How to pack artwork?

Packing your artwork neatly and professionally not only leaves a good impression on the buyer, but it also minimizes the chances of damage during shipping. To pack your artwork neatly and professionally, use the right packing material:

1. Glassine Paper
2. Bubble Wrap for padding
3. Cardboard corners to protect the corners of artwork
4. Packing tape
5. Artist tape (it is acid free and easily removable)
6. Cardboard box for framed / stretched artwork and tube for a roll.

Step 1. Make sure your hands are clean.

Step2. “X”. If your painting or print has a glass cover, take some masking tape and place an X across the glass. This will ensure that even in the event of breakage, the broken glass does not damage the work.

Step 3. Glassine. If your picture is not covered in glass it is critical to protect the painted face. Put your painting face down on the glassine, leaving enough room to wrap around the edges. Glassine is a glossy, smooth, non-abrasive, acid-free paper, it is moisture and grease resistant and it’s not going to stick to the surface of your painting. To fix glassine do not use packing tape, only artist tape. DO NOT use printed paper, newspaper, or anything printed with ink to create the first layer of packing.

Step 4. Cardboard corners. If the painting is framed, you need to add cardboard corner protectors for your piece.

Step 5. Bubble wrap. Place the surface of your face-down painting against the flat or the smooth side of the bubble wrap. If you put the raised side of the bubble on your piece, there is a chance that it might leave an impression of the bubbles on your painting. It is better to wrap a piece in multiple layers of bubble wrap and then seal the bubble wrap with tape.

Step 6. The box. Use a box that is slightly bigger than the artwork so as to make room for the extra protective padding. If you pack more than one piece into a box, put some cardboard between them so that the front of the canvases are facing each other in the box. Close the box but do not seal it. Gently move the box back and forth and see if you feel anything shifting. If you do, you need to open the box and add more padding until everything stays put.

Step 7. Seal and label. Once that is done, you can tape the boxes shut and mark them as FRAGILE and ARTWORK so the couriers will know to take extra care.
Packing sculpture needs especial care. 

a man is packing an artwork

What you need for tube packaging: 

1. Glassine paper 
2. Artist tape (acid free and easily removable) 
3. Triangular tube large enough to hold your artwork.

Step 1. Lay out the glassine paper and then put the artwork over the glassine paper. If it is an original artwork it should be rolled with the artwork facing outward. the paper needs to be longer than the artwork on all sides so that it can be used to tuck in the edges for extra protection. 

Step 2. If you are shipping more than one artwork in the same tube, you can place a layer of glassine on top of the first artwork before placing the next one and repeat the process. 

Step 3. Carefully roll up the artwork by the shorter side and place it into the triangular tube.

Step 4. Put the certificate of authenticity alongside the rolled artwork and close the tube and secure it additionally with tape. And your package will be ready for shipping.

packing peanuts

To pack your sculpture use: 

1. Bubble wrap 
2. Packing tape 
3. Shredded paper 
4. A sturdy cardboard box if it is a small sculpture and a wooden crate for bigger sculptures.

Step 1. Bubble wrap. Wrap the top of the sculpture securely in bubble wrap and then wrap it with tape. Wrap the bottom of the sculpture in bubble wrap, sealing all edges with tape. You can wrap extra bubble wrap around the middle of the work if necessary, and secure all layers with tape. 

Step 2. Cardboard box vs. Wooden crate. Your box should be bigger than your sculpture on all sides. This is to protect the sculpture from hitting against the sides of the box. Fill the bottom of the box with several centimeters of shredded paper. It should be thick enough so that the sculpture does not get to the bottom of the box. For heavier and larger works that have a greater surface area and therefore are more likely to be bumped, a wooden crate provides better protection.

Step 3. Filling. Place the work inside the prepared box. Start carefully filling in all empty spaces in the box with shredded paper or packing peanuts. There should be around 5-7cm around all the sides of the work. 

Step 4 (optional). The double-box. For especially fragile works you can use double-box for your art. Wrap the artwork and pack the first box as described, then prepare a second, larger box with several centimeters of packing material at the bottom. Place the first box (with a taped top) in the second box, and fill in all space between the two boxes tightly with packing material. This adds an extra barrier between your work and the outside world and keeps the work as stable and still as possible.

Step 5. Label. Mark the outside box as FRAGILE, and label on each side which way up: THIS SIDE UP, with an arrow pointing up to the top of the box.