Packing a Painting – How I do.

I sold a painting!!  Oh man, that’s so fun.  A kind of validation I don’t live for but it’s a really lovely feeling. 

I thought I’d do a post about how I pack paintings.  It’s a nice reference to have for potential buyers and, frankly, I was hesitant to sell paintings because I wasn’t quite sure what my options were for packing.  So maybe this will help someone else feel more confident that this is a doable thing.

Some folks are WAAAY more clever than I and there are lots of tutorials online for how to pack paintings and buy the packing supplies separately and fashioning a very safe and lovely way to ship.  I am very lazy when it comes to this stuff.  I was a quality system I can just pick up and slide my painting in and be done.  In comes FedEx.

Now, I don’t ship with FedEx because I’m not made of money and they are pricey for large items, BUT, they have amazing packing supplies.

I use the medium framed art box, they run about $20 each in my area.  My paintings are generally 18x24in.  Now, I have some 36x48in pieces too … I don’t know, yet, how I’ll ship those.

Before anything else, I wrap the painted canvas in an acid free tissue paper.  I ensure that the tape securing on each corner isn’t touching the canvas in any way, just to be safe.  In the back corner I slide my envelope (receipt, certificate of authenticity, thank you card, and a couple of business cards).  This setup ensures that no plastic, tape or cardboard comes in contact with the painting.

Next, I slide my big tissue paper package into a plastic sleeve and nestle it into the shipping tray.  The tray has cardboard tabs that you can roll up over the edges of the painting – then a quick tape from tab to tab and you’ve got a painting that isn’t going anywhere.

The whole tray slides into a cardboard sleeve.

And then the sleeve slides into the shipping box.  It’s wildly secure in there.

And voila`!  This box isn’t the prettiest I’ve gotten from them.  It was a little dented during transit to their store but the only one they had in stock.  The integrity of the box seems perfect, but it don’t look the perfection I generally like.  Such is life.

I haven’t done lots of research into all my shipping options (see ‘lazy’ above) – so I ship USPS for everything thus far.  I’ve had really excellent service and only 2 issues in all the years I’ve shipped art with them.  Paintings are also all sent requiring signature confirmation, because the notion of these sitting on a porch in the rain makes me cringe.

All told, the packaging and shipping within the US runs around $100.  It ain’t cheap, but it’s worth it to know that they will arrive safely.

And that’s the skinny – it’s so much less daunting than I’d originally though. It seems silly to me, now, how long I put off putting my paintings out into the world for something that is really so simple.

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