How to Wrap Canvas Prints for Moving – A Helpful Guide


At some point in your life, you might move to a new place. You will relocate to a new house, dormitory, city, or even country. Knowing that this milestone in your life brings just about a cocktail of emotions, the process of packing artwork alone can also be a tough and tedious task. Aside from having your furniture, appliances, and other things taken care of, it is also important to take precautionary measures in packing valuable artwork, and see to it that it arrives at its destination all intact.

Whether you decide to hire professional movers to help you out or prefer to do it yourself, with the help of friends and family, this article will give you helpful tips on how to wrap canvas prints for moving so that you can have peace of mind when these are being transported.

Candid Pigments canvas art displayed in an elegant living room.

Here are the packing supplies you need:

  • different sizes of sturdy boxes
  • bubble wrap
  • packing tape
  • packing paper for dunnage
  • glassine paper (optional but highly recommended)
  • masking tape or artist tape (recommended for artwork because it is acid free)
  • permanent marker or sharpie
  • cardboard corner pieces (for extra valuable pieces)


Note: Do not use newspaper prints in wrapping up the artwork. 

Packing Tips to Remember: When you have all the supplies at hand, you are now ready to get the job done. Before packing any wall art, first, make sure that your hands are clean when handling any delicate item. Prepare a designated location, preferably a flat and clean surface that you can work on. A table or the living room floor will do.


The ideal surface to work on must be flat and clean. Put a clean blanket first or cardboard first. Cut enough glassine paper to cover the front and the back of the canvas print. Then carefully place the canvas print or painting face down. Take the excess paper and wrap it around the edges of the artwork and secure it with artist tape. Remember not to put tape directly onto the canvas. Glassine is oftentimes confused with wax or parchment paper but there are significant differences between these materials. The wax coating in the wax paper has a tendency to melt in high temperatures, which may cause damage to certain artworks. Glassine, on the other hand, protects against water, grease, air, and moisture. Not only this, but it is also recyclable and biodegradable so you’re not only protecting art but the environment, too! This is why investing in glassine is highly recommended. 

Once the first step is done, you may now proceed with the bubble wrap. One good tip when doing this is to make sure the smooth surface is on the inside part because the bubbles might make an impression on the artwork. Securely wrap your canvas print with bubble wrap. Ensure that the corners and edges are adequately covered. Wrap an extra layer of bubble wrap into the artwork for additional protection. After this, seal it properly with packing tape.

For extra valuable painting or artwork, put cardboard corner pieces on all the corners of the frame before putting it inside the box. Look for a sturdy box that is slightly larger than the artwork. A 3-inch allowance on all sides of the frame will do. Put wadded packing paper in the bottom of the box before carefully placing the artwork inside. After this, you can then work on filling the spaces around it to protect the art.

Make sure that the artwork does not shift inside when the box is closed and add dunnage if needed. Do not use packing peanuts to fill the space or for padding.

Carefully seal the boxes with packing tape. With a permanent marker, write “FRAGILE” on both sides of the box. This lets the movers know that it has to be handled with extra care. It will also helpful to label the boxes to the specific room it goes to. A short description of what is inside can also be included for easier sorting in your new home.


Mark it with an “X” across the glass. For artworks with glass frames, the same steps above apply, but before wrapping it with glassine, make sure that you put an “X” symbol on the entire surface of the glass using painter’s tape. In cases when unexpected accidents happen, and for some reason, the glass breaks, the tape will prevent the glass from shattering further.


Unframed artworks like posters, pictures, paintings, or canvas prints require proper packing techniques to ensure that these delicate items are not torn or folded while in transit. Before doing anything, make sure your hands are clean and dry first. Alternatively, you can wear cotton gloves when touching these pieces. Work on a clean and flat surface and lay out a clean cloth, just like the instructions above.

On the surface, put two layers of glassine and make it a bit larger than the actual shape of the artwork. This will serve as the outer protective layer of the piece. For paper prints, place the artwork face-up (the image facing you) so that when you roll it, the image goes in, and the art is protected.

For artworks on fabric, like canvas or linen, the image should be face down. Roll them with the image on the outside, because this lessens the risk of the material cracking or wrinkling. Cover the artwork with another sheet of glassine. Gently roll it up making sure that you do not fold or wrap the piece too tightly. Secure the roll with artist tape and fold the very end of the tape so that you can take it out easily without accidentally tearing up the prints when you unroll it.

Next, wrap it with bubble wrap. This time, the smooth surface should face inwards. Roll the artwork until you are certain that you can fit this piece snugly inside the poster tube. Gently put the wrapped piece in the tube, seal properly with packing tape and label accordingly.


Additional tips when moving

When the day of the big move comes, place the artwork in a secure place where there is no risk of other things falling over it or it falling over. Also, while it may seem more cost-effective and time-saving to pack several canvases together in a box, it is highly recommended to pack artwork separately.

Packing valuable art might be very challenging but following these steps even without the help of movers, you will be able to do it properly. You do not know the bumpy roads your stuff might go through while in transit so it is always better to be safe than sorry. Packing your artwork securely will definitely be worth the effort when you can hang it in your new home!



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