The Do’s and Don’ts of Shipping an Artwork

If you’re planning to ship an art work, the size of the artwork and the size of the package will determine the final weight and size. However, if you’re shipping a large artwork, you might need to pay more for shipping. While it may seem inconvenient, the expense of damaged artwork far outweighs any increased shipping fees. Listed below are the Do’s and Don’ts of shipping an art work.


If you want to protect an artwork from damage in transit, double-packing is vital. The final package size will be determined by the object’s dimensions, including its weight, shape, and size. You should consider the type of transport you will use to ship your piece, and match the appropriate crate to the object’s size and weight. Multiple crates will also protect your artwork while maintaining its weight within the shipping guidelines.

Acid-free paper

Packing materials for art shipping are essential. Use high-quality archival materials. Don’t use second-hand packing materials, as these will damage the artwork in shipping. Recycle your art packaging materials when possible. They will also help the environment. Use sustainable packing materials. Avoid low-quality tape, as it may damage the packaging. If you are unable to purchase high-quality tape, look for another option.


One of the do’s and don’ts of shipping your art piece is to make sure it is well-supported. Using a glass skin will only cause it to break, and it will rattle around next to your picture when it lands. Glass works are also a no-no in many competitive exhibitions, so make sure your art is protected by foamcore. This lightweight material promotes stability and resists bending, and provides a useful barrier between your artwork and a hard surface.

Corrugated cardboard box

Before you ship your artwork, you should be aware of its size, shape, and material. Paintings on stretched canvas need special packaging and should be shipped in double-walled corrugated boxes with sufficient padding. You can also use a mirror box to ship your artwork, but keep in mind that the frame needs at least three inches of space on all sides. Also, you must use acid-free tissue paper or bubble wrap to protect your artwork.


If you’re shipping a valuable art work, it is crucial to have some sort of insurance coverage in case something happens. You can buy art insurance from the shipping company or add a transit/cargo policy to your current policy. Whatever the route, shipping your art work should always be insured in some manner. It should be insured in some way, by at least one party, and have explicit language about that. Generally, insurance policies will cover a range of damage, theft, and even a total loss.


Framing an art work for shipping can be a tricky process. It may be fragile, but you can protect it from damage by wrapping it well. You can use artist tape to wrap the frame, which you can purchase at home supply stores and discount retailers. Just make sure to secure it tightly at the back, not along the sides. You should leave enough room to remove the frame once it has arrived at its new home.

Mailing tube

The first thing to consider is the size of the tube you’ll be using to ship your artwork. You’ll need one that’s about 8 cm in diameter and one that’s about 1 inch smaller. If your artwork is very large, use a larger tube. For smaller pieces, use packing paper, foam, or bubble wrap. To prevent creases, you can fold it over slightly and tape it in place. A larger tube should have end caps and be sealed with packing tape.