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How to package art for shipping?

A few days before shipping a piece of art, we always come to the same question, "How should I package my painting?"

Even though there are specialists in the transport of works of art who take care and how to pack your items (packaging, shipping and packing, transport, customs formalities ), you can nevertheless organize the packing of your works of art yourself!

Transport is one of the main causes of damage to works of art. The risk of accidents increases with the number of manipulations during the journey. First of all, chose your shipping company wisely (Fedex, UPS, USPS or others). Then, you need to think about the shipping solutions you want to use, the shipping container, the packaging solutions: the packaging material, the packaging products you can use etc.

So what packing materials are needed to properly pack a fragile creation?

To help you in your choices, here is a list of tips and techniques and to protect your art, especially your paintings.

This article will allow you to pack and ship your artwork in the best conditions and avoid unfortunate damages.

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protect art for shipping

Tips for packing your painting

1. The preparation

The preparation of the packaging is very important to ensure a good protection of the work during the expedition. The packaging must be a protective packaging and also have the following characteristics:

  • Resist shocks, deformations, perforations and humidity.

  • To present a padding and a packing material or packing peanuts as weel as an internal wedging in order to avoid the work to move too much in its case.

2. Bubble plastic

After having carefully protected your corners, use a flexible protection to reduce vibrations and limit temperature variations (foam, bubble plastic) accompanied by foam, polystyrene, corrugated cardboard, cardboard box or crumpled paper to prevent the work from slipping in its case.


Polyethylene foam comes in several thicknesses (sold in rolls or sheets). Very practical to avoid that the surface of the work sticks to the bubble wrap.

Tips for packing your art

3. The foam corners

The corner protectors or edge protectors are particularly useful to protect paintings with wooden frames, mirrors and photographs with glass or Plexiglas. When moving your artwork, the corners should be protected first, as they are the most exposed to falls.

GOOD TO KNOW: the frame of a painting (if it's a framed painting) can crack after a mini shock on one of the corners. Protect the 4 corners or even completely surround the object to avoid the slightest shock! You can use towels as well to protect your art as much as possible.

protect your art during shipping
shipping art packaging

Which packaging should I choose when shipping art?

What shipping box is the best to ship your art? What packing box should you use? Which packaging materials is the best? We tell you eveything about packing and shipping in this article!

4. Basic cardboard

Whenever possible, use new cardboard. The more a package is used, the more it loses its original protective qualities, and therefore risks not ensuring optimal protection during your shipment. If you must use cardboard, make sure it is thick (double or triple fluted), rigid, in good condition, not punctured, torn or split, and that the corners are in good condition. You can also use some carton sealing tape to secure is as much as you can.

5. The reinforced cardboard

A semi-rigid protection protects the work of art against shocks (double or triple fluted reinforced cardboard, reinforced cardboard with isorel plates)

GOOD TO KNOW: For thin cardboard, it is possible to reinforce your package by incorporating inside it 1 sheet of isorel (3 or 5 mm thick, same dimensions as the cardboard) on each side of the work. The sheets will act as a shield and reinforce the thin cardboard.

6. The wooden box

The use of a crate (wood or a combination of wood and cardboard) is necessary when a high level of protection is required, especially for shipments over very long distances. There are crates more specifically designed for paintings and crates more adapted to sculptures ! Do not forget to seal the box with sealing tape to secure it!

Sending art: insurance needed!

When sending art, paintings, canvas, antiques, stamps, fine art, sculpture etc using a shipping insurance is very important! You will have to consult a carrier or a specialist in the transport of parcels. On their sites, you will find tools that will give you an idea of the cost of transportation: you can find economical shipping supplies and shipping boxes online, you can also reuse or recycle packaging shipping but it must be of an irreprochable quality.

GOOD TO KNOW: Some transport companies or shipping options make it complicated to transport uninsured works of art. It is therefore preferable to take out insurance when transporting a painting or any work of art.

Indeed, most carriers will refuse to insure works of art or objects of value. This is where Secursus comes in. We offer you insurance for your flights with a value of up to $120,000 for your works of art! We protect them against theft, loss and damage at their actual value.

To benefit from our service, it's simple! Create your account in a few minutes and fill in the information about your package. Pack it according to Secursus rules to be compensated quickly in case of concern!

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