Having the proper materials is key for keeping your pictures and mirrors safe during a move. Before you start packing picture frames and mirrors, determine which of the following supplies you will need:
- Packing paper (unprinted newsprint paper)
- Packing tape
- A permanent marker
- Bubble wrap
- Picture/mirror boxes
- Small moving boxes
- Cardboard tubes
- Artist’s or painter’s tape
- Flat foam or cardboard sheets
- Glassine, acid-free, or archival paper
- Photo boxes or albums
Packing Picture Frames and Mirrors: Some Guidelines
- Using the artist’s or painter’s tape, create an “X” across the glass. This will help keep the glass intact during transit.
- Cut a piece of cardboard or foam board slightly larger than the frame, place it in front of and behind the glass and secure it with packing tape.
- Wrap the entire piece in two or more sheets of packing paper and tape loose ends.
- Add a layer of bubble wrap for additional padding and security. Secure with packing tape.
- Cushion the bottom of a picture/mirror box with packing paper, and then slide the object into the box. Keep in mind, large items should be boxed individually in specialty boxes. Smaller mirrors and framed pictures can be wrapped and boxed together. Stack these items vertically and do not lay them flat.
- Fill extra space with more paper to prevent shifting.
- Tape and label the box “fragile” on all sides.
Specialty picture/mirror boxes are available from your mover.
Packing and moving canvases
The best way to pack a canvas will depend on if it’s stretched across a wooden frame or rolled.
For stretched canvases:
- Cover the canvas with glassine, acid-free or archival paper.
- Tape a sheet of foam or cardboard to the back of the canvas.
- Put the canvas into a plastic gallery wrap bag (available at art supply stores) to protect it from moisture.
- Wrap the entire canvas with two layers of bubble wrap and secure it with tape.
- Sandwich the canvas between two sheets of foam boards or cardboard and use the packing tape to bind the pieces together.
- Line a picture/mirror box with padded paper and slide the canvas into the box, filling empty spaces with more paper.
- Tape and label the box.
For rolled canvases:
- Lay the canvas between two sheets of glassine, acid-free or archival paper (painted side down).
- Loosely roll the canvas and paper (rolling too tight can cause damage).
- Roll with Bubble Wrap.
- Slide the canvas into a cardboard tube.
- Place the end caps on and seal them with packing tape.
- Label the tube.
More Helpful Tips for Packing Picture Frames and Mirrors
Keep these tips in mind when packing mirrors, wall art, and picture frames:
- Don’t exceed 40 lbs. per box.
- Only use unprinted newsprint paper because the ink could cause damage.
- Don’t use packing peanuts for padding. They create static and can be difficult to remove from glass.
- Wash your hands or wear cotton gloves before handling any photos or canvases. The oil from your hands can create smudges and damage the quality of the items.
- Load boxed frames on their side. Never lay them flat because the pressure can crack the glass.