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

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