The Ultimate Guide to Moving Your Fine Art

When you’ve amassed a collection of fine art, it’s more than just a financial investment in things that might appreciate in value. Fine art pieces are completely unique, born from someone’s creative passion and vision. There’s nothing else quite like it, and there never will be. Every painting or sculpture is one of a kind.

When you’re moving, you need to figure out what to do about your fine art. Obviously, you can’t just throw it in a cardboard box with some bubble wrap and call it a day. Fine art is often quite fragile, and if it’s damaged, it’s difficult or impossible to fix. It’s also basically irreplaceable. You could commission something similar, but it will probably never be exactly the same as the original.

We’ve put together this helpful guide to help you safely and securely move your fine art pieces without the help of movers Winnipeg professionals. Whether you’re just moving across town, or your new home is all the way across the country, proper packing is essential. Whether you’re trusting your moving company with your art, or taking it with you on your own, you need to pack it securely to protect it from damage during transport.

Packing Your Fine Art: Paintings, Sculptures, & Objets d’Art

When you’re moving statues, paintings, and other fine art pieces, proper packing is essential. It requires extra care and attention to detail.

Preparing Paintings for Your Move

Paintings can be fragile — after all, they’re usually painted on canvas, which could easily puncture during transit. They can also be damaged by moisture or by rubbing up against other objects. Regardless of medium, your paintings need careful packaging if they’re going to make it safely to their destination.

Start by carefully wrapping each painting in Glassine. Glassine is a smooth, glossy transparent paper that does a great job of keeping out air, grease, and water. This protects you paintings from smudging accidentally during transit. You can technically substitute plastic wrap in a pinch, but Glassine is superior.

After you’ve wrapped a painting up in a layer or two of Glassine, wrap it in bubble wrap. This provides extra cushioning against impacts. It’s best to use two to three bubble wrap layers for extra protection.

Once a painting is protected with bubble wrap and glassine, you can box it. The best box is usually the one it came in, if you still have it available. If not, flat boxes from modern LCD TVs and monitors can work very well. Fill in any extra space with packing peanuts if the box is bigger than the painting. For very large pieces of art, you can use a bicycle box, which tends to be large and flat.

If your painting is really large — think Dali’s masterworks or Picasso’s Guernica — a good moving company can help provide you with a customized crate. There are also moving companies who specialize specifically in fine art, which may be worth looking into if you’re a serious art collector.

For sculptures, custom crating is generally the best option. Flimsy cardboard probably won’t cut it, especially if you own sculptures made from breakable materials like porcelain or marble. Again, moving companies generally offer crating services, as do specialty companies who move fine art for museums and private collectors.

Moving Antique Furniture

Fine art isn’t the only valuable, irreplaceable thing you might own. Antique furniture is also one-of-a-kind, yet usually more fragile than modern pieces. Wooden crates are recommended for antiques, and special moving blankets and pads are available to provide extra impact protection and prevent scratching.

Consider Fine Art Moving Insurance

In most locations, moving companies are prohibited from offering insurance policies. However, moving insurance is something you can actually buy separately, and it’s highly recommended for long distance moves. Believe it or not, there are actually companies that provide specialized fine art moving insurance policies for fine art and antiques. You might want to consider such a policy, because homeowner’s insurance and regular moving insurance may not cover damages to your art pieces.

Insurance protects you against damage or loss during the move. It can’t replace a one-of-a-kind painting or sculpture, but it can at least ensure that you receive adequate financial compensation if something were to happen to it. If you own art or antiques that are highly valuable, this might be worth doing.

Safe Moving for Fine Art

Moving fine art and antiques can be challenging, but a good moving company can help guide you in the right direction. You may be responsible for packing the items yourself, and you’ll need to take extra care to keep them protected. But if possible, working with a company that has fine arts experience, or that specializes in moving these kinds of items, might be your best choice if you own an extensive art collection.