Packing and moving your paintings and mirrors

Written by Jennifer Beattie on Thursday, 13 November 2014. Posted in Go Packing Tips

There is a reason why people write about this stuff, it is because so many of these particular items are damaged in transit due to poor packing. Something falling onto a painting or mirror is one of the most frequently occurring moving mishaps!

Packing paintings and mirrors
How much time and effort you wish to put into packing these items will depend a little on their overall value to you. You may like that nice framed Ikea print, but it is definitely not worth building a custom box for. On the other hand, that 400 year old painting handed down through the family may require a proper box or at least a little extra care!

Wrap Paintings in Bubble Wrap

Lower value paintings and mirrors

Lower value does not mean no value. Even if the frame cost you more than the painting, some simple precautions are worth taking.

If the picture is framed with a glass front or you are packing a mirror:
  • Tape an X across the front of the glass with decorating tape - This will come off easily and it will help stabilize the glass or keep it in one place if it breaks!
  • Place a small amount of cardboard over the glass front to further protect it and tape it in place.
  • Wrap the whole thing in bubble wrap.
  • Place it inside a box (preferably a moving box). If you are moving several pictures or mirrors in the same box, put padding i.e. more bubble wrap between each item. Then make sure that nothing can move around in the box by filling the gaps with rolled paper.
  • Mark the box as Fragile.
Use Adjustable Painting Boxes

Medium to high value paintings and mirrors

If the value of the painting exceeds the value of the frame, it is definitely worth thinking about proper packing materials and even a specialized moving company. For example, painting boxes are actually designed as two boxes, one inside the other, which enables you to pack bigger or unusually sized paintings without the need to use an oversized box.

Use Adjustable Painting Boxes Things to consider:

Think carefully about the packing materials used especially if the painting is oil based or has a soft surface. Some packing materials can stick to the surface causing damage, even bubble wrap can cause small indentations which could drastically alter the value of the painting.

For more valuable artworks it would be better to have a bespoke collar or crate, as this will ensure correct and reinforced protection for the painting. If you are wrapping it up to store it, consider using Polyurethane plastic as this will cause less damage and marks than other types of plastic and wrapping materials if it comes into contact with the canvas

Tape box securely The ideal though, is to keep all packing materials away from the surface of the painting or mirror at all costs thereby eliminating any chance of damage!

We hope you have a stress and trouble free move!

About the Author

Jennifer Beattie

Jennifer Beattie

Jennifer Beattie is the freelance journalist for the Go Group. With lots of experience of moving and relocating nationally and internationally, Jennifer has personal and professional knowledge of the issues involved. She aims to provide up to date and accurate information on topics of importance to the industry. You're welcome to contact Jennifer via email or send us a comment.

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