Top Tips For Moving Paintings


Art aficionados take great pride in owning paintings and artwork. They enjoy living in their home because these paintings create an ambiance they treasure. 

Some paintings are conversation starters because of the long story behind their composition. While other valuable paintings help display an impeccable artistic taste, whether you are a painter or an art connoisseur.

There is no doubt that paintings can transform the aura of a room. However, packing and moving a painting to a new location is no easy task because paintings are generally valuable and extremely fragile. 

Shattered glass, a ripped canvas, or a cracked frame can easily devalue any artwork and can be expensive to repair. 

Hence, let’s look at the step-by-step process of safely moving a painting from one place to another.

Step 1: Collect All The Paintings For Packing

Walk around the house and start taking down the paintings from the wall. Have a look at all four corners of the painting before unhanging it from the wall. Do not attempt to remove or handle two paintings at once.

Gather all the paintings in your home from the desks, dressers, nightstands, tables, and walls. Designate a packaging location and take all the paintings and artwork there.

Step 2: Organizing The Packaging Area

The packaging area should be a room where you complete the entire packing process from start to finish. The room should contain a smooth, large, flat table in the middle. Clear the table and cover the entire table with a thick blanket.

The blanket will become the soft protective outer layer of the table. This is the table where you will pack the paintings before moving them. Most paintings are fragile, so you will need to take some extra protective measures to ensure they survive the move in one piece.

Step 3: Secure The Frame & Glass Cover

Especially valuable paintings have intricate frames and a glass cover to protect the painting. The frame and glass cover protects the artwork from dust, moisture, and natural elements. To successfully pack a painting, you must secure the fragile elements of the painting with extra care.

1st Guideline: Make A Big X

Make a big X on the glass face of the painting with the help of painter’s tape. Apply the tape diagonally, from corner to corner, to prevent damage to the painting if the glass shatters.

2nd Guideline: Use Cardboard Packing

Cut out cardboard packing roughly the same size as the breakable glass front. Cover the glass front with the cardboard packing and secure it with the help of tiny pieces of masking tape. This way the fragile glass will be safe during the move.

Step 4: Packing The Painting With Packing Paper

Bring an ample amount of packing paper and place it in the middle of your padded desk in the packing area. The painting sits on top of the packing paper, and you can pack the painting with the packing paper. But what do you do if the painting is larger than the painting paper?

Pack as much as you can of one side of the painting with a single sheet of packing paper, for a painting larger than the packing paper. Overlap more sheets of packing paper to pack large paintings. Make sure the packing paper securely envelops the entire painting.

Step 5: Packing The Painting’s Frame

Place the painting head down, with the glass side on the stack of packing paper. Use two sheets of packing paper to wrap the painting like wrapping a birthday present. Use fresh sheets of packing paper to secure the sides of the bundle of packing.

Try not to leave any uncovered areas in the frame for big paintings. Don’t scrimp on packing paper if you want your painting to be safe during the entire journey.

Step 6: Safety Before Beauty

Some people worry too much about how the packed painting looks. Remember, the primary purpose of packing a painting is to make sure it reaches the destination safely, not how good it looks on the way there. Use ample packing paper and tape to make sure there is no movement in the entire package.

Step 7: Place Bubble Wrap To Pack Valuable Paintings

You need to secure paintings with bubble wrap for paintings that are rare or have a very high market value. To do this, wrap the entire paper packaging of a painting with bubble wrap.  Add another layer of paper packaging over the bubble wrap. As the saying goes, “Better safe than sorry.”

NOTE: Do not wrap bubble wrap directly onto a painting or artwork. Always use paper packing first. The bubble wrap can damage the painting if it comes into direct contact with the painting or artwork.

Step 8: Move The Paintings Into Picture Boxes

To safely move valuable paintings, we recommend using plastic boxes like the ones available from Bin It. Cardboard boxes are vulnerable to natural elements and damage from insects or rodents. 

Always make sure to place bubble wrap on the inside of the box on all sides, before placing any of the paintings in the box.

Place the paintings in the box vertically just as you would hang them on a wall. Make sure the longest side of the painting is parallel to the bottom of the box. You do not place excessive pressure on the painting by placing them like this. As long as the paintings are in the box, they will be safe during the entire journey.

Step 9: Label Painting Boxes

Be sure to label all the boxes, once you finish packing all the paintings. Use stickers that display which side should be up. Also, use stickers such as HANDLE WITH CARE and FRAGILE so you know that you need to be extra careful with these boxes.

Label all the boxes with a black marker pen after you seal the boxes with ample packing tape. Ideally, the plastic boxes should tightly seal shut. Make sure you seal and label each box individually to make sure all the contents reach the destination safely.

Packing Mirrors & Mirror Frames

Surprisingly, you can use the same steps to pack mirrors and mirror frames. The only difference is that for mirrors, you would normally use more bubble wrap. 

Hiring Professionals For Priceless Artwork

After reading this article you should now have all the tools and knowledge to help supervise the packing procedure. 

However, if you do decide to hire professional experts to pack your valuable paintings you are not alone. Professional movers such as the ones at Bin-it know exactly what to do with expensive artwork during the moving process. 

Hiring movers can in many cases help save both time and money. At the end of the day, the choice is yours. But if you have the budget we would definitely recommend hiring the professionals.