Shipping Guides: How to Pack and Ship Paintings

There are several factors to bear in mind when working out how to ship a painting safely and affordably. Since paintings should always be handled with extreme care, it’s better to use a shipping company that knows all the proper measures of packing and delivering these valuable items. Stasher’s delivery service team handles shipping for all kinds of items, but we specialize in objects that require special care, including paintings, musical instruments, or sports equipment.

Shipping Instructions for Paintings

Paintings are such valuable and unique items, so the best method of shipping will vary on a case by case basis. Put simply, iIt all depends on how small or large your painting is, how quickly you would like it delivered, and the destination. The most popular options are:

Express Delivery

This option is great if you are under time constraints to get your painting shipped. With Express Delivery, you are guaranteed fast shipping internationally within 24 to 72 hours. 

Standard Delivery

This is the most popular Stasher delivery service, as it is a little less pricey than Express Delivery. With Standard Delivery, the shipping times are slightly slower, but you will get a more affordable rate for shipping your smaller paintings and other packages. 

Van Shipping

As the name suggests, this means delivering your painting by van. Our team recommends this option for larger items to be delivered domestically, for example if you are moving house or coming home from university with a lot of stuff. And we should say that by van shipping we usually mean just the one van, but if you have a LOT of stuff to deliver then we can organise as many vans as you need.

If you’re still not sure about the best method of shipping for your painting, you can also contact us for recommendations and to get a quote. Our customer service team is always on hand for a chat and they’re very friendly. 

Packing Instructions for Paintings

There are two main ways of packing paintings. Some people prefer to send a painting in its frame, whereas others would rather roll up the painting and put it in a special tube. Of course this is only possible if the painting is done on a canvas, which isn’t always the case. 

But if this is all sounding a bit complicated, fear not. The Stasher team is on hand to talk you through the steps. To get started, decide whether you want to go for the frame or the roll method, and then follow the instructions below.

Packing paintings with the frame

  • Use a glassine paper: Place a glassine paper on the surface of the painting. This is a special kind of paper that will protect the surface of the paper. Next, use an adhesive tape to secure the glassine paper to the frame. Make sure that the tape does not touch the surface of the painting to avoid any damage.
  • Attach to a card or foam board: The next step is to attach the covered painting to cardboard or a foam board. This serves as insulation and extra protection. 
  • Bubble wrap and corner protectors: After sticking the painting to a card or foam board, it’s a good idea to wrap the whole thing in at least two layers of bubble wrap. For extra protection, you can also add corner protectors to the edges of the frame.
  • Sandwiching: As an extra layer of protection, place the painting inside the packaging box between cushioning materials such as styrofoam or foam boards This secures the position of the painting inside the box to make sure it doesn’t rattle around. 
  • Sealing and labeling: Tape up the box with lots of parcel tape and stick a label on the outside indicating that it is fragile. 

Packing rolled paintings and other artworks

  • Sandwich in glassine paper: Similar to if you’re packing a painting with a frame you’ll want to add a layer of glassine paper to protect the surface of the painting. Before rolling, put your painting in between two glassine paper sheets.
  • Tape it up: Before placing in the mailing tube, secure the rolled sheets using an adhesive tape or paper. Make sure that the tape doesn’t touch the surface of your actual painting.
  • Add bubble wrap: Once your painting is rolled up and taped together, roll the tube inside at least two layers of bubble wrap. This helps stop any dents in the roll which could damage the painting. 
  • Place inside the larger tube: Place the rolled painting inside a larger tube, and fill the empty spaces with bubble wrap to make sure it doesn’t roll around. 

Pro tip: Masking tape is the best kind of adhesive tape to use because it won’t leave any marks on the paper. 

Other FAQs

We know that you probably have lots of questions, so we thought we’d share a few of the questions that we get asked all the time at Stasher Delivery HQ about shipping and packing paintings. 

Can I ship paintings internationally?

In a word, yes. Stasher currently ships internationally and has no intention of changing this. The most common way to do this through our services is via air shipping. We know it can be hard to decide what your best option is, so we provide a comprehensive list of all the luggage allowances and regulations for well-known airlines. This means you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. Our shipping services are comprehensive: whether you’re moving house, a business owner, an international student, or shipping an item for another reason entirely, we have an affordable shipping solution for you.

How do I send charcoal paintings without damage?

An excellent question and one we hear often at Stasher. Charcoal paintings are quite tricky to send as they are very sensitive to damage. The best thing to do to avoid this is spraying the drawing with a fixative before sending to avoid potential smudges. Charcoal paintings are best sent with a frame which will protect the drawing from smudges. If you plan to send it as a rolled package, make sure to add glassine paper once the fixative is dry.

Do you allow shipping for unframed oil paintings?

Oil paintings are also very sensitive to damage, especially because the oil paint takes a very long time to dry. If you completed this piece recently, there is a potential for damage, you need to wait for quite some time for the work to dry and in general we don’t recommend sending an oil painting before it is completely dry. However, if it really can’t wait, we suggest using a thin crate to make sure that the painting surface is less likely to be touched and damaged.

Will the insurance cover damage to the work?

Shipping companies often have special delivery instructions for fragile items. This means that your paintings will be handled with extra care to reduce the chances of damage to your work. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully when packing your work. Always check the small print as some shipping companies won’t automatically include insurance, and you may want to purchase a special insurance if your painting is particularly valuable. 

Ready To Ship Your Painting? Give Us A Call

So there you have it. Everything you could want to know about shipping your painting. We know it can be hard to decide how you will package and ship your painting. Even more so if you have multiple fragile pieces to ship. But fret not. If you’re overwhelmed by the options in front of you, Stasher can make life simple. At Stasher, we guarantee you affordable rates, and safe and efficient shipping. Get your free quote with us today.


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