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Protecting your artworks in storage

In a previous blog post, I detailed my method of building a crate to protect paintings when they are shipped off to their new homes. Before they are shipped though, they are kept in storage, and it is just as important to protect them while in storage. There would be nothing worse than selling an artwork, only to realise that it has been damaged while in storage.

To get the best protection whilst in storage I use corner protectors and plastic wrap on the edges. You can buy corner protectors, but I find it simple enough to make my own. I use paper or cardboard, depending on the needs at the time. For example, if I am preparing for an exhibition that will involve transportation to and from the gallery, I opt for card stock as it is more robust. For general storage, I find that paper is sufficient.

Here is how to create your own corner protectors. In the images below I am using paper, but the same method is applicable for card stock.

Start with a simple A4 / letter sheet of paper (cut your car stock to a similar size)

Fold the top right corner to the bottom left corner

Take the opposite top corner and fold it to the bottom corner. You will now have a triangular shape.

Place the paper over the corner of your painting - the pointed end of the triangle should be pointing to the other top corner of your painting. I then align the fold with the centre of the painting stretcher bars, and wrap the sides of the paper down the sides of eth painting. Fold the paper along the edge lines.

Create a snip at each of the fold lines. The size of the cut will depend on the width of your stretcher bars. mine are typically 4cm and so the cuts that I make are about half that width (2cm).

Now place your triangle shape on the vertical side edge of your painting and fold the cut section over the top edge of your painting. Fold the top sections from rear to front and then from front to rear. Apply acid-free tape to hold the top edge in place.

I then wrap plastic wrap along the top and side edges to hold the corner protectors in place, and to add more protection to the painting edges.

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