How to Ship a Painting
Ok, I know this has nothing to do with theology but it does have to do with shipping religious paintings and the like. I’m writing this because over the past couple of months, I’ve repaired two that arrived damaged (technically I’ve only begun working on the second), and I know of several other cases where the painting arrived with the canvas torn, punctured, and/or the frame broken. For those Polytheist and Pagan artisans out there, I thought this might be helpful. No one ever actually teaches us, after all, what to do here. It’s just assumed that we will figure it out and we do, but often only after damage has been done. I co-own a gallery and I’ve had to ship my own paintings across country before, so here are a few suggestions.
If you have a canvas:
- First wrap it completely in saran wrap. This protects the texture and paint, which can be damaged even after it’s dry.
- Bubble wrap all around it.
- Take two pieces of cardboard slightly larger (by an inch or two) than the canvas. Put one in front, one in back of the canvas and tape them all around.
- Bubble wrap the hell out of it.
- Get yourself a big box, larger than the canvas. Put some Styrofoam peanuts in the bottom. Put the wrapped canvas in. Fill it all up with peanuts (I hate these things, but they do help).
- If you really want to be diligent, put that box in another box full of peanuts (I never do this though).
Tape it up and ship. If you’re working with something framed with glass, I would get cardboard corner protectors (any mail and ship should have them) to secure the corners.
I’d do pretty much the same thing for a painting on canvas board, though you can often skip the peanuts with the canvas board.
If you just send a canvas in a padded envelope, it’s going to get torn. If you send it just in a box without padding or with only a little bubble wrap, it might also get torn. I’ve had them arrive torn and with the frame broken. This can usually be repaired but it’s a pain in the ass and the damage will always be slightly visible.
If one has the money, one can just take it to UPS and have them pack and ship, but this is not cheap. It’s much, much more economical to pack the artwork oneself.
There it is: my helpful artistic hint for the day. Go out and make devotional art, people. ^___^