Packing a Portrait Painting
In art, everything is about presentation. Not only is this true of the work that appears on canvas, but also in how you present that work to others. After investing countless hours into your latest work of art, it’s just as important to take some extra time to make sure that it arrives safely at its intended destination for others to appreciate and enjoy. In some cases, this simply means transporting a painting by car to a local gallery or client. At other times, it may require shipping a work of art out of state or, in some instances, out of the country in order to make the delivery. While packing the car may not be as difficult as packing a painting for shipment, the goal for both remains the same: make sure it arrives safely. When packing a portrait painting to be shipped, I prefer to use a StrongBox which is made by Airfloat Systems. The simple design of the box provides three layers of foam protection, as well as a heavy duty plastic puncture guard which lines both the front and back sides, providing extended protection for the painting.
Here’s how it works: After opening the box, you’ll find three layers of foam inside (two outside layers that have an egg carton look on one side and one middle layer that is flat on both sides). Remove the top, outside layer of foam and set aside.
Next, place and center the frame of your artwork on the middle, flat layer of foam. This layer is perforated into small, square sections that form a grid.
Simply begin tearing the foam along the grid lines around your frame until you’ve removed an area that matches the same size as your picture frame.
After removing the excess foam and securing the painting back into the picture frame, I prefer to wrap plastic around the frame before placing it back into the box. The reason for this is because it not only acts as a dust protector for the artwork, but also provides a strong, tight support surface for the outer layers of foam to rest on, preventing the foam from actually touching the painting.
A stronger support layer is achieved by wrapping the plastic in both horizontal and vertical directions around the frame.
Once the painting is ready to go, just place it back inside the box and close everything up. Be sure to center the top, outer layer of foam on the artwork before closing the lid. All that’s left to do is seal the outside of the box with heavy duty packing tape and you’re ready to ship.
I’ve been using Airfloat’s StrongBox system for over ten years now and have been extremely pleased with the results. The foam design inside of the box allows for a certain amount of “give” during the shipping process. In my opinion, this makes for a safer transportation system which can absorb the shock and handling that comes with shipping, while protecting the artwork inside. Another feature about the StrongBox is that it is reusable. This is especially helpful when having a work of art shipped to several galleries or exhibits.