For lovers of fine art, there’s nothing that comes close to satisfying your passion than acquiring new pieces.
Even when traveling, be it locally or abroad, your itinerary will often include some time off to take in the local art scene. You just never know when or where you will find the next masterpiece!
After acquiring an art piece, there is always some degree of anxiety that comes with not knowing whether or not it will arrive home safely. Given their fragile nature, the process of packing and moving fine art pieces needs to be methodical.
Generally speaking, moving fine art is an art in itself. It’s always a good idea to avoid the myriad risks involved and entrust the process to a fine art moving company.
Otherwise, you can always borrow these 5 helpful tips when moving your art pieces.
Bubble wrap helps
Often overlooked is the good old bubble wrap. It’s handy in that it helps protect artwork from dents as well as scratches. Bubble wrap should be lined inside packing boxes as a filler so as to properly safeguard your precious pieces.
Care should be exercised when dealing with oil paintings and pastel drawings. By this we mean that bubble wrap shouldn’t be applied directly to the artwork surface lest it gets damaged.
It should only be used when a protective layer of paper, preferably non-printed, has been overlaid on the painting/pastel. Glassine would particularly be useful here since it’s smooth and resistant to elements like air, water, and grease.
Use heavy-duty boxes
It is always advisable to use sturdy boxes of double-wall construction together with Styrofoam or bubble wrap as a filler material when packing art pieces.
While most moving companies use boxes, their structural integrity may not be up to snuff. Using two boxes as one can help, though.
It doesn’t cost much to double-check the boxes intended for use to make sure they are of a high standard. The boxes also ideally need to be constructed from materials that cannot contaminate the artwork.
Reinforce using packing tape
Super strong packing tape should be used on all boxes. This can be used to seal the box while also reinforcing its corners, sides and bottom.
Duct tape should be avoided at all costs as it doesn’t work with cardboard very well, but shipping tape should work just fine.
If the artwork features a frame, you can use a piece of cardboard to secure it. This also shields the glass from breakage.
Alternatively, you can use wider artist tape in a star pattern over the glass. Should the glass break during transport, the artist tape should be able to hold it together, thus preventing potential damage to the artwork.
Avoid stacking boxes
When moving fine art, avoid stacking boxes. Ensure your box is clearly labeled with the words, “Fragile: Do Not Stack”.
This should act as a clear warning to those handling the boxes and deter them from stacking any sensitive boxes such as those carrying art pieces. If the art is particularly valuable, that alone is not enough, though. We would advise to consider insuring it.
Use customized crates
Customized crates are another great way to transport your art pieces.
While wood is widely used, you should bear in mind that it’s not waterproof. For large paintings, fitting them in standard crates may not cut it. They are better off in customized crates that come complete with handles for easier maneuverability.
Ensure you have enough hands on deck when loading and unloading your art pieces. The last thing you want is your valuables getting dropped during the move.