How to Package a Painting for Shipping

Over the last 15 years, I have relied on the trusty postal service when it comes to sending my work to a destination and in this blog, I’d like to share with you how I package original artwork to ensure a safe arrival. Over the years I have sent all different types of work using 1st class post and I’ve never had a problem with loss or damage.

Here are a few types of artwork that I have sent in the past:

  • Stretched canvases
  • Rolled canvases
  • A large framed drawing (I was sweating until the client received it!)
  • Original drawings
  • Small and large prints


For original artwork and limited-edition prints, I always include a certificate of authenticity. They are shipped flat or rolled depending on the size of the artwork I am sending.


Now today, I am going to package up my latest painting, ‘Lenny’. This beautiful border collie was created with oil paints on a 9”x12” cradled wood panel and although I have never had a problem with damage through transit, touch wood (no pun intended there), I knew that the risk of damage from this rigid support would be very low.


1# Because this is painted with oils, it will take a few days to be touch dry, so I have a dedicated cheap brush which I use to wipe away any unwanted fibres.



2# I then wrap up the painting in plastic, which is like clingfilm, only much thicker and it will protect the painting from any water damage.



3# I place the painting facing towards me and wrap it up using a heavy-duty parcel paper. I seal the painting accordingly, so it is exposed right away as the client opens the package.



4# For a nice touch, I like to use string to give a unique rustic look. I also attach one of my business cards where I write a personal thank you on the back or a hand-written letter. I think this is a really important personal touch to add into the package. The customer will remember the extra mile you went, and it is likely that they will recommend you to others.



5# I measure and cut two pieces of foam board that are slightly bigger than the parcel. I place the artwork between them with parcel tape to ensure they are secure. Foam board is cheap and more importantly very light and provides a good protection. The board is quite thick and should be cut using a knife. Be very careful with how you cut it, don’t try and slice it in one cut, instead you should score it along the ruler a few times until you have reached through it.



6# I wrap the package in at least two layers of bubble wrap and tape it down using parcel tape.I put these shock proof foam bits (that look like green popcorn) into the box first, then the artwork parcel with a few more pieces of popcorn.


7# The box is then closed and sealed with parcel tape. I then use ‘FRAGILE’ tape around the sides and add a little homemade sticker which I created. I have been using these stickers for years and it’s another personal touch that the post office sees and of course, a ‘thank you’, goes a long way!



8# And now we are ready! I always write the name and address (to) in large clear handwriting and on the back, I write where it is from (my address). I never put any important information on the front top left of the box, I leave it empty for the stamps to be placed.



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