Packing art work- paintings

A friend of Kind Aesthetic reached out to us inquiring how she should best pack and ship some paintings of hers, without hiring professional art shippers. Here's some info to get you started.


 *white gloves to handle the work  
  *enough clean space to spread out
  *blue painters tape
  *stronger plastic tape
  *bubble wrap with 1 inch big bubbles, foam or soft material (no peanuts)

 *your work should be in the same orientation when packed as it should be shown- always mark which side is up on the piece somehow
 *never let tape touch the art directly
 *use the blue tape on the packing that is closest to the piece, so it's easy to see and remove- you can use the stronger plastic tape on outer layers of protection
 *most everything you use to frame and pack the work should be archival
 *pay special attention to edges and corners 
 *use bubble wrap with the bubbles facing out around the actual piece
 *cover your package with Fragile stickers

From Flickr,  by louisa_catlover

From Flickr, by louisa_catlover

Now to the actual painting: 

1) Cover the front of the painting with a sheet of soft-spun Tyvek or glassine and tape it to the back of the painting or the stretcher bars.  This can be done twice if you wish.
2) Completely cover the front of the painting with a piece of cardboard the same size of the painting.
3) Place styrofoam or cardboard corners around the corners of the piece. You can make them or buy them.
4) Wrap the piece with bubble wrap with the bubble facing out and tape it up.
5) Wrap with another piece of bubble wrap with bubbles facing in and tape it up.
6) Place the work in a cardboard box and stuff the space around the work with bubble wrap or other similar materials. The piece should be suspended in the center of the box with packing material surrounding it on all sides. (see image above how to make your own box or acquire at a place like Uline, Uhaul, etc.)

If your paintings are really large (over 30x40) they should really be hand delivered or handled by an art shipper. If you are using a common shipper, it's recommended to build a wooden box or crate. You can see tutorials on line, like this one.

Make sure your package can handle a one-inch deep gouge, jostling and general knocking around, and remember that common carriers don't have climate controlled vehicles. And don't forget the paperwork! Assure your piece is labeled inside and outside with all the correct info and get tracking and insurance.

As far as which carrier to use, everyone has their own preference- check with studio mates and other friends.  

Good luck! Who ever is on the other side of this package is sure in for a delight. 


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