Packing & Shipping Arwork

I haven’t had to ship any of my artwork but I was curious the methods other artists are using?

What about paintings that are still dry to the touch but not cure? I concerned about packing materials damaging the painting and/or sticking to the surface of the painting.

Do you use gift boxes for shipping your art? Which company/brand do you use?

Any tips of packing or shipping would be greatly appreciated.

Thx - Rick

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An excellent question Richard! Here is a post that describes some aspects of our practices for shipping painting and drawings from the studio to a gallery or frame shop:

Many here ship unframed drawings with something like this:

Here’s another useful insight:

Great, thank you very much!

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I get art boxes (they usually say “Art Box” on them) from the UPS Store. They have a burst rating of 275 lbs. per sq. in. and I haven’t had any problems with them showing up damaged.

I typically cut a piece of cardboard (double wall preferably) to fit the box, then lay it flat and place the framed painting face down in the center. I then make 2 sets of equidistant cuts about 2-3” wide (only one directly in the center if the painting is small) in the cardboard beneath and above the painting. I bend the cardboard over the frame and wrap plastic around the whole thing (the plastic wrap is 4” wide on a dispenser thingy I got from my wholesale frame shop). If I have two paintings to ship at once, I’ll wrap the first one to the cardboard, turn it over and then wrap the second one onto that. Next I cut more cardboard with cutouts (hard to explain, I’ll have to take pics next time) and put it on the top and bottom to keep the painting in the middle of the box. I make it exactly the width of the box so the painting is immobile. It doesn’t really need any more packaging than that, but if I only have single wall cardboard I might fill up the space with bubble wrap just to make myself feel better.

I paint in acrylic, so I don’t know about shipping oil paintings that aren’t totally dry. If you’re shipping it framed (personally, I’d be afraid to ship it unframed, so hopefully that’s the case) there should be no problem with this method, as the frame keeps the painting away from the cardboard. However, if you’re worried you can buy release paper. It won’t stick to the painting and will keep the surface from sticking to anything. If you’re shipping it framed it won’t likely matter, and the release paper should be unnecessary. But if you’re worried, it’s an option.

I wish I had pictures so I could explain it better, but I found some old pics that might help. It’s close to how I do it now. This painting is soft pastel, which is why it’s in a plastic bag, but I don’t do that with acrylic paintings. If I’m shipping larger paintings, the horizontal wrap is overkill, so I don’t do it. I like the way I do it now with the cardboard keeping the painting centered in the box, but this works really well, too.

Hope that was helpful and not just massively confusing. :slight_smile:



Thank you very much for the suggestion. I’ll look into release paper. I was thinking of wax paper but release may be better.

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