5 Crucial Tips for Transporting a Valuable Painting During a Move

When people are asked to consider fragile items that might be difficult to move when you're changing your address, televisions and glassware tend to be the things that come to mind. However, paintings can prove to be the biggest challenge. They can be easily damaged by more than just bumps and scrapes, and certain works of art are extremely expensive.

If you're moving a painting from house to house, you don't want to end up tearing what will turn out to be the 21st century's Mona Lisa, so take the following steps to protect your art.

1. Pack it Right

The correct packing technique is crucial for paintings, so take no shortcuts. Start by lying the artwork flat, with the picture side facing up. If it is framed with glass, cover the glass with an X of tape to keep any shards in place if breakages occur.

Next, cover the surface with light tissue paper or a sheet of foam, anything that won't grip the surface during movement. After you've covered the surface of the painting, you can wrap the whole thing in a thick layer of bubble wrap, securing at the edges and back with masking tape. One thing you should never use is packing peanuts; they will collect at the bottom, and their flexing and expansion can cause damage to a painting or crack the glass.

2. Use a Specialised Container

Covering your painting in bubble wrap will protect it from bumps, but you also want to transport it in a specialised container. Look for boxes that are appropriately sized – they can usually be supplied by a moving company. If your artwork will be travelling far or is of particular value, consider using a wooden box instead of a cardboard one.

3. Keep It Away from High or Low Temperatures

Extreme temperatures can cause damage, so you need to keep your artwork out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. If you can, consider having it taken in the passenger compartment of a moving van if the cargo section cannot be temperature controlled. Once you arrive at your new property, take your paint out of its box first to prevent it becoming too hot inside all the packaging.

4. Ask About Additional Insurance

Even with all the precautions in the world, your artwork is still going to be more at risk of damage during a move than it is sitting on one of your walls. It only makes sense to ask your removalists whether there are any additional insurance options available. Insurance is often weight-based; make sure it's value-based instead.