Fine art shipping packing tips: How to pack sculptures and more 

fine art shipping
Fine art shipping packing tips: How to pack sculptures and more 

Shipping sculptures, paintings, and other types of fine art to customers, museums, galleries, or any other recipient carries considerable responsibility. You want to ensure that the artwork arrives not just in one piece but in the expected condition. 

That’s why proper packaging is so important in fine art shipping. However, safe, effective packaging techniques can vary for different types of art. 

To help make the process easier, let’s explore how to package different types of fine art. 

How to pack artwork for shipping

The right tools and supplies are key for packing safely. The essentials may differ from type to type, but in general you’ll need:

  • Tape 
  • Shipping scale
  • Boxes 
  • Box cutters
  • Tape measure
  • Marker pens
  • Palette plastic wrap 
  • Bubble wrap

Having these supplies at hand when packing fine art for shipping will help with everything from checking package weights to securing multiple boxes on a palette.

Shipping fine art sculptures

Here are some key supplies for shipping sculptures:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Wooden crates
  • Wrapping material (like bubble wrap, Ranpak, or foam)
  • Acid-free paper 
  • Cushioning material (like paper or packing peanuts)

Shipping fine art sculptures can be intimidating — especially when you’re dealing with a delicate or intricate piece. But you can follow these steps to make it easier:

  1. Carefully wrap the sculpture, and pay attention to delicate details. Wrap it with acid-free paper to help prevent visible aging, then use bubble wrap, Ranpak, foam, or a combination of materials to cushion the sculpture. 
  1. Once you’re done wrapping, secure it with high-quality tape. 
  1. Choose the right box size. You want a box bigger than the sculpture by several inches on all sides. 
  1. Carefully place the wrapped sculpture into the box. 
  1. Add any relevant paperwork, such as a certificate of authenticity. 
  1. Seal the box up tight. 
  1. Label it with the recipient’s address and attach any relevant signage like fragile stickers. 
  1. For an extra layer of protection, you can try double-boxing the sculpture. Pack it into a box nested inside a larger box, with more cushioning material between the two.

Packaging paintings for shipping

Here are some essential supplies for shipping paintings:

  • Acid-free paper
  • Wooden crates
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Cardboard sheets for padding (optional)
  • Bubble wrap, foam, or other cushioning material

Start by checking you have the correct size box for the painting. There should be at least a few inches of space on each side of the piece. 

If the painting is framed or a stretched canvas: 

  1. Make sure that any glass in the frame is held away from the painting’s surface by a spacer. 
  1. Consider the frame’s weight and value. You may want to remove the frame if it’s particularly heavy or valuable because it might incur additional customs fees. 
  1. Protect the painting’s surface with acid-free paper. 
  1. Wrap the painting in plastic to protect it against moisture. 
  1. Include all relevant paperwork.
  1. Wrap the painting (and frame, if included) in padding material, or place it in the box surrounded by padding like foam. Just don’t leave too much empty space around it. 
  1. Place the painting in the box, secure it, and label it.
  1. Consider building a wooden crate around the painting for further protection. 

If the painting isn’t framed or stretched, you can ship it rolled up in a shipping tube. Just make sure the tube is a few inches longer than the canvas. Check that the tube’s diameter is big enough to allow for padding material and acid-free paper. 

Other packing considerations

Here are a few more things to keep in mind for fine art packing and shipping:

  • Consider weight and shipping fees: Shipping fees may be charged on weight only or dimensional weight based on the overall weight and the packaging size. 
  • Think about environmental conditions: You need to protect the artwork’s relative humidity to avoid it getting too hot, cold, wet, or dry during transit. 
  • Document the art before packing: This ensures you have a record of its condition in case any issues arise during transit. 

Learn more about all things fine art shipping with DTS

Preparing for fine art shipping can be complicated and time-consuming, but ensuring the artwork’s safety and the recipient’s satisfaction is crucial. 

Once your art is appropriately packaged and ready to go, choose a fine art shipping company to arrange the shipping to the destination. 

DTS is a shipping logistics company with over 30 years of experience, offering domestic and international services. On our blog, we’ve covered all things fine art shipping, including the details of shipping art internationally and fine art import fees

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you with fine art shipping. 

*The information provided in the blog post titled "Fine Art Shipping Packing Tips: How to Pack Sculptures and More" is intended for general guidance and informational purposes only. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. DTS will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages arising from the use of the information provided in the blog post.

What Can DTS Do For You?

Whether you're a company looking to improve one facet of your supply chain, your entire supply chain, or simply looking for a transportation and logistics consultation, we can help.

Get In Touch
Copyright © 2022 – 2024 , Diversified Transportation Services. All Rights Reserved