The Art of Packing Your Pieces Safely for Moving

Moving home with valuable paintings can be stressful. However, you can make sure that your treasured artworks arrive safe and undamaged by packing them correctly.

Have Your Paintings Appraised Prior to Moving

When planning your move, you should arrange to have pieces of high-value artwork appraised professionally to establish their current market and replacement values. This will enable you to take out adequate insurance cover for your artwork so that you’re protected in the event of theft or damage during transit.

It’s also a good idea to take photos of your paintings to accompany your home inventory to avoid confusion should anything go missing.

Packing Your Paintings

There are two different methods of packing artworks, depending on whether they are framed or not.

Framed paintings

An antique frame can be almost as valuable as the picture it contains. Framed paintings should therefore always be packed in special crates to prevent jarring and to shield the contents from damage by other adjacent items that may move around in transit.

You can obtain gallery-grade crates from specialist art dealers or you could obtain a custom-built wooden crate to fit the piece’s precise dimensions if you prefer. Before crating your paintings, cover the front of each piece with a sheet of acid-free glassine paper to prevent damage to the paint from moisture and dust.

Unframed paintings

Removing paintings from their frames can make them easier to transport and leaves them less open to damage.

Always wear cotton gloves when you are handling the painting so that the media remains undamaged. Lay each painting on its back on a sheet of cardboard, and then place a sheet of acid-free tissue paper over the front. Use small pieces of tape to secure the paper in place, sticking the tape to the reverse of the painting. Sandwich the painting between several more sheets of cardboard to form a sturdy foundation that won’t bend. Wrap the cardboard with tape to hold the package securely. Finish by placing the packaged picture between two sheets of corrugated cardboard and secure it with more tape.

Howey - Still life with daffodils

Moving Your Paintings

Oil paint will melt in the excessive heat, so it is advisable to place valuable oils in storage until the cooler months of the year when it is safer to move them.

For more advice on how to keep your paintings safe during house moves, why not have a chat with the experts at Mark Mitchell Paintings and Drawings?

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