When the time comes to move to a new home, it can be tough deciding what tasks to do yourself and what to leave for the removalist team you’ve hired. This can be particularly true when it comes to preparing large or delicate items for the move…like framed artwork.

I know moving can be expensive and it’s easy to slip into the mindset of I’m going to do as much as I can myself to save money. And I get it…but I consider packing artwork in the same way I think about dentistry:

Can I do it myself? Technically, yes.

Should I? Probably not.

Here’s the deal—artwork is usually quite valuable (often just the frames themselves are pricey) and deserves to be packed by professional removalists who’ve completed the task hundreds of times. Letting a team who is licensed and insured take responsibility for the safe packing and transport of your valuable artwork means there’s someone else to blame should something go wrong.

That being said, if you are absolutely determined to pack your own artwork we’ve come up with a list of tips and tricks to help you pack like the pros.

1. Tape Down Hooks & Wires

You’ll want to secure anything on the back of the frame that could snag, so cover any hooks completely with painters’ tape (or other tape that is easily removed). If the artwork has a hanging wire, tape that down as well.

2. Art with Glass – Apply Tape

If your art is protected by a pane of glass, you’ll need to secure it for transport. Use your painters’ tape to create a diagonal “X” across the face of the glass. Then place a piece of tape on each side of the glass that borders the frame. Should your truck hit an unexpected bump in the road and the glass break, the tape will prevent it from completely shattering and damaging your artwork.

3. Art Without Glass – Use Glassine Paper

Glassine is a specialised paper used by artists to protect their work during transport or storage. Because it is resistant to grease, water, and air, glassine paper is perfect for protecting delicate artwork.

You can purchase glassine paper in sheets or rolls in art supply stores or online through sites like Amazon.

If your artwork is not protected by glass, use glassine paper to cover the artwork prior to packing.

4. Consider Corner Protectors

Corner protectors are triangular pieces made from cardboard or foam that slide onto the corners of your frame and offer additional protection during transport.

You can purchase corner protectors from your local art supply store or online…and there are even DIY instructions online for making your own corner protectors if you’re so inclined.

5. Break Out the Pallet Wrap

Pallet wrap can be purchased from any moving supply store and is great for protecting delicate and upholstered items during your move.

Once you’ve covered your art with tape or glassine paper, wrap the entire piece completely in pallet wrap.

6. Add a Layer of Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap provides an extra layer of protection…and the larger the bubbles, the safer your art will be.

Depending on the size of your art, you may need multiple pieces of bubble wrap to completely cover the art and frame. Lay the bubble wrap on the ground with the smooth side up, then place the pallet-wrapped art face down on the wrap. Bring the sides around to the back of the frame and tape to secure.

7. Buy Art Boxes

Yes, there are boxes made specifically for packing art…yes, they are more expensive than standard moving boxes…and, yes, you should buy them.

Art boxes are made of layers of heavier cardboard, creating a box that is more durable and offers better protection. Be sure to purchase boxes slightly larger than your artwork so you can add packing paper around the frame.

8. Place Art in Box and Pack

Before sliding your frame in the box, add a layer of packing paper to the bottom for extra protection. Slide your artwork in then fill any space between the frame and box with packing paper. Remember to stop and shake the box gently to allow the paper to settle into empty spaces. Add a layer of paper along the top of the frame, then tape your box and label the exterior with the contents.

And there you have it—eight simple steps to safely pack your artwork like a pro. If you decide you’d like to leave the artwork (and any other packing) to the professionals, we hope you’ll consider us at Holloway Removals. We’ve earned the reputation as one of Sydney’s top removalist companies for a reason and we’d love to create a custom quote for you. You just might find that paying for professional packing isn’t as costly as you’d imagined.

Either way, we’re happy to come up with a quote that includes every service you want…and nothing you don’t.

After all, it’s your move.


Additional References
We Move the World
The Spruce
Move Buddha
Roadway Moving
U Pack