How to Safely Pack Paintings for Shipping?

Fragile sign on the box

You found a perfect home in Fort Green neighborhood, and all you have to do is move now. Everything is set and good to go, except for one thing. What about your fine art collection and fragile items? Are you sure you know how to safely pack paintings for shipping? Because packing paintings can seem like a difficult task. You see, many artists worry about whether they’re packing them correctly.

If you pack your paintings properly you can avoid damage. To do that you need to have the right tools and the right supplies. Use them to pack your art professionally, so that your shipment be easier. Most of these packing materials you can get by yourself. And when searching for moving experts in Fort Greene you can make a deal with your mover. Because companies can offer a lot of services, from advising to packing and shipping.

Supplies for safely packing

How to safely pack paintings for shipping? Well, that’s easy, because you can find a lot of supplies that can help you. There’s a variety of supplies – boxes in every shape and size, tapes in every width, big bubbles, small bubbles, and peanuts. If you are not sure what to do you can find some tips just like there are tips on moving gym equipment.


How to move sculptures and fine art collections? Well, get the boxes! You might think it’s best to buy boxes that are all uniform in size. That’s why you should purchase boxes ranging from shoebox small to large, keeping in mind that you likely can’t carry anything larger than 2-feet square. Then, pack heavier items in the shallower boxes, and fill the big ones with lighter stuff. You can also place heavy items at the bottom of deeper boxes and add lighter items on top — never the other way around.

Sign on the box that says "with care"
Put this sign on your box for safe shipping!

To safely pack paintings for shipment, you can use picture box sizes. Your supplier’s sizes may vary slightly, but most will have boxes very close to these dimensions: 28” x 4” x 24”, 37” x 4 3/8” x 30” and 36” x 6” x 42”. The two larger sizes are both telescoping boxes. Telescoping picture boxes are great because you can use just one if the artwork fits. And if the work is larger than a single box, you can slide two boxes together to make a larger box. The boxes are cheap and if you use them properly they provide sufficient protection for shipment. Don’t forget to mark your boxes. Put ‘Fragile’ sticker on them.

Plastic and bubble wrap

Plastic wrap is perfect for your painting protection before boxing. It is very similar to the plastic wrap you use in the kitchen to cover casseroles and other food you want to keep fresh in the refrigerator. The main function of this plastic wrap is to protect your paintings from scratches and scuffs.

Bubble wrap fills space and preventing unwanted damage. When shipping paintings, bubble wrap should be your filler of choice. There’s a variety of sizes when it comes to bubble wraps. You can get bubble wraps from 12″ to 36″. It’s highly recommended 12″ bubble wrap because it makes measuring and cutting much easier and cleaner.

Plastic bubble wraps can help you how to safely pack paintings for shipping
Plastic bubble wraps are a must when it comes to packing!

Packing Tape

The right packing tape can help you how to safely pack paintings for shipping. This means that you should find the very best packing tape you can afford! Cheap tape is harder to apply, harder to cut, and doesn’t stick. You will end up having to use two to three times as much tape to secure your boxes, and even then you risk it not working effectively. Cheap packing tape may actually end up costing you more, not to mention a client, especially if your artwork is damaged because the tape fails. You can use 3.5 millimeters thick tape in 2” wide rolls. This will usually be the heaviest duty option available, but, when in doubt, ask your supplier what their best tape is, or just buy their most expensive option.

Shipping tools

  • Knife – A high quality, heavy-duty box cutter with lots of blades is one of your most important, most used tools. Once you start shipping seriously, you are going to be cutting cardboard like crazy. If your knife isn’t sturdy and sharp, your cuts are going to be messy.
  • Tape gun – Find one that provides a way to adjust the gun’s resistance. You’ll see why this is important later when you are about to use the gun.
  • T-Square – will help you make straight cuts when modifying your boxes. It’s recommended to buy cardboard in 48” widths, which makes this the perfect tool for measuring your cuts.
  • Nothing beats a Sharpie for marking your cardboard for cutting. A marker line is hard to miss or confuse and is therefore ideal for marking up your packing materials.
  • Box sizer – In essence, it is an adjustable tool that allows you to create even and smooth scores on cardboard. These scores then allow you to fold the cardboard wherever you need. With a box sizer, you can modify boxes to fit your exact needs, or even create boxes from raw cardboard. You can use this tool far more frequently when you are packing sculpture. Also can comes in handy when you’re safely packing paintings for shipping.
Orange toolbox
Get your toolbox ready!

How to safely pack paintings for shipping?

The first step in packing a painting is determining which boxes and materials you are going to use, and then planning how to use them optimally. This process begins by measuring your artwork. The ultimate goal of sizing helps how to safely pack paintings for shipping.  They are supposed to keep them safe until Dorothy & Martha Moving NYC comes. Most of the shipping companies will only cover damage in packaging that gives you this 2” buffer. Be sure and read your shipping company’s damage and packaging policy to confirm you are meeting their requirements.

When you are planning packing you should consider your shipping company’s dimensional weight policy. Because the size of a package impacts the number of packages a shipping company can move just as much as the weight does. The companies have come up with a way to account for both dimensions by calculating the “dimensional weight” of a package. Simply you can contact your delivery company and ask them how they calculate dimensional weight. Many of the companies will list this info on their websites.

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