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How to Pack, Transport and Store Artwork

Old art work hung on a wall that needs to be stored.Whether you’re an avid art collector about to move house, or you’re an emerging artist about to sell and ship your first piece, it’s important that you know how to properly pack, move and store your artwork.

Here are a few tips from the experts at Perth Metro Storage:

  • Clean the Artwork
    Before you even consider packing and storing your artwork, the first thing you’ll want to do is ensure that it has been properly cleaned. Bits of dirt, grease and other contaminants can take their toll over time, so it’s important to get rid of these before committing the piece to long-term storage. How you clean the artwork will, of course, depend upon the medium. Here’s a good resource for how to clean various types of artwork.
  • Protect Any Frames
    If your artwork is framed, then you’ll want to at least add cardboard corners to the edges of the frame to protect it whilst being transported and stored. You can add to the protection with additional layers – such as a blanket, bubble wrap or felt.
  • Waterproof Your Artwork
    Glassine is your friend when it comes to art storage. This smooth, glossy paper is water-resistant and nearly airtight. It’s also non-abrasive, so it won’t smudge or otherwise damage pastel or charcoal sketches. This is the material of choice for protecting artwork in museums. You’ll find a few speciality shops selling glassine around Perth Eckersley’s carries it here.
  • Resist the Urge to Roll
    On first consideration, it may make sense to gently and carefully roll a print or painting for more compact storage. While this will not result in any visible creases on the actual canvas, it still creates tension and stretching in the actual paint or ink. Instead, find two flat panels of cardboard, foam or plywood that you can place on either side of the painting or print. Press these two panes against the artwork and tape them together. This can then be stored in an appropriately sized box.
  • Prepare Your Artwork for a Jarring Ride
    When it comes to transporting your artwork from its current location to the storage facility, you never know what to expect. It’s also possible that the driver will have to brake hard at some point – and this could cause damage to your artwork if it hasn’t been carefully packed. Make sure that paintings or delicate pieces are not able to flop or jostle about within the boxes where you’ve stored them.
  • Consider Climate Control
    Different types of artwork have different requirements, but it’s safe to say that your piece is best stored in a climate-controlled environment. This means that you’ll want to look into storage facilities that allow you to modulate the temperature and ambient humidity of the space. Delicate artwork will fare better in a cool, dry and dark environment, so keep this in mind when scouting for available storage facilities.

Have a look at our website for other storage tips, and feel free to contact us for more information about how we can help.