7 Tips on Shipping Paintings to Art Shows
Nothing worse than to find out your painting was ruined by the time it was delivered. Not a good feeling.
Here are some good rules to go by:
1. Of course it has to be THOROUGHLY DRY!
You wouldn’t believe how many artists do this. You spend all this time to create a wonderful painting and then rush getting it into the box and ship it off. Seriously? Not professional.
2. NO Saw Tooth Hangers.
Big No No! If you have some, just throw them out or find another use for them. If you are going to be entering paintings in shows or galleries, they won’t accept them with saw tooth hangers. Period. Again, not professional.
3. FOLLOW ALL DIRECTIONS!
Each show/event has their own set of instructions they want followed. Do it. They may want labels placed in a certain area on the back of the painting, envelopes attached, return postage included, pat your head, rub your belly and stand on one foot while putting it into the box. Read them carefully. Some of them can get really ridiculous on what they want but, whatever. You want them to like you right? So comply.
4. Wrap It Well
Wrap the DRY painting in freezer paper first. (waxy side toward the painting.) Then I may wrap it in brown craft paper. I don’t use bubble wrap because if your painting is the least bit impressionable it could leave a pattern of the bubbles on the surface. Not good. However, I have had some shows require that it be in bubble wrap. In that case, make sure the painting is very well wrapped before putting the bubble wrap around it.
5. Pack It
ABSOLUTELY NO PEANUTS! I’ll say it again ABSOLUTELY NO PEANUTS!
Yes, peanuts may keep the painting in place inside the box but who wants to UNPACK a box full of foam peanuts and have all the clean up to do after? Not me and certainly not the gallery. You’re just creating more work on their part and putting them in a bad mood. You don’t want to be THAT person.
A great way to pack your painting is to save up packing materials from previous shipments and reuse them if possible. (except the peanuts of course)
Crumpled up craft paper can be used to go around all the edges. (front, back, top, bottom and both sides). Don’t skimp on this. The weight of the painting can crush the paper even further in transit and create room for it to shift around, so crush up the paper really good & pack it in.
Another method that works very well are the 4’x8’ sheets of foam insulation at Home Depot. Cut them down to the size of your painting and cover all the way around, creating a sort of box around it, then pack as described above.
I have also double boxed paintings before. Pack the painting in a box then pack that box in a bigger box.
Speaking of boxes…
6. Boxing It Up
Yes, I reuse boxes but, they have to be in good condition and they need to be fairly clean on the outside free of other labels. Whatever box you use it needs to have ALOT of room around the entire painting. Don’t use a box that only has an inch or so around the edges, unless its a box you are using for the inside box in the double boxing method.
Extremely good boxes to use for artwork are AirFloat System boxes. https://airfloatsys.com They are very pricey but most shows or events will make sure they send it back to you if you have instructions inside to do so along with prepaid shipping. They are very strong and can be used over and over again.
As of this post I know I have used mine about 8 times. I might have to retire it soon. It’s looking a little shabby.
As far as who to use to ship it…Your guess is as good as mine. I’ve had good and bad experiences with all of them, FedEx, UPS & USPS.
7. Then of course to insure or not to insure? That is the question.
Check with the shipper and go over the insurance they offer very carefully. I know someone that recently sent 2 paintings worth thousands and thousands of dollars and the client never received their paintings. The artists had insured them but the shipping company showed that delivery was denied when in fact it was damaged sitting in a warehouse.
What methods have you found successful in shipping your paintings? Please share it with us.
This was posted to RedPaletteStudio.com