How to Ship a Painting
As any art lover knows, paintings are delicate objects that require care and attention. Sadly, they are also subject to a variety of dangers during transport, from the effects of repeated or careless handling, to changes in temperature and humidity.
These conditions can cause a variety of problems for your painting, including cracking, splitting, and peeling of the paint or canvas. To protect your paintings during transport, it is important to take a few simple precautions. Whether it’s packaging, exposure to other weather conditions or bumps along the way, Globex will guide you and help you safely ship your paintings in this article.
Shipping paintings in a few steps
When it comes to transporting valuable artwork, you can’t just throw it in a box and hope for the best. You need to take special measures to ensure its safety during all stages of transportation.
If your painting has a frame, inspect it to make sure it is suitable for transport. Also, if it is dented or has a sharp edge, put felt or another padded cloth barrier on the frame to prevent it from wearing down and breaking during transport. If the painting is not framed or if the frame is too fragile, use a transport frame to hold the canvas. Don’t forget to insure your shipment!
Use low-tack tape on glass-framed paintings. If your frame breaks, the broken glass will be held in place by the adhesive and will not damage the artwork. To ensure the safe transport of your artwork, here are some steps to safe shipments:
- Put corner covers on the edges of the frame as needed
- Insert a slightly larger sheet of rigid cardboard behind or in front of the painting and fold the edges over the sides of the frame. Ensure that the whole art piece is fixed with adhesive tape
- To avoid any snagging or shocks, add bubble wrap to the packaging of the painting. You can add a sheet of polyethylene if necessary for waterproofing
- Clearly indicate the front and the back on the packaging
Packing materials and crating supplies
If a painting is suitable for local or international shipping and a suitable frame and protective backing are already in place, it will then need to be properly packed and crated. This step will ensure the safety of the painting during transport.
Crate your artwork with these steps:
- Make sure the painting is dry before packing it. Do not pack a work of art that is still wet with paint, coating or varnish
- When packing the frame, wrap the canvas in bubble wrap after placing it into the crate. We recommend that you use several layers to protect the canvas and fold the excess over the front of the canvas, which is the most fragile part. To secure the flaps, use masking tape, which is less sticky than regular tape and will make unpacking easier
- Place the canvas on a cardboard sheet to make the package. Mark the size of the canvas and add 1 inch to it. Mark around the canvas, then add a strip around the perimeter that matches the thickness of the canvas (plus 1 inch for the extra space with the bubble wrap). Cut the cardboard along the marks, then fold the edges to match the thickness
- Place the canvas in the box and tape it shut. Put cardboard around the corners of the package to make it airtight
Temperature is an important factor when shipping a painting. Since paint is more sensitive to cool temperatures, it is best not to transport a painting in an unheated vehicle in cold weather. Paint materials are more easily damaged at extreme temperatures, so it is recommended to use a temperature-controlled transport truck with shock absorbing qualities.
To preserve the quality of the paint, the vehicle’s temperature should not be too low or too high, which can be ensured by an air regulation system. Please refer to ICC Note 10/4 on Environmental Guidelines for Paintings.
Trust Globex to ship your artwork and paintings
Works of art, such as paintings and sculptures, are very fragile pieces. They can be easily damaged if not handled properly. That’s why it’s important to contact a shipping company that is an expert in moving art if you need to have it shipped.
At Globex, our trained staff will be able to answer your questions about packing and shipping your painting. We are also equipped to provide you with cargo insurance and a guarantee against the risks involved when shipping your painting.
We will be able to assist you with the administrative procedures related to the various shipping costs (customs forms) and provide you with an estimate for your shipment.