How to Store Framed Paintings, Prints, and Mirrors

Do you have framed pictures or mirrors that you will be storing in your self-storage unit? Are you wondering what’s the best way to wrap them, to keep them clean and undamaged?

If you are storing valuable paintings or prints, enlist the help of a reputable framing company to help you package your items, then store them in a climate controlled storage area.

If your “treasures” are more ordinary, and you just want to keep them clean, dry, and scratch-free, consider the self-storage tips below:

Small Frames

Small frames and small mirrors can be stored in a heavy cardboard box, sandwiched between foam core or heavy cardboard. Remember to cover the box with its lid and mark the box with “Fragile” on all four sides and on the top of the box. Place the box where other boxes will not be stored on top. If dampness or rainwater is a possibility, place the box on a wooden pallet, or on top of your other sturdily packed boxes.

Large Frames

For larger frame, consider these steps to secure your belongings:

Step One: Wrap with Paper

Wrap each frame in heavy, plain white or brown paper to keep the frame and artwork clean. Don’t use newspaper, as it will tear over time, and may transfer inks to your possessions. Fold the paper in the back, as if you are wrapping a present, and use a good quality tape to secure it closed. If there is no glass to protect the painting or print, be extra careful to keep the paper from sticking to the artwork. Don’t tape the wrapping to the frame or artwork, as the glue in the tape may cause discoloration or pull pieces off later.

Step Two: Frame Protectors

Place quality, corrugated frame protectors at all four corners. If they are loose, tape them to the paper. Frame protectors can be purchased at frame stores and on Amazon.

Step Three: Bubble Wrap

Wrap the frame again, this time using bubble wrap. Fold the ends over and secure it with the tape. If you have a little bubble wrap left over, use it to line the box for added padding.


Find a box or carton large enough and strong to hold your frames, transport it to the storage destination, and locate it close to a wall. To avoid water damage, locate away from potentially leaky pipes and place on a sturdy wooden pallet. Careful transport the wrapped frames and arrange them in the box or carton, standing on one end. If they don’t stay standing, carefully lean them against the wall. Cover everything with a sheet, to keep out the dust.

Have other storage questions? Call our managers in Fountain Valley at (714) 964-1607 and Riverside at (951) 735-0211. They will be happy to assist you!

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