April 5, 2020
How To Pack Paintings For Shipping

How To Pack Paintings For Shipping


Protecting your artwork from damage is the
main goal when transporting a painting. Paintings are unlike other objects, because
acrylic paint and varnish layers may be soft enough for packing materials, like paper,
to stick to the surface. While bubble wrap shouldn’t leave behind material
like the newspaper did, it may ferrotype a texture; a result from the thin plastic directly
contacting the painting’s surface. To prevent this from occurring, we will construct
a collaring system, which for this little painting is basically a custom cardboard box. Start by marking the width of the work, allowing
additional space to prevent the cardboard from touching the sides of the painting. Lines are drawn to create an outline. Next we factor in the height of the artwork
to all sides of the outline – again we add extra space as we did before – and then draw
an outer square. Cut the cardboard to the outer lines, and
then cut through the cardboard to create tabs on TWO opposite sides. Cut from the inner
pencil line to the edge of the cardboard. Using a ruler as a straight edge, we pull
up the short tabs first. We could have lightly scored the back of the cardboard first to
create a cleaner edge, but this can add weakness to the collar. Then we fold the longer tabs. The tabs are folded over to create strong
corners and then secured with packing tape. Be sure to use strong tape to prevent the
box from pulling apart during shipping. Next we will attach our artwork to the inside
of the box. Flip the painting over, face down, onto a
clean table covered with poly plastic sheeting. There are many methods and kinds of fasteners
which may be used, but we selected industrial strength Velcro for this small painting. If you are concerned about glue residue or
not being able to remove the Velcro from the work later, you can simply staple the Velcro
in place and remove it later. Next we apply the opposite pieces of Velcro
to the inside of the box, and press the artwork firmly. A quick shake test shows the effectiveness
of the Velcro. The entire box is then wrapped in 4 mil polyethylene
plastic sheeting. Because of the collar, the plastic should not come in contact with the
painting during transport. However, if it does, it is one of the safest materials for
the painting to touch as it is less likely to cause the issues that paper and bubble
wrap can create. The sheeting is taped securely, and a cardboard
lid is also taped into place. Now the work can be covered in bubble wrap
and the smaller box is placed into a larger box with more packing materials. And NOW we are ready to send the painting
on its journey! For More Information, please visit goldenpaints.com.

33 thoughts on “How To Pack Paintings For Shipping

  1. You're welcome! I would suggest two things regarding the hook & loop tape (velcro is the brand of the original patent for the stuff) – First, the stuff is ridiculously strong, unless your painting is unusually heavy, you can get by with a lot less. Second, put the hook and loop strips together, pull the backing from one side and stick them on the painting, then remove the backing and press the painting into place (the hooks and loops will be in perfect position automatically)

  2. What about larger paintings? wouldnt the weight of a big painting pull it loose from a velcro connection if it sat upside down during the vibrations of shipping? i'd think so. is there a solution for that?

  3. This is great, it will allow me to add larger items to my shop! Once again your videos have helped my work so much!

  4. Hook and loop tape would probably NOT be a good idea for a larger painting. However, as an option even with smaller paintings, you can also fasten the painting to a backing board with staples or tacks. Also, remember, you will probably need more clearance in front if the canvas in a larger paintings as it will naturally flex in and out farther in the middle as the span of canvas increases.

  5. This presentation doesn't allow for hanging gear on the back of the painting and assumes it is flat.

  6. Pam, thanks for the feedback. This video is tailored to smaller works that often doesn't have hanging gear – but we'll take that into account when we produce a similar video addressing larger paintings.

  7. I use glossy pure transparent plastic to wrap the painting. But i had some feedback that acrylic varnish is sticking with plastic and making lot of troubles.

  8. That is a common complaint, and why this video was created. The most consistent shipping recommendation we can make is to avoid putting any material in contact with the surface of a painting. This is the best practice regardless of the medium used on the painting, or the material used for wrapping the painting. We're working on a video that shows how this is done with larger paintings. Thanks for watching.

  9. How would you ship an acrylic painting on paper, say 8"x10"? I can't figure out how to ship it without having materials touching the surface. I use the poly sheeting and it doesn't seem to stick.

  10. It will help to run a bookbinders bone folder along the lines if you want them to crease properly – however, a coin works well, or a blunt knife. If you are making a large box, you might make the corner cut about an eighth of an inch slot, rather than a simple knife cut. Neat idea!

  11. Dang.  Nice idea.  You could probably drop that off a 100 story building and run over it with a mack truck and it'll still be fine.

  12. Hi,
    Thank you for this video. I tried it with a much larger canvas 90cm x 30cm and double corrugated cardboard. Mechanically, velcro worked perfectly. I put velcro all along the perimeter, in the back of the frame. The painted was transported in the cargo hold of an airplane, during a short flight of 2 hrs. Sadly the paint arrived with multiple cracks, specially where the paint layer is thin. This is an oil paint.

    In this document "Determining the Acceptable Ranges of Relative Humidity And Temperature in Museums and Galleries, Part 2, Structural Response to Temperature", by Marion F. Mecklenburg, from Museum Conservation Institute, which I found through a common search engine, the author says that extreme low temperatures can generate cracks in oil paints. I believe the temperature at the cargo hold might have been too low and caused the cracks. I can't think of a simple and low cost solution to avoid this in the future.

    Do you have any experience on how to avoid this? I still need to fly with this paint once again and then I won't have any chance at getting it restored.

    Thank you again for all your help

  13. You mentioned staples as an alternative, if sticky residue from the velcro tape is a problem. But, I wouldn't want to damage a nicely finished, cradled birch wood panel with staples. So, is there a way for clients to easily remove both the industrial strength velcro and the residue?

  14. What grade of cardboard for a 10×12", a 24×36" and a 5×7' painting? Can they all be the same grade/weight?

  15. Hello, where would I start, the bubble wrap problem is always at the discretion of who packs it. In our company, emphasis is on us first to find out how old painting is. And then the inherent packing material is used. So, perhaps, first-time paper and / or TYVEK, then bubble wrap. Finally, either a cardboard package or a wooden box or a tamper-proof crate. Yeah, and with respect to that velcro on the picture? : -I do not know how the artist would look if we stick something to the blind frame or even the canvas. Other interesting video 😉

  16. Hello and Happy New Year. Thats a great video and very helpfull. As an artist i will start painting again and i wanted to know how to ship my creations with care. Thank you So much for the advice. May the 2020 bring health, wealth, love, peace and happynness. ☺️

  17. Pls do make a video on hw to pack 3d paper butterfly canvas art for shipping or suggest one. I could not find a video

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