Finding the best painting online is one thing, considering its aesthetics, price, material, and size is another thing, but shipping is the most challenging part. But worry not, it doesn’t have to be hard with various available alternatives.
If you’d like to ship your artwork to a buyer, family, or friend, there are some risks involved but worth taking for the painting to arrive safely. This article covers everything you should know on how to ship a painting.
Factors to consider on how to ship a painting
1. Size and weight of the painting
Most fulfillment companies always consider a package’s weight and size, focusing on bulky, heavy, and large. Artwork falls in these categories because of the packaging materials used. After packing your shipping box, always ensure that you measure your parcel. You can use a dimensional weight calculator to find the appropriate measurements. More so, weight and size contribute to a package’s shipping cost. So, you should be aware of the additional cost of your shipping service charges.
Before shipping a painting, you must consider the art itself, like the materials and the paint used. Different art elements have unique shipping requirements. For instance, an oil painting should be wrapped with acid-free paper to prevent painting damage. To keep it even safer, wrap the second layer to protect it from bumps while shipping when the acid-free paper offers paint protection itself. When shipping a different fine art type, review the storage and handle recommendations for a specific type.
3. Define your recipient
After considering the size, weight, and material, you have to think about transit. Will you be carrying it along with you? Are you selling or sending to someone overseas? The answers to these questions will change how you pack and shift your painting.
4. Carry it along with you
This is the best way you can ship your painting. Securely pack it and transport it in your car if you’re selling it and driving it across town. If you pack your painting in the car, it’ll be easy to manage how to store and pack your painting.
More so, opt for a small truck to assist in moving your various series of paintings. It will not only be time-saving but the paintings will get delivered quickly. Besides that, you will have saved on insurance costs and may deliver large, unwieldy paintings at your pace.
5. Insure your package
Some packages come with built-in USPS insurance when using shipping software to buy your postage. For instance, priority mail has $100 of built-in insurance, but the first-class package doesn’t have. So, it’s best to purchase additional shipping insurance if the canvas gets damaged while in transit. Purchasing additional insurance for your shipment is essential, especially if you don’t want to go on losses and your budget is not that tight.
6. Are you selling and sending it to someone?
If you’re sending the painting in a different state, a carrier service should come in handy. Most people use national brands like UPS and FedEx to ship their products. Shipping companies are the most cost-effective and reliable providers for gallery owners and artists to ship their products. You can ship the item individually or as a collection. We’ll discuss further how to ship with these companies.
These shipping companies use a dimensional weight calculator, offering different requirements, shipping fees, and rates. Whichever specific painting service provider you choose, contact them to learn more about your services.
How to ship a painting the cheapest way
1. Use USPS/ FedEx/ UPS services
The cheapest way to ship framed arts is by using mail services. USPS offers one of the best affordable shipping rates and delivery times as long as the canvas isn’t that big. However, if your framed art covers up the entire wall, it’s best to go with UPS.
Most canvases weigh less than 16 oz, making it best to ship with USPS first class package service. The first class package is the cheapest option for sending lightweight items, with its delivery done between three business days. Also, the service has a door-to-door tracking system in the US, making it more convenient for use.
2. Use shipping software
Using shipping software to buy discounted postages is one of the best ways to save money. With online shipping software, you’ll have access to rates like USPS commercial pricing that has the deepest discount levels. Ideally, USPS reserves these discounts for those sending over 50,000 packages yearly. But, with the best shipping software, you can pass these savings for free.
3. Hire professional movers
This is a popular choice, especially for larger local movers. If you’ve got an artwork collection that needs to be moved, professional movers won’t pack the paintings as they do with the other furniture unless you make payments for the packing services. So, whenever you call them, ask for their quote to get accurate cost estimation and advice about the packing requirements.
Professional moving trucks are not temperature controlled, which can affect your painting. That is why we recommend carrying it along with you in the car. More so, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your painting. Professional movers are expensive, especially for long-distance moves. But, you will enjoy the included basic insurance. Remember, the cost of using a professional mover’s services varies depending on how many paintings and the distance you’re carrying.
