It is very important to use correct methods and techniques when moving and storing paintings or artwork. Larger scale artwork may be more difficult to transport or store than smaller pieces. In some cases, such as the one illustrated in this photo, poor transportation of a canvas can easily damage the artwork. This painting’s dimensions are 103×75 inches, not an easy canvas to move, and has several tears ranging anywhere from 3 to 5 inches in length.
Damage due to improper packing and storage can be attributed to a lack of common sense. For example, some clients damage pieces when they stack a heavy box on top of fragile items. However, not all potential damage is as easily avoided, and when tricky situations arise sometimes you need an expert opinion. When help is required packing home items, we have found that businesses such as The UPS Store give great advice. Although it may cost more effort and money to safeguard your valuables when packing, moving, and storing, it is less expensive than restoration. Keep in mind that extra padding on all sides of a packing box is a cheap alternative to repair and loss of value.
Here are some helpful tips for storing larger paintings
- Use sheets of cardboard to protect the art (cardboard can be purchased from moving supply stores)
- Elevate your valuables off the ground using wood palettes (this will help lower the risk of water damage).
- Do not store art in high traffic areas!
- Use construction grade plastic, found in rolls, to drape over art if stored in dusty areas or where it may possibly get wet.
- If individually stored in a box, take a picture of the art, and tape it to the outside of the box.
Although it is important to take extra precautions when packing and moving, it is another discussion for items on display in your home that can be destroyed by various disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes… and grandkids! We recommend using Museum Wax, which is an anchoring adhesive that can help you avoid damage to collectibles when a building starts to shake. It secures valuable items to the wall, shelves, tables, and more, which means less falling and breaking for art collectors. Once this client’s decorative plate is restored to its previous perfection, she can further protect it for further generations by protecting it with Museum Wax.
The lesson to be learned is that this kind of damage could occur in a minute when precautions are not taken during a move or when thinking ahead about earthquakes and hurricanes.
For more information about protecting your items when the building begins to shake go to
Questions about conservation/restoration? Call us toll free at 888-704-7757
Questions about preparing your stuff for an earthquake or hurricane? Click on “Products” at the top of the page.
Questions about art and antique appraisals? Call Richard at (805) 895-5121
Questions about working with an insurance claim? Call us toll free at 888-704-7757
Also see: www.tipsforartcollectors.org