Ensuring you have the proper materials to prepare and pack your piece of art is essential to limiting potential damage to your item during transit. For the security of your item and in order to insure it through your chosen carrier you must use new packing materials. Measure art so you know the type and quantities of materials you will need. Once you have measured your piece, find a box that is at least 3 inches larger on every side than the widest part of the item. Keep in mind that this applies to the wrapped dimensions, so you may need to hold off on measuring.
Before you can even think about putting your art into a box, you must prepare the piece so it is thoroughly protected. Do not rely on just a cardboard box to protect it.
Don’t forget antique frames are ornate and delicate that they may flake off in your hands if you touch them.
If your painting is behind glass then you will need a special glass tape to protect it, like 3M’s Scotch Blue.
If there is no glass then that means the painting is exposed. To protect these works of art wrap the painting, canvas print or picture in acid free tissue paper. Even if the item is framed you can still wrap the piece in tissue paper.
Regardless if framed or unframed, with glass or without, wrap the item in paper. This will protect the frame and matte from being scratched, dinged, stained or contacted by any outside element.
Bubble wrap the whole piece. Wrap and seal all the seems. This will help keep out moisture. If you are shipping overseas your shipping agent may add moisture monitors to your shipment.
Sandwich the art between paper, bubble wrap and between two pieces of cardboard. The higher the value the better the cardboard should be. Then place in a new packing box, at this point styrofoam peanuts can be used if required.
If you are dealing with a particularly valuable or fragile art piece you can add foam corners or foam reinforcements.
Now that your art is properly prepped and packed, you are now ready to choose a shipping company to transport your art!
Some things to be aware of:
Bubble wrap is great for padding your art in transit, but it should not come in direct contact with the art. It can stick to the varnish leaving an imprint of the bubble wrap on the surface of the painting.
Don’t use Styrofoam Peanuts when Shipping Paintings. There are two main reasons for this:
Peanuts don’t work in a painting box and can actually cause damage. Peanuts will settle to the bottom of the box and as the box gets jostled about in transit, the bottom of the box will flex and expand, allowing more peanuts to concentrate there. The space at the top of the box will be left unprotected. Peanuts make a huge mess. There is simply no way to get a painting, photo or print out of a box filled with peanuts without disgorging them all over the unpacking area. Peanuts are very difficult to clean up, they scatter before the broom, and often, if they’ve picked up a static charge, will literally jump out of the rubbish bin
International Fine Art Shipping by Move One