“Calm Before” a 30×40″ painting was shipped this week to California. To ship a painting 3000 miles, it needs to be packed properly. First I wrap painting in archival brown paper then have the hardware store cut a piece of tempered quarter inch hardboard to the size of the painting. This hardboard lines up with painting and then at least 2 layers of large bubble wrap go around this next. I use twine to secure the final bubble wrapped package. Then, I purchase 2 mirror boxes that I can nestle for extra cardboard to approximately 6-8 inches larger than painting. I slide the painting into the box and add more packing bubbles and popcorn.
I found that UPS ground is cheapest if you do the payment online, print the label and then drop it off at my local UPS store. For 10 bucks more, they will pick up.
A collector from Virginia purchased four paintings to be shipped to her vacation home in St. Croix. Since the island had hurricane damage, I held the paintings for her for 3 months in an air conditioned area of my house. She had worked out to use a freight company in South Florida that will ship the crate by boat. So I had a carpenter friend build me a crate to fit all of the paintings. First of all, I had Home Depot cut the underlayment hard wood to the sizes of each painting. To wrap each painting separately and make sure they would be secure took a lot of materials and bubble wrap.
First, wrap each painting with archival brown paper. Then tie the wood underlayment wood onto the front side of the wrapped canvas and tie with string. Making sure that the corners are extra protected, I put extra corner foam pieces or bubble wrap (the large bubbles). Each painting has at least three layers of the heavy bubble wrap secured with packing tape. Sometimes I also add an additional heavy duty plastic to keep it water tight. But since these were going to the freight company and may be stored for a couple weeks, I thought it best to keep a little air circulating in the crate to keep mildew from occurring.
The hardest part was that the largest painting was 60×48″ so the crate became very heavy…over a hundred pounds and 11x52x65″. After putting the paintings into the crate, and packing tons of light weight noodles and popcorn, screwing in the top and trucking it to my garage ready for pick up from the freight company, I am just waiting for the pick up today. I cannot lift it so I hope they bring a lift truck.
Sometimes I use Navis Pack and Ship. They make their own crates from layers of insulated cardboard so its much lighter and still safe for the paintings. I have shipped paintings this way several times. But if paintings are sold through Saatchi, they demand a plywood crate for paintings larger than 48″. Plywood is ridiculously heavy so I think its not the best way to ship at times. This customer also wanted all paintings put into one crate so its very heavy.
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