Do you know how to pack paintings for shipping? Do you struggle with it all the time? Here is an expert advice on how to pack artwork.

Packing to dispatch or move anything is daunting but painting a painting comes with its own intricacies. It is an intimidating task and many artists worry whether they are doing it correctly or not.

It is true that damage can be avoided if the artwork is packed correctly. If there framed glass paintings, you should make sure that while moving the glass doesn’t break. If it is a simple canvas artwork, you should make sure that it doesn’t get torn.

Whether it is a dispatch or you are moving the paintings, you should make certain that you do extra care. You can pack paintings by making use of bubble wraps and high-quality packaging tapes. You should also ensure that you add other packaging materials like newspapers. Also, collecting proper boxes is important.


You will need the following supplies before you start to pack paintings.

  • Artist tape (Masking tape): It can be removed and is free of acid.
  • Packing tape (recommended: tape gun)
  • Measuring tape
  • A good pair of scissors or knife
  • Bubble wraps (for padding): You can also Styrofoam sheets
  • Cardboard box(es)
  • Glassine. This paper doesn’t stick to the surface of the painting and is water-and grease-resistant.
  • Cardboard corner protectors
  • Custom wooden crate (if the painting is larger than 18”x24”)

Once you have all these supplies, you are ready to pack paintings:

  1. You need to make certain that your hands are clean. You need to wrap the artwork (framed or not framed) in the acid-free glassine paper (archival tissue paper). Do not touch the surface of the painting with bare hands. Make sure that you wear your cotton gloves.
  2. Then take the square pieces of glassine paper and adjust the sizes according to the work. Fold each paper half to make a triangle. Later, fold it in a half again to make a triangular pocket.
  3. Now tape onto the corners of the archival tissue paper. Next, you should tape your wrapped painting into a foam board. Make sure that you take care of the sizes. By ensuring about the sizes, you will have a more firm packing.
  4. To protect the artwork from moisture, fold the painting into a plastic wrap. Seal the areas where you think moisture can enter.


  1. While you pack paintings, this is the most important step that you need to keep in mind. Wrap the paintings in 2-3 layers of bubble wraps. Bubble wraps or Styrofoam ensures proper padding.


  1. Buy a cardboard box and seal the painting into it with the help of a high-quality packaging tape. If the painting is framed of glass, you need to seal the work in a wooden crate.


  1. If it is a rolled canvas painting, sandwich it with 2 layers of glassine paper. Do not roll it too tightly. Once the canvas is covered with layers of tissue paper, you need to put it in a small tube. Bubble wrap the tube with padding and seal it with tape completely. Place this tube into the other box, so that it doesn’t get affected while shipping.

These were some of the simple steps that you need to keep in mind while you pack paintings for shipping.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Also, read: How to overcome creative block?