How to prepare paintings for transport

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of carefully packing the original artworks before shipping. Even with the most reliable movers Fairfield NJ, it is difficult to control factors such as weather and drift during transit. Keep in mind that the corners of your packing box are most susceptible to damage. To prevent damage and wear, we assembled these tips and a step-by-step process to prepare paintings for transport.

Top 5 “don’ts” when you prepare paintings for transport

1. Do not ship wet art

Before packing and shipping, make sure that your painting or drawing is completely dry, and do not add the protective varnish. If you have already varnished your artwork before reading this article, wait a few days beyond the recommended drying time before shipping. If you send the work before it is completely dry, you risk sticking the varnish to the packing materials. And it is almost impossible to repair the damage.

Damaged painting
And you do not want your precious artwork to be ruined just because you were not patient enough

2. Do not use cardboard as a protective barrier on the face of your work

Cardboard is not acid-free and can damage your artwork. Instead of cardboard, we recommend placing acid-free archival paper or glassine over the painting, as well as placing the work of art in a transparent plastic bag, which can be ordered at or purchased at a local art store.

3. Do not let your work move inside of a box

To avoid empty space in the shipping box, most fine art movers NJ would wrap your work in a bubble pack. We do not recommend the use of foam peanuts as a filler.

4. Do not save on packing tape on the outside of the moving box

When you prepare paintings for transport, make sure you use enough packing tape. If any seams are found on the box, moisture may leak. Transparent shipping tape is the most moisture resistant.

5. Do not ship glass

If your work is framed with a glass front, remove the glass, as it may break during transportation.

How to safely pack a framed original painting

Packing and shipping materials

  • Two sturdy cardboard boxes: one small and one large
  • Cardboard corners
  • (Optional) Acid-free archival tissue paper or glassine
  • Durable plastic bag
  • Polyethylene film
  • Wrapping paper
  • Clear packing tape

We strongly recommend that you double-pack your work of art by placing it in a smaller box that fits in another box outside, leaving about two to three inches of free space around the perimeter of the smaller box. The double-packing method serves as a shock absorber and helps prevent canvas punctures.

Moving boxes
The best way to prepare paintings for transport is to pack them in high-quality and sturdy moving boxes

9 steps to pack framed art

  1. Find a box that is several inches larger than your artwork.
  2. Take two pieces of cardboard or styrofoam and cut it to the inside dimensions of the box. One part will lie in your painting, and the other will lie under it like a sandwich. Put it off for later.
  3. Put your work of art in a durable plastic bag to protect it from moisture.
  4. Wrap the drawing in at least one layer of bubble pack using packing tape.
  5. Place the cardboard corners or foam rubber corners on the corners of the framed work of art.
  6. Now take the two pieces of cardboard that you cut, according to the internal dimensions of your box. Place wrapped artwork on one half of the cardboard. Draw guidelines in the center so that you can cut the cardboard and create flip tabs to secure the pattern. Lock the flap valves in place so that they do not move during the delivery process. You can do this on all 4 sides of the cardboard for added stability. Then grab the second piece of cardboard and stick it on the back of the artwork, creating a sandwich to hold the artwork in place during delivery.
  7. Place the smaller “sandwich” cardboard in the large box. It is best to direct the front of the painting to an empty space in the box to make room for more bubble pack or compressed packing paper for extra protection. Fill all the extra space in the box until there is very little room for movement during transport.
  8. Almost done! Seal the box with packing tape.
  9. Finally, label your boxes. Put the “fragile” sticker on the box and wrap the entire large box with packing tape.

How to safely pack rolled artwork before shipping

Packing materials

– Either acid-free archival tissue paper, glassine, or kraft paper

– Durable plastic bag

– Heavy-duty transportation tube

– Foam or plastic film

– Packing tape

Before you roll the canvas, make sure that the paint is 100% dry. If you are concerned that the paint is not completely dry and you need more time, contact your NJ movers to let them know that you expect a delay until your work has finished drying.

Woman painting
Most of them will be glad to wait until your works of art are ready

7 steps to prepare roll paintings for transportation

  1. When you prepare paintings for transport, place a flat or unframed painting between two layers of archival paper. If you do not have archival paper, such as glassine, ordinary kraft paper will work in its place.
  2. Wrap a layer of plastic bubble pack around the canvas to fill and prevent damage from moisture.
  3. Seal the plastic film with packing tape.
  4. Cut the shipping tube a few inches larger than the rolled-up artwork. End caps typically occupy at least 1” of space on both sides to properly install and secure in the pipe.
  5. If your print has too much space around the edges, fold it one or two times more into the foam or bubble pack so that it fits snugly against the tube. Fill the remaining space at each end with extra foam, bubble pack, or compressed wrapping paper.
  6. Place the plugs on the large tube and cover it with packing tape.
  7. Put the address label on the pipe along with the “fragile” sticker, or simply use a marker to write “Fragile – Do Not Bend”. Place the transparent packing tape on the label and sticker so that they are not removed.

Latest Posts

Get a Free Quote

Get Your Free Quote Now


Excellent service.We moved across town last week and these guys did a great job. Max, Qua, Rob and Tito were professional and courteous and above all very careful with all our belongings. Will happily recommend them to friends and family.

Clayton Love

Ready to Receive your Moving Quote?