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How to Ship a Painting

Ship a painting

Whether you are selling, moving, or sending your precious paintings as a gift, it is important to know how to properly pack them for shipping.  These works of arts must be packaged in such a way that they can endure the shipping process without incurring any damage.

It is best to have your extremely valuable paintings be shipped by an expert art moving company just to be sure. But those that don’t cost as much can be shipped thru an ordinary shipping company or via mail without any problems as long as proper packing is done.  Here are some tips on how to pack and ship a painting.

Never ship a painting until it is completely dry.  Don’t get overly excited! Allow your painting to completely dry before you ship it! Nobody would appreciate a painting that is all smudged up! Just so you know, it takes a while for oil paints to dry completely.  Depending on the temperature and humidity, some oil paints can take up to six months to dry. The top layers may be dry to the touch but underlying layers may not be and exposing these paintings to the harsh shipping environment can ruin a masterpiece!

For stretched paintings, it is best to have it framed and shipped in a box. The frame will provide a stable base for the painting and help make sure that nothing comes in contact with the surface of the artwork. Use cardboard corner guards to protect the corners of the frame.

Paintings that are not yet stretched are much easier to ship. Just roll a completely-dried painting around the outside of a cardboard tube with the paint-side in. Wrap in bubble wrap and place inside a large mailing tube. Use acid free paper on to fill both ends of the tube to prevent shifting.  Seat the lids on both send with packaging tape.

Warning on bubble wrap: this wonderful packaging material is surely a shipper’s best friend.  However, it can be detrimental to a painting! The plastic material used in bubble wraps can react with the paint and cause all sorts of havoc that can ruin the art work. To protect the artwork from contact with bubble wrap, use acid-free paper.

Another packaging material to avoid are packing peanuts. They cause static and if broken, they can create many, many little bits of foam which stick to your painting. If you have to use packing peanuts, make sure that your painting is well wrapped in acid-free paper.

To ensure that the painting arrives safe and unscathed, send it fast and first class! The best option for shipping paintings are either two-day or overnight. Remember that the less people handling your painting, the better. A lot of terrible things can happen to a poor painting if it is passed from hand to hand by a shipping company.

Insure the painting and keep the receipt.

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