collection of framed art of all different sizes on a wall

Best Forms of Storage for Proper Delivery of Art Work

As a collector of artworks, it is important that you ensure the appropriate storing equipment is used so that your artwork arrives safe, secure and undamaged. Otherwise, what’s the point of spending on a painting if it just gets scratched up in the process of delivery.

Follow these steps to ensure your art is delivered safely:

Measure your artwork

Measure the width, height and length of the artwork so you can select an appropriately sized box or even a shipping tube. For determining the shipping cost, you can weigh the artwork then calculate the dimensional weight then compare this figure with the actual weight of the art or billable weight which falls in greater. 

Select an appropriate shipping container

Shipping framed art that is larger than 18-24 inches and unframed art that is larger than 48 by 48 inches can be done via a wooden crate. You can build a customizable crate yourself or you can take the artwork to your local delivery service and get it professionally packed and ensure you get the pack and ship guarantee. 

Smaller art pieces can be shipped in a new double-walled corrugated box that will minimize all types of movement and allow for plenty of padding. You need to add 6 inches to each figure in order to allow for cushioning. Picture boxes and mirrors are well suited for mounted and framed artwork which comes in many different sizes.
It may be tempting to re-use the box, however re-using a box can lessen the protection level as well as look very unprofessional. Unmounted work can be shipped and rolled up without any damage within a shipping tube that is 4 inches longer than the shortest side of the artwork. You need to allow at least 4 inches of padding for each side of the art when it has been rolled up.

Prepare your work surface

Take care with the artwork and pad it with a protective material like foam, bubble wrap, cloth or cardboard which will protect against scuffs and scrapes. If you are ordering the piece to be displayed and moved around in different public collections or other art galleries, you may want to consider shipping it in a modular exhibition wall system like this one, which allows for freedom of modification depending on the environment and the art curator’s vision.

Cover unframed artwork with glassine paper.

Wrap your canvases in acid-free good quality glassine paper which will help you to protect the art against moisture and dust. Make sure the paper is covering all the edges and sides of the artwork and ensure when securing it that you use acid-free artist tape. if you are shipping several rolled-up items in a tube then put a sheet of the glassine paper in between each one before you roll them up. Ensure all pieces are facing the same way.

Protecting the corners

The corners of any object are always susceptible to damage. You can protect the corners using cardboard corner protectors. They are small triangle pieces that fit on the corner and you can attach with some artist tape. 

red gray blue pink yellow ad white abstract painting

Check drying times

Different types of paint will appear to be dry when they are not. Quite often the first layer will be dried but it will take some time for the layers underneath to try. Ensure you check drying times before shipping as the paint will smudge.

Framed or rolled?

If you are looking at saving some cost you can ship the rolled artwork to an art handler or framer where it can then be stretched and framed at that destination.

Avoid those fingerprints

If you are shipping artwork like photography or other artwork on a high gloss finish, then you need to wear dustless nitrile or cotton gloves so fingerprints and other blemishes from the hands will be avoided.

To protect your artwork when shipping and delivery local you need items like these:

  • Shipping tube
  • Tape measure
  • Shipping scale
  • Glassine paper
  • Cling film
  • Scissors
  • Artists tape
  • Corner protectors
  • Foam boards
  • Bubble wrap
  • Pressure-sensitive packing tape

When choosing an art storage solution, these are the many different factors to take into consideration. With these, you can have peace of mind when ordering and waiting for your artwork to arrive, knowing it’s being delivered safely and securely to your doorstep.

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