is no glass in your picture, you will skip this step.
  • Plastic or palette wrap. If your painting is not covered with glass, it is important to protect the painted face. An excellent option is to wrap the painting in several layers of plastic film from your kitchen. You can also buy palette wrap, which is basically the same. The wrapper will remain in place and prevent friction damage if the painting moves slightly inside the box. It is also a great option for watercolors and prints.

Other packing supplies you might need

  • Cardboard corners. If the frame of the picture is valuable or unique, you can purchase or make cardboard corner protectors for your artwork. If you take this step, it will go over the wrap.
  • Bubble wrapping material. The next step is to add protection. Multiple layers of this type of protection will work. Be generous, close the horizontal and vertical dimensions, and tape the bubble wrapper.

Important last steps

  • Prepare the bottom of the box. Place cotton newsprint on the bottom of the box. Then you can put the cover in the box and work on filling the sides and top.
  • Test. Close the box, but do not seal it. Gently move the box back and forth and see if you feel anything moving. If you do, you need to open the box and add extra indents until everything is in place.
  • Print and label. Once this is done, you can seal the boxes and mark them as “fragile objects” and “works of art”, so the movers know that they need to take special care.

Wrapping sculptures

Protection

The difficulty of packing any sculpture, large or small, is that any parts that expand or holes are vulnerable. For example, if you imagine a sculpture of a swan, the neck and head are vulnerable to being torn off. To fix this, you first need to cover the sculpture with a sticky film to protect it. Use smaller pieces and go inside and around all corners and crevices to provide support. Then you will fold the stripes of cushioning material and wrap them around vulnerable parts of the sculpture. Once you protect fragile areas, use more bubble wrapper to wrap the entire sculpture. You must get a sphere or egg shape that you can put in a box, and secure with a gasket. As in the case of the paintings, you will need to pad the box and check it as described above.

Large sculptures

Stairs with two large sculptures
If you have a sculpture that has a height of several feet and whose weight matches that, you have a more difficult task

Determining the approximate weight of the item will help you determine how to handle this, and whether you need a wooden box or a cardboard box. Most single-wall boxes can hold up to 40 pounds or so while driving, so if your weight exceeds this, you will need a wooden box.

Many modern sculptures are made of plaster molds, which means that they are hollow and their weight is not so bad. If this is the case, you can work with one good-sized carton with sufficient padding, but you need to be sure that it is durable during movement.

The safest and most reliable way to take care of large items is to use wooden boxes. You can buy them online or even from delivery providers. Wooden boxes are not only a reliable solution for moving fragile items, but they are also very noticeable in a sea of ​​cardboard boxes. This means that they are less likely to fall, roll over or be damaged. And if you handle them incorrectly, they will also have much more chances to survive the process of moving.

Insurance

If your work of art is very valuable, ask your movers for additional insurance. Make sure it is based on cost, and not with normal weight based insurance.

Suitcase with money
If you don’t manage to pack your artwork like a pro, at least make sure you get the right amount of money from the insurance

Make no mistake, it is a delicate and important job to pack your artwork like a pro. If you care about your art and cannot properly take care of it, it is better to leave it to professionals with experience. They will now just the way to protect your valuable possessions.

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