7 Tips on Shipping Paintings to Art Shows


7 Tips for Shipping Paintings to Galleries. These are great tips to follow. Believe me you don't want to do the things that Galleries hate and get them upset with you.

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.

7 Tips for Shipping Paintings to Galleries. These are great tips to follow. Believe me you don't want to do the things that Galleries hate and get them upset with you.


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


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.

7 Tips for Shipping Paintings to Galleries. These are great tips to follow. Believe me you don't want to do the things that Galleries hate and get them upset with you.

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.

7 Tips for Shipping Paintings to Galleries. These are great tips to follow. Believe me you don't want to do the things that Galleries hate and get them upset with you.

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.

Happy Painting!


This was posted to RedPaletteStudio.com

Secret to Restoring Old Brushes

There’s nothing like brand new brushes with their razor sharp edges.

I came across a way to get that razor sharp edge back on old brushes.

Look around the house and find some light weight cardboard.  A good place to look is the pantry or laundry room. A cereal box, pasta box or dryer sheet box will do.

Cut strips 1/2 – 1” wide and 1 1/2 – 2” long out of the cardboard from the box.
You’ll need some of the black office clips too.


Clean your brushes well, then use a brush shaper or conditioner. Here is one that I use.

Fold the Cardboard in half, place on the bristles and clip the end


You can also use a wire clothes hanger to hang them up out  of the way while they dry.


Do you have another way to reshape your brushes?  If so, share it with us We’d love to hear about it.

Happy Painting!


This was posted to RedPaletteStudio.com

The Secret to Repairing a Damaged Oil Painting

[ pic of tear]
Your heart skips a beat when you notice that the painting you have labored over for so many hours, has a big gouge in it from some unsuspecting sharp object in your studio.

Or you may have bought a painting that you absolutely fell in love with a few years ago and when you moved to your new house you carefully unwrap that painting you so lovingly wrapped up and find its damaged.  Crap happens.  Not to worry.

If you paint on stretched canvas or linen for very long, its bound to happen.

I stumbled upon this old technique to repair torn canvases.  I tried it out and it works great.

The secret is Beeswax! and it meets the archival smell test of art restorers.

PLEASE NOTE: The technique I will be explaining  is for OIL paintings.  I’m not sure how it would turn out on an Acrylic painting.

What You’ll need:

Pure White Beeswax
Knife or grater
Piece of canvas for the patch (quite a bit larger that the damaged area)
Exacto Knife & cutting surface
Butcher Paper (slick on one side) a piece big enough to cover the patch area
Flat Clean surface that can take the heat of the iron (if its an ironing board make sure that it doesn’t have a waffle patern of metal on the under side)
Small pair of scissors
Titanium white oil paint
Small Paint brush

Please read ALL instructions BEFORE you try to make the repair.  This is one of those projects that you need to lay out, cut and measure everything before you actually take action.  

You don’t need a lot of beeswax, just a little bit in order to shave off some of it for the area. I wouldn’t use a beeswax candle though because there are most likely unknown additives in it that may affect your painting over time. You need PURE WHITE (not yellow) beeswax. Its a available in pellets and in bricks.  The brick is best because the shavings off of it would melt better than pellets plus its cheaper and you get more.  I found some at Amazon for around $6.50  for 5 bricks . (Price may vary by the time you order it) You ‘re not going to need that much but hey, you’ll have some for later repairs or art projects.

The patch needs to be of the same kind of canvas as you are repairing.  It doesn’t have to be exact but get close to the same weave because it would have less of a chance of buckling over time. It needs to be quite a bit bigger than the damaged area.  I just took the canvas off of another very small blank stretched canvas that I had and cut it into a square that was plenty big for the damaged area.

Lets Get started!

Place the damaged canvas FACE DOWN on the clean flat surface.  Try to flatten out the damaged area as much as possible so there won’t be a lumpy surface when the patch is applied.

Shave off some wax from the beeswax bars & sprinkle on top of the damaged area to be covered by the patch on the back of the canvas. You want enough wax to cover the area but you don’t want so much that its going to be oozing thru the tear onto the other side.


Here comes the tricky part…ready?

If you were to just iron on the patch it would cause the painting to buckle over time.

You have to make some cuts to the patch in order to let it have a little ‘give’ for the direction of the weave and the tension that is on it.

Study the diagram below first before reading the rest of this. Some things are just so hard to put into words and its communicated better visually.


The Secret to Repairing a Damaged Oil Painting (Iv'e done this and it actually works. I used it on a canvas and made thousands when I sold the painting. It saves me money now that I know how to do this. And its easy.

Put the patch on the cutting surface NOT ON THE PAINTING to make these cuts.  Duh!

Notice in the diagram where to cut the patch with the exacto knife.  Make sure the cut lines are outside of the area that your are repairing.  You want enough of the patch to cover the tear, then the cuts should fall just outside of that area.

Once the cuts are made, position the patch on top of the beeswax lining up the direction of the weave of the patch to the weave of the canvas.  Make sure the patch is completely centered over the tear and the cut lines on the patch fall outside of the tear.

Put a piece of butcher paper (slick side down), on top of the patch so that the wax doesn’t stick to the iron.

Check again that everything lines up before ironing. 

With iron on a LOW setting, gently iron the patch melting the wax. You’ll have to test out how long you need to leave it on there.  Each iron is a little different.  But of course, what have you got to lose?  Your painting is ruined already, right?

With everything still in place, carefully turn the painting over checking the front of the painting to make sure everything looks ok, that nothing is buckled up or lumpy.  There will still be evidence of the tear. We’ll get to fixing that in a minute.

If everything is ok, then just let it cool.  If something got a little out of place, try to smooth it out best you can while the wax is still warm and press it again with the iron and give it another go.

Trim off the excess canvas once the wax has cooled, with a small pair of scissors.  Trim to within a 1/4” from where the wax is adhered to the painting.

Now to repair the front…

Fill in the cut area with Titanium White Paint.  Don’t over paint more than necessary or you will have more to blend in later.  This step is sort of like glueing the fibers of the painting from the front side.  Make it as smooth as possible and let dry completely.

Once the Titanium White is dry, its time to start mixing oil paint to match the appropriate colors to retouch the torn area to blend in to the rest of the painting. Try not to go into the surrounding areas more than necessary. Once it dries, it may end up a different color so this may take a few attempts.

Depending on if the painting had a varnish on it or not, you may have to revarnish the painting or you might can just get away with varnishing that area to blend in. There will be another post about Varnishing that you can read up on how to do that.

If you have made successful repairs to paintings, please share it with us.  I would love to hear about it.

Happy Painting!


This was posted to RedPaletteStudio.com




I love, love, love my Soltek easel! I’ve had it for about 5 years and use it all the time.  I still use my EasyL pochade though because different circumstances & environments call for different easels.  

Solteks are known for being the divas of all the easels.  They have to be pampered.  Of course, if you make the investment for a Soltek you’ll WANT to pamper it.
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