Guide to Moving Expensive Artwork

May 16, 2024 admin

When you are moving house, packing tends to be the most overwhelming task. For most people, throwing what you can into a box and hoping for the best can be tempting. While this may work for clothes and books, some belongings require special attention during packing. Moving artwork requires meticulous planning, delicate handling, and expert care to ensure the safety and preservation of valuable pieces. Whether your art holds financial or sentimental value, it deserves to be treated with care. Join us as we guide you through preparing and packing your artwork for a house move.

Importance of Protecting Artwork During a Move

Correct packaging techniques and transportation are fundamental when protecting your valuable artwork. Artwork can be delicate and vulnerable to damage, and without suitable precautions, it may not make it to its new home in one piece. By preparing your artwork, packaging it appropriately and using a trusted removal company, it can arrive at its final destination in pristine condition.

Step-By-Step Guide to Moving Expensive Artwork

Step 1: Assess Your Artwork

Before your moving date, it is essential to evaluate the structure and fragility of your artwork. You must consider the size and weight of your artwork to determine appropriate packing and handling arrangements. Different artworks, from paintings to sculptures, require specific packing techniques and materials to ensure their safety during a move. Determining the requirements of your artwork will guide you in preparing adequately for your move.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Materials

Gathering the right supplies to pack your valuable artwork carefully is paramount. Whether you are moving framed artwork or pottery sculptures, the essential packaging supplies you will need include:

  • Sturdy cardboard boxes
  • Packaging tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper
  • Plastic wrap

You should choose boxes that measure slightly larger than the dimensions of your painting to allow space to pad and protect your artwork. 

Step 3: Prepare and Package the Artwork

Once you have secured your packaging materials, the next step is to prepare your artwork before packing it into boxes. The goal is to protect your artwork from damage while in transit. 


If you have glass-framed artwork, use painter’s tape to place a large X across the front of the glass to ensure that if the glass breaks due to a sudden movement, it won’t shatter and ruin the art behind it. 

If your art is not in a glass frame, wrap it in glassine paper. This paper is resistant to air, grease, and water and will keep your art clean and secure. Do not use newspaper or parchment paper, as they can cause damage.

Once your artwork is secure, wrap it entirely with plastic wrap, then cover it with bubble wrap and ensure it is secured with packing tape. Use corner protectors for framed artwork to safeguard the edges and corners.


As sculptures or pottery can be fragile and oddly shaped, they require extra care during packaging to prevent breakage. The entire piece should be wrapped in plastic, ensuring all the hidden nooks and crannies are secured. Bubble wrap should be used to cover the weak points of the piece and the remainder entirely.

Once secure, fill your boxes with an initial layer of packing peanuts, place your artwork pieces in them, and continue to fill them with peanuts. The more densely packed the peanuts are, the more protection they will offer. To minimise the risk of damage, it is essential to reduce any potential movement of your piece during transit. When your box is filled and feels secure, seal the box shut by taping off the edges.

Step 4: Label & Document Artwork

Following the correct packaging of your artwork, your boxes should be clearly labelled, with the contents of each box defined. Handling instructions such as ‘Fragile’ or ‘This Side Up’ should be included to assist with the loading and unloading process.

Create an inventory list of all the artwork being transported and its current condition so that when it reaches the final destination, you can determine if any items have been lost or damaged during transit.

Step 5: Hire a Professional Moving Company

The best way to ensure your art is well protected during a move is to hire a professional removal company. Research local art removal companies that specialise in the transportation of expensive artwork. Choose a removal company that receives outstanding reviews and has extensive experience in moving artwork. 

A removal company will have the equipment and knowledge to move your precious pieces carefully, going the extra mile to secure them during transit. Hence, they arrive at their destination in pristine condition.

Step 6: Unpacking and Handling Artwork

Once your professional removal company has successfully transported your fine art pieces, coordinate with the movers to carefully unload them. Your movers will understand best practices for handling expensive art pieces, so communicate with them to ensure your pieces are unloaded carefully.

When unpacking, handling each piece with clean hands and ensuring it is placed on a clean and steady surface is crucial. Avoid touching the painted or delicate areas when handling painted artwork, and hold it by the frame or its edges. By taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure that your artwork remains in excellent condition and ready to be displayed in its new home.

Artwork Relocation FAQs

Should I hire a professional art mover?

When it comes to moving expensive artwork, hiring a professional art mover is wise to ensure the safety and security of your pieces. Art movers have the knowledge and experience to handle artwork carefully using specialised equipment to protect them during transit. Professional movers offer insurance coverage, providing peace of mind if any unforeseen accidents occur.

How to pack art supplies for moving?

To move your art supplies, group paintbrushes and other materials by wrapping the handles in stretch wrap. Use plastic wrap to seal bottle caps and secure supply boxes.

How do you pack large canvas paintings for a move?

You may need a wooden crate to transport any large and heavy paintings. Similarly to boxes, your wooden crates must be adequately padded to protect against sudden movement.

Crowning Achievement: Safeguarding the King’s Royal Collection of Art

At Guardian Removals, we pride ourselves on our expertise in handling valuable and delicate artwork, ensuring its safe transport from one location to another. Recently, we were entrusted with a significant task: transporting a substantial portion of the esteemed King’s royal collection of art. With meticulous planning and our team’s unparalleled skill, we executed this project. From careful packaging to secure transportation, every step was managed with precision and care. Check out how we achieved it.

Move Your Valuable Artwork with Guardian Removals

At Guardian Removals, our expert team is well-versed in the safety precautions to take when packing and transporting your valuable artwork. Whether you need assistance with packing, storing, or transporting your pieces, we offer several services designed to maximise the safe move of your artwork. We appreciate the value that artwork can hold, whether financial or sentimental. Place your trust in our team, and we will go above and beyond to ensure your valuable art reaches its new home in pristine condition. Contact us today to learn more about our art removal and storage services.

Related Articles

  • Guide to Moving Pianos
  • Guide to Moving Antiques

leave a comment