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The relocation process involves a lot of different things. Aside from the obvious, there are many things that might be overlooked until it comes the time for them. One such thing is trying to prepare oil paintings for storage. When it comes to long term storage, there are certain items that need extra care, like oil paintings.

Now, you might already know everything there is about storing oil paintings, but if you don’t, now is the time to learn about is. So, without further ado, let’s talk about this.

Understand the risks before you place your oil paintings in the storage unit.

Prepare Oil Paintings For Storage – The List

There are a lot of steps involved in preparing your pieces of art for storage. The first section is about understanding the risks. Second is about packing the oil painting and the last one is about transporting it.

Understanding the risks

These are the greatest risks to your oil paintings:

  • Various tears and breakages, along with smudges and miscellaneous impacts
  • Proximity to hazardous materials such as food, dampness or even overexposure to light
  • Stains of all sorts (cosmetics, chemicals, skin marks, etc)
  • Fingerprints

Packing The Painting

These are the steps that you need to follow when you are about to pack your oil painting. If you don’t know where to find proper moving supplies NYC, make sure to ask your moving company about them.

  • Make sure to have the least amount of contact with the painting
  • Put the painting in a small box
  • Use packing material of the high density
  • Wrap your painting in plastic
  • Finally, seal with styrofoam.

Transporting Your Paintings

Once the paintings are good to go, it is time to transport them. If you took the time to prepare oil paintings for storage, they are good to be transported, as well. So, in transport, you need to:

  • Protect the painting with other items, such as blankets or pillows
  • Place the paintings so that they stand vertically
  • Be very careful when driving to the storage
  • Choose a carrier that is reliable if you are shipping the painting
Use extra cushioning to protect your oil paintings.

How to Prepare Oil Paintings For Storage – Walkthrough

The list was there to provide you with a short and dirty cheat sheet you can reference anytime. Now we will be going a bit deeper and explaining every process in a bit more detail.

The risks part is pretty self-explanatory so we will not be writing anything more on that.

Packing the Painting – Step by step

Minimizing contact is important. Make sure that there is always a barrier of some sort between you and the piece of art. Next, make sure to wrap your paintings in plastic, to protect them. You can also create a packing checklist in order to pack and protect your paintings properly.

Use small boxes, which have a close fit. If you are lacking such a box, make one yourself! A simple way is to use a few sheets of cardboard with a box cutter. Then, make sure that you use dense packing material and fill everything with padding, in order to prevent any sort of jars and bounces to the oil paintings. Finally, seal everything with packing tape.

After everything is complete, seal away the box with styrofoam, ensuring that the painting is quite snug in there.

Transporting the oil painting – Step by step

Drive slowly

Perhaps we do not need to overemphasize this, as we are sure that you are a careful driver, but do be extra careful when driving when transporting paintings.  Every sudden stop can make your painting literally fly if it is not 100% secure. A simple way is to just “take it easy” and drive slowly.

Vertical Storing

As for how the painting needs to be stored, it needs to be vertical. If you place your painting flat, there is a risk of something, or someone, falling or even sitting on your oil painting. The thing is, the painting is practically invisible if it is lying flat on a surface and accidents can occur.

Use cushioning

But let’s say that you have to lay it flat. If that is the case, make sure that there is extra cushioning for the painting, such as a pillow or a blanket, to prevent any accidents. Be proactive and minimize the risks, so even if worst happens, your painting has a chance to survive intact!

Reliable Carrier

If you are shipping your oil painting via carrier, you don’t need to worry about it much. Your carrier will take care of it and it will be safe. Just make sure to choose a reliable one, with a great track record!

Prepare oil paintings for storage – Storage Tips

Here are some additional tips for storing your painting. Make sure that your storage space is not damp or overly dry. Do not use an attic or a basement. Temperature and humidity need to be constant.

Do not pile on paintings on top of each other. If you absolutely must lay them flat, make sure to use some sort of a rack, in order for your paintings not to be on the ground, or on top of each other.

Keep them away from the sun. Your oil paintings will most likely fade if overexposed to the light of the sun. While some sunlight is absolutely harmless, prolonged exposure will damage the painting. If you don’t know how to pack your storage unit properly, we have prepared a small guide on loading a storage unit!

Consider getting a climate-controlled storage unit for your oil paintings.

Check on your paintings from time to time. We tend to forget about our paintings once we store them. Thus, we can’t really see a problem to solve before it becomes a disaster. You can save a lot of paintings if you regularly check upon them. Perhaps there is an unforeseen hazard that is not readily apparent. Visiting your paintings from time to time will prevent this from endangering your art objects.

Moving Company is Your Friend

If you can’t bother with doing all the work yourself or are unsure if you are going to do it properly, there is an easy solution. You can always hire a moving company to help you with storing your paintings. They will know all the best practices and will make sure that your art is not in any danger whatsoever.

They also have the best storage options and you will not even need to know how to prepare oil paintings for storage, as they will do it for you!

About Author

John has been with Divine Moving and Storage in New York for nearly two decades. Starting as a young helper and climbing up the ranks to be a staple in our organization. John has the knowledge and experience to assist our clients with any move or storage related needs. You can reach John or any of our associates in NYC at 212-244-4011