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Get The Ultimate Guide: How To Pack Artwork For Moving

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Moving can be a daunting task, especially when it involves transporting valuable items like artwork. Whether it’s a cherished family portrait, an expensive painting, or a sentimental piece of art, ensuring its safety during the move is paramount. Located in Brandon, Florida, BayFlower Moving Group understands the intricacies involved in moving artworks.

With our meticulous attention to detail, we’ve assisted numerous clients in Brandon and beyond, ensuring their precious artworks reach their new homes unscathed. This comprehensive guide will delve into the best practices for packing artwork for a move.

Drawing from our vast experience and insights from industry experts, we aim to provide you with actionable steps to safeguard your artwork during transit. So, whether you’re relocating to Brandon or moving across the country, this guide will be your trusted companion.

How to Pack Artwork for Moving

how to pack artwork for moving

To pack artwork for moving, start by selecting the right supplies, including specialized boxes, bubble wrap, Glassine paper, and protective tapes. For framed artwork, clean the surface, use painter’s tape on glass-covered pieces, and wrap them in bubble wrap before placing them in a snug box. canvas artwork should be wrapped in acid-free paper and bubble wrap.

Sculptures require identifying fragile points, appropriate wrapping techniques, and possibly wooden crates for larger pieces. Always label boxes as “fragile” and ensure they’re securely sealed. For high-value artworks, consider professional art handlers and climate-controlled transport.

Why Properly Packing Artwork is Crucial

Each art piece embodies memories, emotions, and investments. Ensuring its safety during transit is not just about preserving its physical form but also the memories attached to it.

The Value of Artwork

Art is often a significant emotional and financial investment. Whether it’s a piece passed down through generations or a recent acquisition, its value is undeniable. Not only does artwork enhance the aesthetics of a space, but it also serves as a reflection of one’s tastes, experiences, and journeys.

Risks Involved in Moving Artwork

Moving artwork is fraught with risks. From accidental drops to environmental factors like moisture and temperature, numerous elements can jeopardize the integrity of your art. Understanding these risks is the first step in preventing potential damage ensuring that your artwork remains in pristine condition throughout the move.

The Emotional Connection to Art Pieces

Artwork often transcends its material form. For many, it’s a repository of memories, emotions, and stories. A painting might remind you of a particular phase in life, or a sculpture might be a memento from a memorable trip. This emotional connection amplifies the need for utmost care during relocation.

Ensuring the Longevity of the Artwork

Proper packing is about more than just the immediate move. It’s also about ensuring the longevity of the artwork. By taking preventive measures, you’re safeguarding the art for the present and ensuring that it remains a cherished possession for years to come.

Impact on Insurance and Claims

In the unfortunate event of damage, having your artwork packed correctly can influence insurance claims. Proper packing is evidence of due diligence, making it easier to navigate insurance processes and ensuring you’re adequately compensated for any unforeseen damages.

Essential Supplies for Packing Artwork

how to pack artwork for moving

When it comes to packing artwork, the right supplies can make all the difference. Ensuring the safety and integrity of your precious pieces requires a combination of sturdy packing materials and careful techniques.

  1. Choosing the Right Boxes: The foundation of any move, especially for artwork, is selecting the appropriate boxes. Specialized artwork boxes, tailored to fit various sizes and shapes, provide the first line of defense against potential damages.
  2. Importance of Bubble Wrap and Padding: Bubble wrap serves as a cushion, absorbing shocks and impacts during transit. Coupled with additional padding, it ensures that the artwork remains insulated from any external pressures or jolts.
  3. Using Glassine or Wax Paper: Glassine paper, known for its protective properties against water, air, and grease, is essential for artworks, especially canvases. It ensures that the surface of the artwork remains untouched and free from potential smudges or stains.
  4. Protective Tapes and Their Application: Beyond just sealing boxes, specialized tapes play a pivotal role in artwork protection. For instance, blue painter’s tape can be used on glass surfaces to prevent shattering during the move.
  5. Markers and Labeling Essentials: Clear labeling acts as a visual guide for movers. Marking boxes as “fragile” or providing specific handling instructions ensures that your artwork receives the care and attention it deserves during the move.
  6. The Role of Corner Protectors: Artworks, especially framed ones, are vulnerable at their corners. Corner protectors provide an added layer of safety, ensuring that these vulnerable points remain undamaged.
  7. Deciding Between Cardboard Boxes and Wooden Crates: While cardboard boxes are suitable for most artworks, delicate or high-value pieces require the sturdiness of wooden crates. These crates offer enhanced protection against external factors.
  8. The Utility of Packing Peanuts and Blankets: Packing peanuts fills the voids in boxes, ensuring artworks don’t move during transit. Blankets, on the other hand, can be wrapped around larger artworks, providing a protective layer against scratches or dents.

Step-by-Step Guide to Packing Framed Artworks

how to pack artwork for moving

Packing framed artwork with its intricate details and components demands a meticulous approach. Ensuring the safety of both the frame and the artwork within is paramount, and following a systematic process can make all the difference.

Preparing the Artwork for Packing

The artwork needs some attention before you even think about packing materials or boxes. Start by cleaning the surface gently to remove any dust or debris. This ensures that no particles are trapped between the artwork and its protective wrapping, which could cause scratches or damage.

Next, inspect the frame and the artwork for any loose parts or areas that might need extra padding or protection. Tighten any loose screws or hooks, and consider removing any elements that protrude and could be damaged or cause damage during the move.

Techniques for Glass-Covered Artworks

Artworks covered in glass present unique challenges. The glass provides protection but can also be a hazard if broken during transit. One common technique is to use painter’s tape to create an ‘X’ across the glass. This doesn’t prevent breakage, but it can keep the glass shards in place, preventing them from damaging the artwork.

Additionally, bubble wrap is a must for these pieces. The cushioning it provides can absorb shocks and prevent the glass from breaking. When using bubble wrap, ensure the bubbles face outward to provide maximum cushioning. In some cases, plastic wrap can also be used as an additional layer for added protection.

Handling Canvas Artworks

Canvas art pieces, especially those without glass, demand special attention. The surface of a canvas can be easily scratched, smudged, or punctured. Start by wrapping the canvas in acid-free or Glassine paper to protect the surface. This type of paper won’t stick to the canvas or leave any residue.

Once wrapped in paper, add a layer of bubble wrap for cushioning. Remember to ensure that the artwork’s surface doesn’t come in direct contact with any adhesive, as this can damage the art. For artworks that are particularly large, a flat picture box can offer a snug fit, ensuring minimal movement.

Securing the Artwork in the Box

Once your artwork is wrapped, it’s time to place it in a moving box. If you’re using a specialized artwork box, ensure it’s the right size. The artwork should fit snugly but not too tight. Place a layer of bubble wrap or foam at the bottom of the box for added cushioning.

Once the artwork is in, fill any empty spaces with more bubble wrap, foam, or packing peanuts. This ensures the artwork doesn’t move during transit. Before sealing the box, give it a gentle shake to ensure there’s no movement inside.

Labeling and Marking for Movers

The final step before your artwork is ready for the move is labeling. Clearly mark the box as “Fragile” and “Artwork” to ensure it’s handled with care. If there’s a specific orientation the box should be in, use arrows to indicate which side should face up. Additionally, if you have specific instructions for handling or if the artwork is particularly valuable, consider adding a note to the outside of the box.

This ensures that movers are aware of the contents and handle the artwork with the attention and care it deserves. For added safety, consider using cardboard corner protectors, especially for framed art that’s susceptible to corner damage.

Packing Unframed Art and Canvases

how to pack artwork for moving

Unframed art and canvases present their own unique challenges during a move. Their vulnerability to environmental factors and potential for damage necessitates specialized packing techniques.

The Importance of Acid-Free Paper

Acid-free paper is a must-have when packing unframed art. Unlike regular paper, it doesn’t yellow or deteriorate over time, ensuring the artwork remains pristine. Moreover, it prevents any chemical reactions that might damage the art, especially when in contact for extended periods.

While acid-free paper is ideal, in some cases, regular packing paper can also be used as an initial layer of protection. For a canvas painting, using acid-free paper is crucial as it ensures the artwork’s surface remains pristine, preserving its intricate details and vibrancy.

Wrapping Techniques for Canvas

Canvases, with their textured surfaces, require special wrapping techniques. It’s essential to ensure that the canvas’s surface doesn’t come in direct contact with any adhesive or material that might leave a residue.

Using Glassine paper followed by a layer of bubble wrap can provide both protection and cushioning. Additionally, ensuring that the canvas is wrapped tightly but not too tight to cause strain can prevent any potential damage during transit.

Using Cardboard for Added Protection

For unframed artworks, cardboard offers an added layer of rigidity. Placing the artwork between two sturdy pieces of cardboard ensures that it remains flat and doesn’t bend or fold. This method is especially useful for artworks that might be susceptible to creasing. Securing the cardboard pieces with packing tape ensures the artwork stays sandwiched and safe.

Storing in Tubes vs. Flat Packing

The decision between storing in tubes and flat packing often depends on the artwork’s size and nature. Tubes offer a convenient solution for larger prints or posters, ensuring the artwork remains rolled and protected.

However, flat packing with ample padding is the preferred choice for more delicate pieces or those that might be damaged when rolled. Regardless of the method chosen, ensuring that the artwork is free from folds or creases before packing is crucial.

Safeguarding Sculptures and Non-Flat Artworks

Sculptures and non-flat artworks, with their unique shapes and often delicate components, present a distinct set of challenges when it comes to packing and moving. Their three-dimensional nature requires a tailored approach to ensure their safety during transit. It’s essential to consider the entire sculpture, from its base to the most delicate protrusion, when planning for its move.

  • Identifying Fragile Points in Sculptures: Before packing, inspecting the sculpture and identifying any fragile or protruding parts is crucial. These areas, whether they’re delicate appendages or thin materials, will need extra protection and care. Using padding or custom foam inserts can help shield these vulnerable points from potential damage.
  • Wrapping Techniques for Sculptures: Different wrapping techniques may be employed depending on the sculpture’s material and finish. For polished or painted sculptures, a soft cloth or acid-free tissue paper can be used as the first layer of protection, followed by bubble wrap to cushion against impacts.
  • Using Crates for Heavy or Large Sculptures: Cardboard boxes might need to provide adequate protection for larger or particularly heavy sculptures. In such cases, wooden crates offer the best protection, preferably custom-made to fit the sculpture. They provide a sturdy exterior and can be filled with custom padding to hold the sculpture securely.
  • Positioning Sculptures for Transit: Once packed, positioning the sculpture during transit is vital. It should be placed in a way that minimizes movement and ensures that its weight is evenly distributed. This prevents any undue pressure on fragile parts and reduces the risk of damage from other items shifting during the move.

Loading and Transporting Artwork Safely

how to pack artwork for moving

Ensuring the safety of artwork continues after packing. The way it’s loaded and transported plays a pivotal role in ensuring it reaches its destination unscathed. Every detail matters, from the positioning in the moving truck to considerations for high-value pieces.

The first step in loading is determining the best position for each artwork in the moving truck. Items should be placed to minimize movement during transit. Flat artworks should ideally be placed vertically, sandwiched between heavier, stable items to prevent them from falling or bending.

Sculptures and other three-dimensional pieces should be secured in place, ensuring they won’t shift, even if the truck makes sudden stops or turns. It’s also essential to consider the weight distribution, ensuring that heavier items don’t exert pressure on delicate artworks.

Special considerations come into play for high-value artworks. These might include climate-controlled transport, especially for pieces sensitive to temperature or humidity changes. Additionally, for particularly valuable or delicate artworks, it might be worth considering the services of professional art handlers.

These experts are trained in the nuances of handling art and can provide the specialized care that such pieces deserve. They understand the physical aspects of moving art and appreciate its intrinsic value, ensuring it’s treated with the utmost respect and care.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Moving artworks is a blend of science and art. While the right techniques and materials play a crucial role, a touch of care and attention can make all the difference.

