Moving artwork can vary between a simple self move and needing professionals. Art size and type and move type can help you determine whether you can move the pieces yourself, you need furniture movers, or art moving specialists. The next tips can help you choose the proper move option.
First determine the type and size of the artwork that is to be moved.
8×11” or smaller should be treated like china, wrapped up and packed in a carton with like sized pieces. Wadded newsprint should be used as a base and used at the top of the carton as a shock absorber. If the art is oil on canvas, gloves should be used to avoid oil from the hands getting on the art, “acid free” paper should also be used to wrap the piece to insure the art is not affected by wrapping materials. “Acid free” paper can be purchased at most craft or art supply stores.
Up to 48”x60” can be packed in a 2 piece picture/mirror carton, a flat carton that can telescope to fit the artwork better. Cardboard corner protectors, or wadded newsprint can be used in each of the 4 corners to provide a shock absorber. If the artwork is thin enough, 2 pieces can be packed back to back in the same carton for efficiency. As with smaller pieces, if the art is oil on canvas, a layer of acid free paper should be used to wrap the artwork.
Extra Large Pictures:
Larger pictures up to 60”x80” can fit into a 4 piece picture mirror carton. The same rules apply as with a 2 piece picture mirror carton.
With both types of picture/mirror cartons, when shipped they should be placed in the upright position and not laid flat. Actually if the move is local and very close, more durable artwork can be wrapped and stood up in the back of an SUV, or placed by a mover in what’s called a speedpack (a 2 ½ ‘ x 4’ open topped bin) wrapped or separated by cardboard and shipped. The farther the distance usually means the more secure the packaging.
Special, extremely fragile artwork:
This refers to pieces (like gold leaf frame or valuable artwork) can and should be crated by a mover with fine art experience or an art moving specialist. These types of pieces are not for amateurs or do it yourselfers. If a high value article is being moved by a professional, a high value inventory should be filled out, and potentially an appraisal should be obtained prior to the move.
These tips should help in sorting out some of the art moving questions.