Shipping Paintings

How do you get those pantings to the gallery, or the client, that lives far away?  It can be a challenge, and a considerable expense.  

Every artist has their own ways of having their work transported and many prefer to leave that chore to others that specialize in shipping, or they may use companies that will pick up the art and deliver it, no packaging required - that is convenient, but more expensive than doing it yourself.  Some artists even prefer to just deliver the art themselves if the distance is not too far.  

I have always packaged and shipped my paintings using courier services.  I have actually shipped thousands of paintings over the years and I find it simple and very manageable.  I still make my own boxes, like the ones you see in the cover photo, but I also like to use a method I learned from one of my galleries that I think is the easiest to use.  Here's how to do it:

This is a picture of the things you will need, from bottom left to right:  Shrink wrap roll, packing tape and dispenser, roll of packing paper, masking tape, utility knife.  The items are all sitting on a piece of 1 inch  insulating foam that you can buy at the hardware store.  It comes in 4x8' sheets.  It is very light and easy to cut with the utility knife.  This is NOT styrofoam, the white stuff that crumbles into little pieces when you cut or break it.


 Wrap your paintings or panels in the wrapping paper.  You can buy these rolls at shipping supply stores or even some hardware stores.


If you have more than one painting to ship, stack them together with the painted sides facing inward.

 Use the shrink wrap to bundle them together so they cannot move around.

Cut pieces of the foam board to cover the tops and sides, creating a box around the paintings.  Use the packing tape to hold the pieces in place.

Use the brown paper to cover it over and tape the corners and edges to help prevent tearing.

It's just that easy.

Here is a quick time lapse video of the process:

I use an online shipping broker company called Freightcom.  It is an excellent company that works with several courier companies and provides very good discounts compared to dealing directly with the courier companies.  Once I have entered the address of the recipient and enter the dimensions and weight of the package, I can choose from a list of courier companies that shows their rates and delivery schedule.  I print off the labels and the paintings are picked up at my door.