How much does it cost to ship paintings?
The cost of shipping a painting parcel entirely depends on the type of service provider chosen. To ship a painting. You will be charged between $50 and $300 per package. It depends on your packaging method and speed of travel. Also, it is cheaper to send shipping artwork tubes than the crated artwork, which can range between $75 and $200 per tube.
How to package your canvas/painting for shipping
The above content was a glimpse of how to ship a painting. Let’s now look at what materials to use. To determine how to pack your painting, mounting is the best consideration. For the best packing technique, treat your paintings as fragile.
1. Clean your area
It is the first packing process. Get rid of dirt, dust, and any element that can stick to the painting. Also, when cleaning, you get to check on the glass, frame, and other parts of the painting for any damages. The correct way of handling your painting is by wearing gloves.
After cleaning the workspace, lay down and measure your painting. Then take some photos and keep all of this information about its condition before shipping. If the painting gets damaged, you’ll need documentation, and that’s what you’ll use.
2. Protection and padding
Use double-walled boxes and corrugated cardboard pieces. First, add a protection layer to the painting. However, it depends on the type of artwork. Still, acid-free glassine paper is recommended. Then use archival quality paper to protect the painting against stains and discolorations.
The paper should cover all the painting sides and edges. Then secure the paper with acid-free tape taping to the frame and back. Also, add foam pipe insulation to the edges. But, do not place the foam directly on the oil paintings as it can tear foam and embed it in the paintings.
After applying the foam and paper, either use a bubble wrap around your painting or cardboard pieces to protect the painting. If you’ll use a box or crate for shipping, add another layer of wrap and place the thick cardboard on both sides of the painting. Only use this process for dried paintings.
Tubes and rolled paintings
Unmounted canvas is more likely to be shipped or rolled in a tube. Other items like prints and invitations can be shipped in tubes. Check also how to ship a snowboard.
It’s a standard method used by producers creating designs and printing artworks in large designs. Roll your items and place them in tubes, leaving minimal extra space. Ideally, the tube should be approximately 3″-4″ long and wide enough to support padding materials.
However, the same process can be used for paintings mounted behind glass and frames. These are considered fragile items, thus bringing us to the next point.
3. Glass and frame paintings
Use foam or any other padding to protect the frames in case of damaging risks. You can use bubble wrap for full protection. Glass and painting can be shipped together or separately. If shipping together, use enough wrap and materials between them but remember to leave a little space for movement. This will help prevent breakage, thus limiting damaging chances. Add cardboard sections around the glass, frame, and painting for a sturdy base.
4. Custom boxes
You can create or use an existing box to ship smaller paintings. As mentioned earlier, the boxes should be 2 to 3 inches larger. If you’re using a carrier’s services, they now offer shipping boxes and services. But, whichever route you take, select a box that offers room for padding.
5. Design your crate
Professionals, galleries, and artists should use these techniques.
What you need;
· Heavy-duty cardboard sheets
· Layers of bubble wrap
· Acid-free paper
· Foam side protection
If your painting is large, wet, or shipped with other products, consider creating a wooden frame around your paintings.
Step 1: pack and layer everything together. Add foam to the sides of the painting, about half an inch thick. Use Masonite hardboard or wood boards to secure the wooden frame.
Step 2: Screw the edges together to keep the painting secure. It is essential as the recipient will unscrew easily when they receive it. Ship the box directly that way or on a larger box. Always check with your carrier if there are other requirements needed.
Step 3: You can also seek the help of a shipping company to create a complete crate for the artwork. However, the recipient will need an expert to uncrate the package.
Shipping a painting can be a frustrating and challenging experience, but we hope the above outline makes it easier for you. All you need are the right supplies, tools, and shipping procedures to ship your painting securely and efficiently.
Click the links below to read on how to ship other items: