How to pack pictures, paintings and antiques safely while moving

Mar 12, 2019
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Pictures and paintings are some of our most precious possessions. Naturally, when it’s time to move home or office, we give them extra attention. And more often than not, suffer from extra tension as well – since their delicate and sensitive nature makes them unsuitable for ‘standard packaging’ methods. So, if you are planning to move in the near future, here are some points to keep in mind when it comes to ‘ how to pack pictures, paintings and antiques for moving’.

Start with enough and adequate supplies

The process of packing your pictures and painting starts much earlier than the actual act of packing. It’s all in the preparation, you see. Begin by making sure you have all the essential supplies ready to ensure a quick and hiccup-free job. Some items you will need here are cardboard boxes or special picture / frame boxes of various sizes, soft packing paper, bubble wrap (large sheets), packing tape (high quality), marker / highlighter pens and so on.

Take care of the stain

Remember that there are certain packing materials that can leave an etch or stain on glass or canvas. Newspaper, for example, is one such material. Even if it is not wet, it can still cause the ink on the painting to smudge or run. Another example is parchment paper, which can scratch or etch your masterpiece. So it’s best to avoid such materials.

The thumb rules of packing.

When it comes to fragile and high value pictures, paintings and antiques for moving, it helps to follow certain basics. For example, make sure you double pack your pictures and frames in a suitable ‘material’ such as cloth, soft paper or felt. Don’t forget to protect the corners by adding suitable and sufficient padding. If you are placing them inside a single box, then make sure there’s padding between two adjacent frames as well. Get creative and use stuff like crumpled paper, old clothes, unused curtains & rugs, etc to provide extra cushion to your artwork.

Mark boxes as ‘FRAGILE’ for items that are more prone to damage or breakage than others. Apply duct tapes tightly (to prevent it from staying loose) and consider a double or triple layer of taping for an extra dose of protection. If you have a particularly expensive or valuable work of art that is large, you can also consider ‘breaking it down’ by dissembling the different parts (like canvas, frame, glass, etc), and packing them separately via waterproof packaging methods.

Finally, always label the packaging appropriately, so that you can quickly and safely ‘de-mount’ them once you reach your new destination.

 Take care

When moving highly ‘sensitive’ elements like mirrors, or pictures with a glass covering on them, it makes sense to apply a packing tape along the glass section. Even if the glass accidentally breaks during transit, the tape will prevent the glass pieces from spilling and spreading inside the package, thus causing more damage to the rest of the painting or photo. Before you upload them on the moving vehicle, remember to ‘test’ your package for ‘movement’. Give it a gentle wiggle and nudge and try to figure out if the things inside are jiggling or shifting. If they are, you have to open it and fill up the ‘extra space’ with packaging material.

Professionals do it best.

If you have a genuine masterpiece on your hands, an antique frame or a series of particularly ‘fragile’ paintings that you want to relocate safely, it will make sense to approach a professional packer and mover to have it professionally ‘crated’, especially the one who can also provide you insurance for your valuables.

This blog helps you on how to pack pictures, paintings and antiques safely while moving.

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