How to Pack Your Art and Antiques for a Move

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How to Pack Your Art and Antiques for a Move

Do you have expensive artwork or priceless antique furniture you need to take to your new home? Do you know how to move art or the practices involved in antique furniture moving? 

If not, that’s okay! White Glove Moving is here to help you learn more about moving these beloved pieces as safely as possible. 

Start Early

When it comes to planning a move, it’s best to start as early as you can. This is also true for moving sculptures, paintings, and other artwork. At least one month before your moving date, start preparing your art collection by: 

  • Measuring paintings and sculptures
  • Researching the best way to pack artwork for moving 
  • Doing inventory on your collection 
  • Getting quotes from at least three moving companies

Inventory Your Items 

To ensure you can properly move your artwork, you need to know everything you have. Create a detailed inventory of all the art you own, including paintings, sculptures, collectibles, and even antiques.

This list can help you determine what you can move yourself and which artwork should be moved by professionals. It can also help you when it’s time to appraise any of your high-value pieces. 

Appraise If Needed 

Artwork is an expensive investment you’ll want to protect during a big move. Take some time to get a professional appraisal on your collection so you can get proper insurance on everything before you figure out the best way to pack artwork for moving. In the unlikely event that something happens to your artwork, you’ll be covered.

Gather Packing Materials 

Before learning how to pack art for moving, you need to obtain the proper packing materials. 

You’ll need: 

  • Cardboard (picture or telescoping boxes) — Used to protect framed art and larger mirrors. 
  • Glassine — Used to put a thin, blemish-proof buffer between art pieces or mirrors.
  • Corner protectors — Added to the corners of large paintings or framed artwork to protect against damage and prevent the destruction of other items. 
  • Additional supplies — Other supplies should include packing tape, Bubble Wrap, small moving boxes, packing peanuts, and packing paper (or unprinted newspaper). 

Look Into Insurance

With your inventory list and updated appraisals, it should be easy to find insurance coverage before you need to move artwork. You can check with your moving company to see if they offer insurance; most do, though you may have to work with a third-party insurer if your collection has a high appraisal rate. 

Packing and Transportation

Do you know how to pack art for moving? Different art pieces need different packing approaches, and there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to art and antique furniture moving. If you’re unsure about how to pack your valuable art pieces and antique furniture, professional movers can provide packing services and use their expertise to ensure your items are properly protected during the move. Will movers pack for you? Yes, most reputable moving companies offer packing services as part of their moving packages. Let’s learn how to pack and move various types of artwork. 

Flat Artwork 

Framed and unframed flat artwork (paintings, photographs, etc.) need to have solid protection on all sides. When deciding how to pack artwork for moving, start with large, heavy-duty picture or telescope boxes if you don’t have the original ones. Place the art in the box, then move on to protective measures. 

Protect the Glass

If your art has a glass pane, take two pieces of masking tape and place them in an X shape across the glass. The tape may help prevent the glass from breaking during transportation. 

Next, lay the art frame down on glassine paper to add another layer of protection to the glass. 

Protect the Corners 

Put corner protectors around the entire frame and ensure a snug fit so they won’t slip off.

Add Padding

Once the glass, corners, and frame are protected, it’s time to add another layer of padding to guard against damage during transport. Using Bubble Wrap or packing paper, lay the artwork face-down on the padding, cover all the edges, and wrap up the piece. Secure everything with tape to keep it all together. 


Moving sculptures can be extremely tricky, especially with odd angles and large sizes. One of the best ways to move this artwork is to completely wrap the piece in Bubble Wrap, ensuring every inch of the sculpture or status is covered. Next, place the art in a box that is just big enough to hold it. 

If there are any empty spaces, fill them with packing peanuts, packing paper, or Bubble Wrap. Carefully close up the box and label it as FRAGILE on all sides to ensure everyone knows to be careful with it. 

Disassemble Large Sculptures 

For sculptures too big to fit in a single box, you can try disassembling the piece to put it in smaller, separate boxes.

Wrap Well 

When it comes to moving sculptures, you want to wrap them so completely that there are no exposed surfaces of the piece. Do this with Bubble Wrap to ensure the sculpture has extra padding. 

Choose a Box

The box you choose for your sculpture should have just enough space to fit the art comfortably without being too big, too small, or having too much empty space. Once you find the right-sized box, fill any empty space with the tips listed above, and test that the sculpture is completely secure before you seal and label the box. 

Antiques and Furniture

If you need help with antique furniture moving, you’ve come to the right place. This furniture needs extra care and handling during a big move to ensure that it is fully protected and won’t get damaged. 

To Disassemble or Not? 

Typically, we wouldn’t recommend disassembling fragile antique furniture or taking it apart if doing so would lower the piece’s value. In most cases, the antique can be moved as a whole if you use an experienced moving company

However, if you can safely disassemble the antique furniture without damaging it, this is the easiest option for moving this artwork. 

Protect the Surfaces 

Whether you keep the antique furniture intact or take it apart into pieces, you need to protect every surface during a move. Wrap everything in Bubble Wrap and secure it with tape. Then, wrap the piece or pieces again with a moving blanket to add more coverage. 

Don’t Stack

When you move artwork or antique furniture, do not stack them. You could potentially damage your valuable belongings if you do this, and it’s not worth the risk. You may be able to put lighter items on top of antique furniture, but it’s best to avoid this if possible. 

When to Crate 

If your artwork or antique furniture needs extra protection during a move, you may want to consider crating the item instead of simply packing it. You can get a custom-built crate that perfectly fits your items, ensuring it arrives at your new property safely and intact. 


Pianos are beautiful instruments, but they are also large, heavy, and difficult to move. When you use an experienced company for piano moving, you can protect your piano, avoid damaging it, save money, and get it moved faster. This is one job you should definitely leave to the professionals. 


Do you own an antique grandfather clock or other vintage timepieces? These items must stay balanced to keep time correctly, which can be hard to manage if you handle antique furniture moving by yourself. Clocks also have intricate internal mechanisms and need to be moved with extreme care to prevent breaking or hurting the gears. 

How to Move Art and Antiques Without Damaging Them 

If you properly wrap and pack your artwork and antiques using the info above and have enough help to move the pieces quickly, you may be able to tackle this task yourself without damaging anything. 

However, to minimize the risk of damage and get things moved faster, it will almost always be better to leave this job to your moving company. 

Hiring Professional Movers? 

Looking to hire a professional antiques and fine art mover? Look no further than White Glove Moving Company. We offer white-glove services for every move and treat your belongings with the care they require, ensuring your artwork or antiques arrive at your new home exactly as they should. 
Contact us today to learn more about how to move art and antiques safely.