Pack Paintings

How to Pack Paintings for a Move? Here are 3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts

Packing fragile artwork can be terrifying. There are lots of risks involved when it comes to packing paintings. Moving companies NYC can help you pack and move your paintings safely. But if you want to pack yourself, then this step-by-step guide is for you. This guide can help you protect your painting’s frame and glass from shattering. 

How to Pack Paintings for a Move – Step-By-Step Guide

If you’re an art lover, but unfortunately you need to move to another location, you need special care to protect these expensive paintings. Packing and moving boxes are much more difficult than moving heavy furniture. The following steps can help you pack and transport paintings safely

Get the Right Sized Boxes

The first step for packing the artwork is to sort them according to size. You can group small and medium-sized paintings together. For large pieces, the best practice is to pack them separately. The boxes must be slightly larger than your artwork. Purchase boxes that are specifically designed for packing the artwork. 

Mark Glass with an X

Most artwork or paintings have glass coverings. You can use masking tape to mark X on the glass. It will prevent the glass from moving too much. This practice can help you protect glass from breakage or shattering during the move. 

Protect the Front Side of Artwork

If your paintings don’t have glass coverings, use kitchen plastic wrap to protect the front side of your painting. Ensure that you use multiple layers of the non-stick wrap to preserve the paintings in their original shape. 

Wrap Artwork with Bubble Wrap

Get a wrapping paper that is twice the size of your frame and lay your artwork on a flat surface. Ensure that packing paper is underneath the paintings. You must have experience of packing presents; follow the same practice for wrapping artwork. 

Avoid using newspaper for wrapping artwork. The disadvantage of using newspapers for wrapping is they can leave marks on your paintings. Now, wrap the packing tape on the frame both widthwise and lengthwise. This practice will ensure that paper doesn’t move during transit. 

If you want to pack small photo frames together, ensure that you wrap each of them in packing paper. It will ensure that the glasses of frames remain safe during the move. You can invest extra money by purchasing cardboard corner protectors. 

Add Cardboard to Frames

You make lots of efforts to protect your paintings from damage during the move, but they can still get damaged. When you pack paintings for moving, ensure that you keep cardboard on the top of frames. Moreover, you can add them to both sides of the canvas. This practice can help you fix the glass in place and prevent other items from hitting the glass. 

Shake Box to Check Movement 

When you keep the paintings in the boxes, don’t apply tape until you test it for movement. Close the box and shake it gently to notice any movement. If you feel frames are moving around, add newspapers or clothes to fix them in place. 

Seal the Boxes

If you have purchased a specialty box, you’ll not have to make many efforts. You can do it alone or ask your friend to hold the box when you put the frame into the box. In case you’re not using the specialty box, use tape to secure it. Ensure that you seal the box thoroughly to avoid damage. 

Mark the Boxes

You need to follow the same practice that you perform when packing other boxes. Label boxes on both sides and mark what’s inside. Mention the location of paintings on the box so that you can easily locate them when you reach your new location. 

Be Careful When Keeping Boxes in the Moving Truck

When you load paintings on the truck, ensure that you don’t keep them flat. Keep them on the side so that they can absorb pressure. Frames can absorb pressure on the edges. Keep them in a place where they won’t fall over. The best practice is to keep them between heavy objects that will not move or slide during transit. 

Some Do’s and Don’ts of Packing Paintings for a Move

Let’s discuss the do’s first. 

Do Grab the Right Packing Supplies

Before you start packing paintings for a move, ensure that you have all the needed packing supplies such as boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, and colored markers. 

Do Wrap with Care

Clean the flooring or the flat surface where you want to pack your paintings. Use non-stick packing material to prevent your expensive artwork from being damaged. Follow the steps mentioned above for packing paintings properly. 

Do Hire Professional Movers 

It seems cheap and convenient to pack and transport paintings yourself, but it’s not the best practice. It can harm you on a moving day if anything gets damaged. Therefore, it’s better to spend some extra bucks and hire movers. 

Don’ts of Packing Paintings for a Move

Don’t Pack Paintings Anywhere 

You need to designate a room or place where you can pack your paintings. Ensure that the surface is flat, and don’t forget to place a blanket or bubble wrap underneath the artwork. Don’t lay your artwork on the floor. 

Don’t Pack Multiple Artwork Together 

When you pack multiple paintings together, you might end up saving some money and reducing the number of boxes, but it’s not the best way. When you pack artwork separately, it will prevent them from scratching, colliding, and breaking. 

Don’t Lay Other Boxes on Boxes Containing Artwork

Almost everybody knows this tip, but on a moving day, you might be in a rush and forget this. Therefore, it’s a gentle reminder please don’t do this. Otherwise, you’ll compromise the safety of your paintings. Keep them on one side, and don’t keep heavy items on them. 


All these steps can help you pack and move paintings safely. If you want to add anything to this guide, you can share it in the comment section. 

About the Author

Eddie Miller

Eddie is an Associate Editor in London, UK. He coordinates client content and sponsored articles. Eddie has two Masters in language and spent half his life in the teaching field. He now owns an Amazon business and runs a wooden DIY workshop.