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Use Professional Art Movers to Prevent Damage to Paintings

Artists consider the aesthetic appeal of their paintings, durability and the integrity of their work. They do not always consider the possibility of having to transport the work to another location. As such, they do not think about aspects such as fragility, possible changes to the paint and quality because of climate changes or material coming in contact with the work.


From the art owner and the artist’s perspectives the artwork is about beauty and meaning. Art movers, however, have to look at artwork differently, whether such are paintings, pottery, sketches or sculptures. They look at dimensions, potential of moisture or light damage, as well as the weight of the artwork.


Successful relocation of artwork is subject to various elements, which the art movers must consider. For one, even if it is an acrylic painting, that is not as brittle as an oil painting, it should still be handled with extreme care. This type of painting is fine under normal weather conditions, but the downside is that because of the more flexible medium, the painting surface can easily be scratched because it is softer.


Dirt also attaches more easily to the acrylic surface because of the permeable character of the surface. It is thus essential to protect the surface area. If the temperature drops too low, the surface will become brittle and any vibrations experienced during transporting of the painting can cause the paint to crack.


How the artwork is made is also an important consideration when transporting it. Even though a rolled canvas is well-protected during transport, the unrolling and resetting of the canvas can cause damage. If the canvas is transported in rolled format, it is essential to protect it against fibres in the rolled casing. When transporting it in normal stretched format, the art movers must protect the front and back, as well as the corners of the painting.


Risks during Transport of Artwork


Any movement of materials across the surface can cause paint loss or burnishing of a matte surface.  The artwork should not be moved with other furniture and equipment and care should be taken in selecting the material to cover it. Avoid plastic or paper packing material that can cling to the surface.


Cracking can occur if the painting is subjected to sub-zero temperatures. It is thus imperative to transport the painting in extra packaging during the winter months. Every painting should be packed in a separate container, so as to avoid scratching that can occur when two paintings bump against each other.


We recommend that you select the most relevant packing case for the artwork to protect against moisture, provide support to absorb vibration from the moving vehicle, and protection against environmental factors. Proper insulation suitable for artwork must be used. The ideal packing case has lifting handles. Carefully select the foam material to be used, as you want something that will not leave fibres and will also not stick to the surface. You want a packing case that can withstand punctures and has excellent structural support to withstand impact.


Protect the Back of the Stretched Canvas


To ensure that a stretched canvas is not damaged during transport, add a strong backboard to the reverse side. This will help to reduce the risk of damage because of vibrations or puncturing of the back surface. The more flexible the backboard is, the higher the risk of vibration damage. If the backboard has foam, make sure it is fitted closely to the canvas without touching it.


How to Roll the Canvas for Transport


Always roll and unpack the canvas at room temperature. Avoid the usage of plastic wrap and do not roll the canvas tightly. Secure the rolled canvas with tape, but be careful not to make it too tight as this will compress the film. Place the rolled canvas in a protective tube which should then be placed in a larger tube with packing materials to absorb any vibration.


From the above information, it becomes clear why it is important to make use of experienced art movers such as Elliott Afrovan. We have our own fleet of vehicles which come with special suspension and lifting equipment. We assign a project manager to your specific relocation project and ensure safe transportation of your valuable artworks.

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