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How To Pack Paintings for Safe Shipping

Posted in Moving on Apr 08, 2020, tagged with artwork, guest article

Shipping paintings may seem simple, but if you're new to transporting artwork or haven't prepared a painting for shipment in awhile, it's easy to overlook critical steps and safety measures that will keep your pieces safe in transit:

  1. Selecting the right packing method
  2. Protecting your painting by packing it securely

When selecting a shipping method, consider:

  • Mounting: Unmounted canvases can be rolled and shipped in tubes. Stretched canvases should be carefully packed in boxes. If your painting is framed under glass, you’ll need to take extra precautions to protect the glass and limit any damage if it does break in transit.
  • Size: Small pieces can be shipped in fresh, unused double-wall corrugated cardboard boxes. Anything larger than 48” on one side should be crated.
  • Value: For particularly valuable works of art, it’s highly recommended that you purchase additional insurance based on the value of the piece (not its weight) to ensure you’re covered in case it does sustain damage. Paintings must be properly packaged according to strict requirements in order to be insured.
  • Fragility: No matter what size of painting you are shipping, packing them properly to prevent puncture and other damage is essential.
  • Quantity: If you ship or are planning to ship a lot of artwork, you may want to set up recurring shipments with a consolidated freight shipper. With the best freight shipping companies, recurring shipments can be scheduled in as little as a single email.

Follow these steps to keep your paintings safe in transit:

  1. Clear a work surface. 
  2. Measure your artwork.
  3. Take photos from all angles.
  4. Put on your protective gloves and start packing. 

From here, how you pack your painting will depend on whether you are shipping it in a tube, a box, or a crate. 

For detailed step-by-step instructions for packing paintings into a tube, box, or crate, as well as mistakes to avoid and special considerations to keep in mind, read our latest article on Everything With A Twist.