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Store and pack paintings correctly

Do you need to transport your painting from A to B or do you want to store it for a longer period of time? There is often a reason for this, be it a private move, the end of an exhibition or the move of the gallery. We explain how to pack paintings for transport and storage and how to store paintings correctly for a longer period of time.

Depending on whether you want to transport or store your painting, the type of packaging differs. We explain everything that you should consider for the correct packaging, transport and storage of paintings.

How do I properly package a painting?

Your painting should be you only then pack it completelywhen you get it transport want. How to pack your work of art for storage is explained in the section "Storing your paintings correctly".

For a painting packaging for transport you need:

  • Cotton gloves (as protection against skin oil on hands)
  • acid-free tissue paper
  • Wrapping paper (polyethylene fleece is ideal)
  • Corrugated cardboard or bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam if several paintings are being transported
  • Edge protection (or cardboard to make edge protection yourself)
  • duct tape
  • scissors

If possible, always have your painting in transit as part of or on the stretcher left. This ensures the necessary stability and maintains tension without damaging the paint layer. That's why you should do this too Roll up, especially at Acrylic paintings, avoid. The layer of paint on acrylic paintings becomes harder when it is cold and softer when it is warm. If too much or too little heat is supplied when rolling up or down, the Cracks arise.

Pack paintings correctly: this is how it works

  • Step 1: remove the painting from the wall
    Basically, you should only touch the painting with gloves, as the grease on the skin can also attack the frame. Grasp the frame with both hands and place the painting securely on the floor.
  • Step 2: Place tissue paper on the paint layer surface
    To prevent the painting from being damaged by the packaging material, you can put tissue paper on the surface of the painting layer.
  • Step 3: possibly attach edge protection
    If the frame is particularly sensitive or you want to transport several pictures at the same time, you can attach edge protection so that the frames do not lie directly on top of one another. The edge protection is available online or you can simply make it yourself from cardboard. You can also find suitable handicraft instructions on the Internet.

    Edge protection provides enough space when you transport several paintings side by side.
  • Step 4: Wrap the painting with wrapping paper or fleece
    Only use fleece that is smooth, tear-resistant, vapor-permeable and does not have lint. Materials such as wool can hook onto the surface of the paint layer and damage the picture, for example if the tissue paper slips or if none is used. Non-vapor-permeable material also promotes the formation of condensation, which makes the painting damp and there is a risk of mold.
  • Step 5: Put the painting in corrugated cardboard or bubble wrap
    This last layer of packaging protects against light impacts. Corrugated cardboard is more suitable because it is air-permeable. You should only wrap the picture very briefly with bubble wrap so that it is not permanently exposed to moisture. It is important that the knobs always point outwards with bubble wrap, otherwise they can leave marks on the painting.

Tip: Is your artwork behind a Pane of glass, you can put an x-shaped tape on the glass. In the best case scenario, if the glass breaks during transport, the adhesive tape will hold the pieces together and prevent the painting from being damaged.

How do I properly transport the painting?

Always transport the pictures inside the vehicle and secure them with straps so that they cannot slide back and forth.

Would you just like a painting you can transport it with the Paint layer surface up put in your car.

Do you have to several paintings To get from A to B you should see the works of art do not stack, rather upright transport. Make absolutely sure that you only juxtapose images that contain the same format to have. So a smaller picture cannot press on an adjacent painting. If that is not possible, you should place styrofoam sheets between the paintings. Secure the works of art with a strap so that they don't tip over or slide back and forth.

Attention: Note the hanging hooks on the back of the frame. These can damage the adjacent picture. Again, it is advisable to put styrofoam between the pictures.

Do you want to Send paintings, you should hire a shipping company that knows how to ship works of art. As a rule, the shipping company also takes on the packaging of the paintings. In any case, make sure that the painting is in a Climate box is packed so that the work of art is not damaged by changing weather conditions. For example, you can have air conditioning boxes made to measure online.

How can I store paintings correctly?

When storing paintings for a longer period of time, four factors play an important role:

  • packaging
  • light
  • temperature
  • humidity

The right packaging for storing paintings

The rule here is: less is more. Above all, oil and acrylic paintings must be able to breathe, among other things so that no mold develops. Therefore, store the painting not in plastic packagingbut made of wood or acid-free cardboard (also available online as a custom-made product). However, packaging is not absolutely necessary. Because oil paintings in particular need light every now and then.

Proper lighting when storing paintings

Are oil paintings in Stored in the dark, darkens also the Color strongly after. This can be reduced on the one hand by applying a final varnish, on the other hand by a regular lighting. Please note the following:

  • prevent direct sunlight, as the colors will fade and the painting will be damaged by the strong heat build-up on the canvas.
  • no light sources use that direct heat emit (for example painting lights).
  • Lighting with LED lamps because they do not radiate heat.

The picture is almost perfectly preserved if it is not permanently lit and it is exposed to changing light sources. Because every light source has a different effect on the paint.

The right temperature for painting storage

A thermometer helps you to keep an eye on the temperature of your storage room.

Avoid strong temperature fluctuations and rooms that are too cold or too warm. Otherwise, the materials and paints used will start to work, causing cracks or bubbles to form. The optimal room temperature is between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius. You must therefore have the option of heating the room in winter.

The necessary humidity when storing paintings

Also a constant humidity between 45 to 60 percent should be given. This is important because, as with the temperature, the colors used can start to work or the stretcher frame can warp. Not suitable are therefore very damp rooms, such as the basement, cellar or in the Near the kitchen or bathroom. But also the place next to a fireplace or the heater is not suitable. If the humidity becomes too low during heating in winter, you can help yourself out with a humidifier. The best thing to do is to set up a humidity meter so you can react immediately.

So that the paintings do not absorb moisture, it is best to store the works of art on cotton or unsealed parquet flooring. These materials can retain moisture. If you want to lean several works of art against each other, you should not use plastic sheeting for protection. It is best to separate the pictures with sheets of wood or acid-free cardboard. Or you can use specially made boxes that you can order online.

A suitable spacein order to be able to store paintings correctly, should following properties have:

  • changing light conditions
  • no direct sunlight (windows allowed)
  • not complete darkness
  • constant room temperature between 18 and 21 degrees
  • constant humidity between 45 and 60 degrees
  • no latex wall paint (obstructs air supply)
  • no risk of insect infestation

Tip: It is best to store the pictures upright and do not stack the works of art. Otherwise quirks and marks can appear in the long run.

The comeback of your works of art

Have your works of art survived the move or will they be part of an exhibition again after a long period of storage? It is important that you do not expose the works of art to excessive temperature fluctuations during transport. It is therefore advisable to move the pictures in late spring or early autumn and at a time of day when the outside temperature and humidity are similar to the storage room.

Does your painting not yet have a suitable frame? We have summarized helpful tips for you in our articles “Stretching the stretcher” or “How to frame your watercolor perfectly in just 5 steps”. In our online shop you will also find a large selection of picture frames, also made to measure. If you need a larger number of picture frames for an exhibition, please feel free to contact us personally.

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