Shipping art such as paintings is equally difficult as shipping delicate antique items. Say, your paintings have been finally accepted to be showcased in an art gallery but the exhibition is in Paris. You now need to pack your paintings individually, so that they don’t rub against each other and get damaged.
As a struggling artist, it can be hard to bear the cost of packaging. The cost of shipping any kind of artwork depends on its weight, which means you cannot wrap the painting in layers of wraps and boxes or you will be paying extra.
Depending on how you want the art delivered, there are two types of packaging you can do: One for shipping art that is ‘ready to hang’ and the other where you remove the stretcher bars and roll the painting into a tube.
Shipping ‘Ready to Hang’ Art
Paintings that are ready to hang and have glass over them must be double wrapped to protect the glass from breaking. Here’s what you need to do:
- Customize a cardboard sheet into a wrapped box according to the size of the painting
- Place the painting on the sheet and use a cutter to make light cuts along the edges of the painting
- Wrap the painting in plastic and secure the ends at the back
- To protect the glass, use masking tape that is specially made for holding the painting’s glass together in case of an accidental breakage (if the glass breaks, the shards will stick to the tape and prevent the painting from getting scratched)
- Place the painting on the sheet and mold the cardboard sheet into a box
- Secure the corners with heavy duty tape
- Wrap the painting with bubble wrap
- Finally, slide this bubble-wrapped painting into the cardboard box
Shipping Rolled Art
Here are the supplies that you will need to pack your art:
- Bubble wrap
- Box cutter and scissors
- Artist tape
- PVC or cardboard tube
Note: When choosing a tube for your art, make sure that it is at least 4 inches taller than your painting’s height. As for when the painting is rolled, the tube needs to be 6 inches wider than your artwork’s rolled width. This is because when the painting is rolled, the diameter of the paper is doubled.
Lay down the glassine sheets on a surface and spread your painting on it. If the painting is on paper, then the art should be facing up, towards you and if the painting is on fabric, it should be face down on the glassine sheet. Create a thick layer by placing at least two to three sheets with the painting.
Align the glassine sheets and start rolling the painting. Remember, the first roll should be the glassine sheet and not the painting. This will prevent the edges from rolling in themselves and tearing.
Secure the middle of the roll with artist tape.
Place the roll on the bubble wrap and leave a few inches from both ends. Gently roll the bubble paper and secure that too with artist tape.
Fold the bubble wrap from the ends and create a cushion for the edges.
Slide the roll into the tube and close the top. Wrap this entire tube with tape and label the package.
There you go! Your artwork successfully rolled and packed, and on its way to your exhibition. Bon voyage, art!