Published On: Fri, Jun 28th, 2019

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Packing Paintings for Shipping

Be it a small print or a large oil painting, each piece of art is unique, and each requires a special way to package and ship. If you do not want the artwork to be damaged during the move, you need to be very careful when packing it for the transportation, no matter locally or to another state. So what are the main things to consider? Here are several tips from Fine Art Shippers, an international art logistics company with over 20 years of experience in packing and shipping fine art.

photo Clker-Free-Vector-Images

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Packing Paintings for Shipping

  1. Glass protection

If you are shipping a framed painting, the first thing to consider is the proper protection of the glass. If possible, remove the glass from the painting to avoid damage to the artwork from sharp pieces in case of breakage. If not, tape the glass fully with strips of protective blue tape. This will hold glass pieces in place and protect the surface of the painting if something goes wrong in transit.

  1. Proper wrapping

Whether you are moving your painting to the local gallery or preparing it for further international shipment, proper wrapping is crucial because it provides the artwork with the required physical protection and helps isolate it from humidity fluctuations. For this purpose, you will need packing paper or acid-free glassine paper (in case you are packing an unframed painting) and bubble wrap.


  1. Bubble wrap

Bubble wrap can be used only as the second layer of protection, so make sure it does not directly touch the artwork. Bubble wrap is a plastic material that can leave an impression on the surface of your painting, which is, in many cases, is impossible to remove. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to wrap the artwork with special packing paper or acid-free glassine paper first.

  1. Cardboard boxes

When choosing a cardboard box for packing your painting, opt for a new one. It should be a durable double- or triple-wall corrugated box able to bear the weight of your artwork. It is also very important to choose the box of the appropriate size. It should be slightly larger than your painting, but not too large as it will lead to unnecessary overpacking. A sturdy cardboard box that is three inches larger than the painting in each dimension is a good one.

  1. Packing peanuts

While packing peanuts are used for packing many items, they are not suitable for packing a painting and a whole range of other delicate and fragile pieces. The fact is that using packing peanuts that will freely move around the box can lead to a painting shifting and ultimately to its damage. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you use bubble wrap instead of packing peanuts for cushioning. It is the only correct way to go when packing a painting.

  1. Custom wooden crate

If you are packing a painting for shipping to another state or country, a cardboard box is not enough for its utmost protection. In such a case, you will need a custom wooden crate built for your particular artwork. A wooden crate will protect the painting from almost any type of damage and ensure that it arrives at the destination in perfect condition.

It is also important to remember that each painting has its own packing requirements and provides its own unique challenges. The above tips will work in most cases, but it is still recommended that you consult a professional art shipping company before packing a valuable painting for shipping over a long distance.  

Author: Aalia Ray

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