  • Reviewing Packing Efforts: Before the move, reviewing your packing efforts is essential. Ensure that every artwork, irrespective of its size or value, is packed securely. This offers peace of mind and ensures that the move is smooth and hassle-free.
  • Insurance Considerations for Valuable Artworks: Artworks, given their value, might require insurance. Ensuring that your insurance covers in-transit damages, understanding the claim process, and knowing the artwork’s valuation are crucial steps before the move.
  • Trusting Professionals vs. DIY: While DIY packing has its merits, sometimes trusting professionals, especially for high-value or delicate artworks, is the best approach. With their expertise and experience, professional movers can offer insights and services that can be invaluable during the move.
  • Unpacking and Setting Up Artwork in the New Location: The journey continues after the move. Unpacking artworks, inspecting them for potential damages, and setting them up in the new location are the final steps in the relocation process. Doing this meticulously ensures that your artworks find their rightful place in your new home, ready to offer the same joy and memories as before.
  • Continuous Care and Maintenance: Once settled, artworks require continuous care. Regular cleaning, ensuring they’re placed away from direct sunlight or moisture, and periodic inspections can ensure that your artwork remains in pristine condition, ready to be cherished for years to come.

How Bayflower Moving Group Can Help Packing Artworks When Moving

how to pack artwork for moving

At BayFlower Moving Group, we recognize individuals’ intrinsic value and emotional attachment to their artworks. Our expertise extends beyond just moving boxes; we specialize in ensuring your cherished art pieces are transported with the utmost care and precision.

  • Specialized Equipment and Materials: We come equipped with industry-standard packing materials tailored for artworks, from acid-free papers to custom crates, ensuring each piece gets the protection it deserves.
  • Trained Professionals: Our team undergoes specialized training in handling artwork, understanding the nuances of different materials, and the best practices for packing them securely.
  • Customized Solutions: Recognizing that every art piece is unique, we offer tailored packing solutions, ensuring that each artwork, whether it’s a canvas painting or a delicate sculpture, is packed in a way that guarantees its safety.
  • Insurance and Assurance: With BayFlower Moving Group, you get the peace of mind of knowing that your artworks are insured during the move. Our commitment to excellence ensures that we take every precaution, but should the unexpected happen, we’ve got you covered.
  • End-to-End Service: We handle every step of the process, from the initial assessment to the final placement in your new location. Our comprehensive service ensures that your artworks are not just packed but also transported and unpacked with the same level of care and attention to detail.


Moving is more than just a physical transition; it’s an emotional journey, especially when it involves cherished items like artwork. Each piece, be it a family portrait or a treasured sculpture, carries with it memories, emotions, and stories. Ensuring their safety during a move is paramount.

This guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of packing and moving artwork, emphasizing the importance of each step in the process. With BayFlower Moving Group, you’re not just hiring a moving service; you’re partnering with a team that understands the intrinsic value of your possessions.

Our commitment to excellence, combined with our tailored solutions, ensures that your artworks are treated with the care and respect they deserve. As you embark on this new chapter, let us shoulder the responsibility of your move, turning potential challenges into a seamless experience.

Remember, every move has its intricacies, but with the right knowledge and a trusted partner, it becomes a journey worth cherishing. Ready to make your move seamless and stress-free? Trust BayFlower Moving Group to handle your precious artwork with care. Contact us today, and let’s embark on this journey together!


What’s the best material to wrap paintings?

Glassine paper, being water, air, and grease repellent, is ideal for wrapping paintings, especially canvases. It ensures the artwork’s surface remains untouched and free from potential smudges or stains.

How do I transport large sculptures safely?

Consider using custom-made wooden crates for larger sculptures, especially those made of delicate materials. These provide a sturdy exterior and can be filled with custom padding to hold the sculpture securely in place during transit.

Can I use regular cardboard boxes for moving artwork?

While regular cardboard boxes can be used for some artworks, specialized artwork boxes or mirror boxes offer better protection. They are designed to fit various sizes and shapes of artwork and often come with additional padding.

How do I label artwork for moving?

Clearly mark the boxes containing artwork as “Fragile” and “Artwork.” If there’s a specific orientation the box should be in, use arrows to indicate which side should face up. This ensures movers handle the artwork with the care it deserves.

Is it worth hiring professional art handlers for moving?

Hiring professional art handlers can be beneficial for high-value, delicate, or particularly large artworks. They have the expertise and equipment to move the artwork safely and securely.


A master of words, Alamin brings the stories of BayFlower Moving Group to life through his engaging blog posts. He ensures that our tales of exceptional service and client experiences reach the widest audience possible. Alamin's captivating storytelling makes our blog a go-to resource for those seeking insight into the moving industry.