Art is not just a creation; it’s a story, a memory, and often, a piece of your heart. Whether you’re an artist or an art collector, the thought of packing and storing your artwork may keep you at night. However, it is possible to pack and store your artwork for safekeeping without causing any damage. The advice below will help you keep your treasured pieces in pristine condition.
How Poor Handling Can Damage Your Artwork
The first step in protecting your art is understanding the risks of poor handling. Fine art is sensitive to touch, moisture, and pressure. A careless grip can cause torn canvases, smudged paint, or bent frames. When moving or displaying your pieces, be mindful of their unique needs. For instance, always use clean, dry hands or, better yet, wear soft gloves to avoid transferring oils or dirt.
Light and temperature fluctuations can also cause irreparable harm, such as fading and cracking. Excessive humidity, dryness, and direct sunlight are also not your friends. They can silently but steadily degrade the quality and vibrancy of your artwork. Knowing these risks will help you maintain the longevity of your artwork when planning a major move.
Tips for Properly Packing Artwork
When it’s time to pack, careful preparation is key. Always use quality packing materials designed for artwork. Acid-free paper is ideal for wrapping paintings, as it prevents chemical interactions that could damage the art. For sculptures and other three-dimensional pieces, bubble wrap offers excellent protection. Always secure the wrapping with painter’s tape, which you can remove without leaving residue.
To ensure additional safety, consider double-boxing your artwork. Place the wrapped item in a box with enough room for padding materials like foam or bubble wrap. Then, put this box inside a larger one, again with ample padding around it. This packing method significantly reduces the risk of damage during transport.
You should also label your boxes clearly with “Fragile” and “This Side Up” indicators. These labels will inform handlers of the care needed when loading your artwork into a moving truck. If you are shipping artwork, use a reliable courier known for handling fragile items, and insure your package for its full value to protect yourself from the unexpected.
Lastly, if you’re packing multiple pieces, separate them within the box. Use dividers or additional cushioning materials to prevent them from moving or touching each other. This separation is particularly important for delicate or intricately detailed pieces that are vulnerable to friction or pressure.
Tips for Safely Transporting Artwork
Safely transporting artwork is just as important as packing it correctly. Always move artwork in a climate-controlled vehicle. Avoid roads with excessive bumps or construction areas, as these can cause vibrations that may damage the art. Additionally, keep your artwork away from direct sun exposure during transit, as UV rays can cause fading and deterioration.
Finally, if you’re hiring movers, be sure to choose a reputable company. At Capitol North American, our Las Vegas movers and packers have years of experience handling valuable items, including artwork. We will keep your art pieces secure in our moving vehicles and prevent them from moving or falling during transport.
Tips for Safely Storing Artwork
Once a moving company has packed and transported your artwork, you must prioritize safe storage techniques. When choosing a storage location, find a place that is not affected by temperature fluctuations and moisture. Your storage location should have consistent conditions and plenty of space to keep your artwork off the ground.
If you’re storing canvas paintings, avoid rolling them, as this can damage the paint. Instead, store them vertically with sufficient space between each piece to prevent them from coming into contact with each other. Use padded dividers to protect each piece if you have limited storage space.
You should also ensure your storage area has proper ventilation to prevent any buildup of harmful gases or chemicals that could degrade your artwork. When setting up your storage space, consider installing a ventilation system to circulate fresh air and maintain optimal humidity. A ventilation system is especially important if your storage area is in a basement or attic, where air circulation is often poor.
Can You Put Paintings in a Storage Unit?
Yes, you can store paintings in a storage unit. You should look for climate-controlled units that maintain a stable temperature and humidity level. These conditions are vital for preventing the canvas and paint from expanding or contracting, which can lead to cracking or warping.
What Is the Right Temperature for Art Storage?
The ideal temperature for storing artwork is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with a relative humidity of around 50 percent. These conditions help preserve the integrity of various materials, from oil paints to sculpture mediums. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity are among the biggest threats to art preservation.
What Should You Look for When Selecting a Storage Unit?
When selecting a storage unit for your art, climate control is the top priority. Additionally, look for facilities with robust security features, such as 24-hour surveillance, secure access, and adequate fire prevention systems. The cleanliness of the facility is also crucial; a clean environment reduces the risk of pests, which can severely damage your stored artwork.
Why Should You Always Document Your Stored Art?
When storing your art, proper documentation is a must. Proper documentation includes taking photographs, noting any existing damage, and keeping a detailed inventory of your art pieces. This documentation is not just for insurance purposes; it also helps you keep track of the condition of your art over time. Regular checks on stored artwork will prevent mistakes from occurring that could lower the art’s value.
Packing and storing your artwork for safekeeping requires attention to detail and understanding the potential risks involved. Following these guidelines will let you rest comfortably, knowing you have preserved your art pieces for future enjoyment.
Whether you’re an artist safeguarding your creations or a collector preserving precious pieces, the effort you put into properly packing, transporting, and storing your artwork will pay dividends in preserving your collection.
Contact Capitol North American today to take advantage of our packing, moving, and storage services in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. We operate a 100,000-square-foot storage and distribution facility and can safely store your artwork and other high-value items.