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How do I package a painting smaller than 48"?

by Admin Doe

Paintings smaller than 48”x 48” 

Below is the guide to follow for packaging your Arts: 

All artworks that are 48” or above on any one side need to be packaged into a wooden crate. 

IMPORTANT: Always make certain that your painting is completely dry before packaging it for shipment. Sometimes paint can appear dry when it’s not. Since drying time depends on such factors as the type and brand of paint, the drying mediums used (if any), the paint colors, etc., you must research the correct drying time for the specific supplies you’ve used. 

Paintings smaller than 48”x 48” - 

What you’ll need: 

• Glassine paper or acid-free archival tissue paper 

• Plastic sheeting, poly wrap, or heavy plastic bag 

• Bubble wrap 

• Foam board at least ½” thick or two-ply cardboard 

• Packing tape 

• Cardboard corner protectors 

• Cardboard box 

1 – Wrap the painting in glassine paper or acid-free, archival tissue paper. Note that any material that comes into contact with the surface of the work should be archival quality. We advise that you avoid touching the painting’s surface with bare hands by wearing white cotton gloves or placing acid-free tissue paper between the work and your fingers when handling. 

2 –Take four (4) 8”x 8” square pieces of glassine paper or acid-free tissue paper (you may adjust the size of the squares to better fit the size of your work) and fold each in half diagonally to create a triangle, then fold in half again to create a triangle pocket. Place one pocket onto each corner of the painting

3 – Taping only onto the tissue paper corners, tape the wrapped painting to a sheet of foam board (or two-ply cardboard) the same size or slightly larger than the painting for a firm backing. 

4 – To protect against moisture, wrap the glassine-covered artwork with plastic sheeting/poly wrap or put it inside a heavy plastic bag. Use tape to seal all areas where water can enter and cause damage. 

5 – Wrap the entire work with two (2) layers of bubble wrap for a protective padding. Wrap it as you would a gift, using tape to secure it shut. 

6 – Place cardboard corner protectors on the corners of the wrapped artwork. 

7 – Place the wrapped artwork between 2 pieces of foam board that are at least ½” thickness (or two-ply cardboard), forming a “sandwich.” Also, the borders of the foam board sheets should extend 2-3 inches beyond all edges of the bubble-wrapped artwork. Use packing tape to bind the foam board sandwich together. Be certain the sides are taped down firmly to ensure that the artwork doesn’t shift around within. 

IMPORTANT: Take care not to apply too much pressure to the surface of your artwork. Doing so could create indentations on the stretched canvas. 

8 – Place the foam board-covered painting into a cardboard box with approximately three (3) inches of space on all sides. Fill the empty space with enough bubble wrap or wadded/shredded white paper to ensure that the artwork doesn’t shift during transit. 

9 – Use the H-taping method to seal the box. The H-taping method involves using long strips of packing tape to completely seal the opening flaps of the box. Use one long strip of tape over the horizontal opening between the two flaps, and two strips over the vertical sides of the flaps—forming an “H.” Apply additional vertical strips of tape as needed across the sealed flaps for added reinforcement. Illustrations of this method are provided by different sources online. Just type “H-taping method” into the Google/ Bing search box. 

10 – Affix the shipping label to the package and put clear tape over the label so it doesn’t get removed during shipment. Using a felt tip pen, write “FRAGILE” in large capital letters on the box, or use readymade “FRAGILE” labels. 

- Himjal (founder of Artzyme)


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