How To Store Art: A Breakage Free Guide

How to store art

We know how important your art is to you. From modernist paintings to classic sculpture, the art you choose is a reflection of your taste and makes your home unique. And we know just how to store art so that you get it back the way you left it.

Air1 Moving & Storage employees are expert art and art installation movers. This means we’re fully trained in packing art as well as moving with art. Maybe you’re packing it up to move from A to B, or you want your art kept in our leading storage facilities.

Let’s start with some good news. As everyone on the gallery scene knows, correct storage is actually better for your art than having it on display. So storing art correctly will actually prolong its lifespan. Of course, the reverse is true too, and in this post we will be covering the best way to store art so it’s kept intact.

How Should Paintings Be Stored?

There are some basic principles to storing all paintings, whether they’re oil paintings, acrylics or watercolors.

Use The Correct Packing Materials

We can provide professional storage paper to pack your art in, and do the packing job ourselves if you’d like. This paper maintains the quality of your art perfectly.

If you’re doing this yourself, baking paper works in a similar way.

Pad From All Sides

Does your artwork have a glass component? Then it’s even more essential to pad from all sides, especially the corners.

Professional packing and storage companies like Air1 Moving & Storage can do this for you, using the best packing products available. It’s important to use materials that won’t absorb moisture, or settle in transit.

Good Ventilation

Surprisingly to some, you shouldn’t necessarily seal your paintings in plastic so that they’re airtight.

Why? If you wrap while there’s moisture in the air, you risk trapping that moisture inside the painting.  This can lead to mold growth, which generally can’t be repaired.

Humidity Control

Where will you be storing the art? If it’s at home, you should make sure the room is humidity controlled.

This means attics and basements are probably out. Sorry.

Ideally, store art in an internal room that doesn’t suffer any fluctuations in moisture. This means a good storage facility is perfect.

Pest Control

Yikes. Unfortunately, many pests aren’t fussy eaters.

Bees can be attracted to the bright colors of improperly stored art, too. And if your art is varnished but not correctly sealed it can reflect the light. So bugs that love light may see shiny art as an attractive place to stay.

Don’t let them. Excellent packing plus high-level pest control is essential.

How To Store Art Depending On What It’s Made Of

There are some fundamentals here, but you need to take a slightly different approach depending on what type of art you want to store.

Storing Acrylic Paintings And Oil Paintings

If you haven’t already, varnish them before storage in order to keep them safe. Varnish protects oil and acrylic based artwork from dust, pests and light damage.

Do you have more than one piece? Then make sure that you store them facing away from each other.

Plus you should store acrylic and oil paintings vertically. But don’t lean them against any wall, unless you’re 100% sure that wall doesn’t get humid. This means any external wall is out.

Storing Watercolor Paintings

As above, and bear in mind that watercolors are even more sensitive to moisture. Exposure to anything wet for even a second can totally ruin them.

And regarding how to store art when it’s watercolor? This type of painting is actually best stored flat rather than vertically.

How Do You Store Unframed Artwork?

We know. There’s no frame so it’s tempting to roll it up. But don’t. Packing art like this can lead to creases that are hard to get rid of, or even worse, cracks.

The air in the roll can mean the whole lot gets humid, too. Especially if it’s a cardboard roll that doesn’t offer any protection against moisture.

The best way to go about storing art that’s unframed is by first laying it flat. Then have it wrapped in a resistant material like glassine and placed between two solid sheets.

Insure Your Art While It’s Stored

You’re reading this because you love your art and want to keep it intact. So the first step is to choose a licensed and insured storage company like Air1 Moving & Storage.

Additionally, look into moving insurance with a high value inventory plan for your art. There are several insurance plans you can choose from, so just make sure your art’s covered if the worst should happen.

Why Good Storage Facilities Are Vital For Art

First, you need to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. The worst thing that people do is simply leave their art in a part of their home they don’t use much like the basement. Alternatively, they trust their art to unlicensed movers who don’t take their job seriously.

Choose either of these routes and you may have a nasty shock when you unwrap your art again. So how can I protect my art in storage? We can’t overemphasize the need for excellent storage facilities. Use this as your checklist for storing art.

  • Temperature controlled

  • Humidity controlled

  • Consistently dark

  • Free from pests

  • Secure from thieves

  • A storage company that offers insurance

Our Leading Los Angeles Team Will Show You How To Store Art In The Best Way

We’ve been moving with art for decades, so you can rely on Air1 Moving & Storage to store your art correctly. We bet you’re too busy to really want the additional task of packing art, too. Right? In that case we provide a full packing service for your peace of mind.

Our expert team is waiting for your call at (866) 750-3386. Alternatively, you can write to us through our contact form, or email us at [email protected].