Shipping a piece of art, especially paintings are not that hard of a job. Say, you are trying to import a painting to the UK that needs to be displayed at a gallery. If the painting is sold, you receive your share of the sales and the gallery takes their cut. However, if the painting is not sold, it is either shipped back to you or to another country.
In most cases, there are no custom charges but there is a small amount of VAT involved. For paintings that are antiques, original pieces of work and more than 100 years old, 5% VAT is charged on them. However, if the painting is an imitation, it is subjected to 20% VAT charge. With that being said, let’s focus on how the art should be shipped. Following is a step by step process that will help you in packing your painting:
Things You Will Need
- Glassine paper
- Poly wrap
- Bubble wrap
- Two-ply cardboard
- Packing tape
- Artist tape
- Pair of scissors
- Cardboard box
- Packing peanuts (optional)
- Spread glassine paper on a work surface and place the painting face down on it (the glassine paper protects the surface of the painting and prevents it from getting scratched)
- Fold the corners and tape them with artist tape (artist tape is acid-free and therefore, can be removed easily during unpacking. Still, make sure that the tape is attached to the frame and not the painting)
- Fashion small triangle pockets from the glassine paper and slips them on to the corners
- Using poly wrap, cover the painting twice and secure the sides and corners with packing tape
- Take the two-ply cardboard and place the painting on it
- Cut around the edges, leaving at least 2 inches of space
- Using another two-ply cardboard, fashion a customized box by pinching the sides or folding them
- Secure the corners and sides with packing tape
- Bubble wrap this cardboard box and secure it with packing tape
- Slide this wrapped package into the cardboard box (the cardboard box in question here must be bought in advance from a store. It should be slightly bigger in length and larger in breadth so that the wrapped package can slide in easily)
- Tape the box from top to bottom to prevent it from sliding out
- Label the cardboard box “Handle with Care”
Note: If you feel that there’s space in the card box that might not keep the painting steady, then pack them with packing peanuts.
Packing artwork is very easy… that is if you have the right tools. The glassine paper used here in the first step of the packing process is the most important packaging material. Without it, the surface of the painting would be destroyed.
The final step is to get insurance for your package in case it gets damaged in transit.
The package is now good to go.