6 Tips for Shipping Art


6 Tips for Shipping Art


Shipping art pieces and paintings can be a difficult and nerve-wracking challenge. Both the artist and client want the artwork to remain in a pristine, undamaged condition, but ensuring this as the artwork is sent to a new destination can prove to be difficult. Below are some tips to make this process easier for you.  These tips are to help you ship artworks safely, professionally and efficiently.

  1. Foam Wrap 

This is what you should use at the first layer of wrapping the artwork. This material is best because it protects the surface while also enabling the artwork to "breathe" when factors like moisture and humidity may come into play.  Wrap it relatively closely around the artwork, similar to how you may wrap a gift in wrapping paper.

  1. Bubble Wrap

Bubble Wrap is great fun to play with and pop, as well as a great filler and protector of your art while it is in transit. The bubbles, working together, can sustain a surprising amount of pressure, cushioning the art, as well as filling the box to prevent any unwanted movement. Bubble wrap should not come in direct contact with the artwork itself as the bubbles can leave marks on the art.

  1. The Outer Box

The outer box should have a clearance of at least 5cm all the way around your artwork. This leaves room for bubble wrap padding, and if there is too much space, you can always add another layer of bubble wrap so the artwork doesn’t move around inside the outer box. This part is important as most damage is caused by movement allowed by extra space in the box.

  1. Sealing the Box

Packing tape is a very important element in shipping your art safe and securely. Do not use cheap packing tape. Cheap tape will often fail to hold and your art will be in real danger of falling out of the box during shipment. Buying the best packing tape you can afford helps ensure the artwork won’t be damaged, (which will end up costing you more). Good packing tape should also use a packing tape gun with quite tight tension. Each and every seam of your box should be taped to prevent any possible snags occurring.

  1. Shake The Box

This is a crucial step.  Once your artwork is all packed, you need to shake the box and feel if anything moves from within the outer box.  One of the most common reason parcels get damaged is because of empty space and movement of items within the box.  To test for movement, shake the box forcefully in every direction. If you feel any movement whatsoever, repack with more bubble wrap to completely fill any empty space. Repeat the shake test until there is absolutely no movement.

  1. Fragile Stickers or Fragile Tape 

Fragile stickers are used on many packages every day. Be aware that Fragile labelling is never a substitute for proper packing.  Not only does it tell couriers that your package may be easily damaged, it also shows to your client that you care about the end product of what you are sending. A happy customer is often a repeat customer.


If you have artwork or paintings with wooden frames, odd shapes/sizes, glass or high dollar value items involved then extra special care is definitely a must. If you need help with packing or shipping your artwork, get in touch with us. With over 130 Service Centres PACK & SEND is the perfect choice to help you get your masterpieces to your customers.

Post by Topic