How to pack expensive artwork for shipping

As you know, quality artwork costs a lot of money. By its nature it is delicate and even small scrapes and scratches can seriously lower the price or cost you a lot to restore. You need to be very diligent when you pack expensive artwork for shipping so that it leaves the container in the same condition it was put into it. First off, you can hire professional movers and packers Jeddah to make it easier on yourself. However, personally packing it won’t be that much of a challenge if you have the right supplies and get some advice. For those reasons, here is a short guide that will explain how to pack your artwork properly. 

Size and Supplies

Before you start packing your artwork, you need to calculate its size. The box or container you will place it in should have some free space – 2 or 3 inches from every side should be enough. If you don’t have enough space, you won’t be able to pack it properly and increase the chance of it getting damaged. Next, no matter what you are packing, you will need bubble wrap, duct tape, and filling (foam peanuts or shredded paper will do), and protective foam boards. You can find most of these items at your local shop, while the packing peanuts and protective foam is sold at specialized shops and is very cheap. For anything with a canvas, you will need glassine or some kind of acid-free paper; for anything that has edges that could get damaged (like a painting frame), you will need corner protectors.

Man packing artwork.
To pack expensive artwork for shipping safely, the box you put it in needs to have a few inches of free space.

General Packing Tips

Most of the packing will always start the same way – clean everything thoroughly. While this step may seem trivial, it is very important. For example, let’s say you are transporting some kind of wood art via sea freight from China to Saudi Arabia. As this is a long trip, any dirt or debris could end up damaging it by the time it arrives. Next, you will need to envelop the artwork with bubble wrap and secure it with duct tape. There are a few exceptions which will be discussed below. The bubbles go on the outside.

Once you are done with that, sandwich it between foam boards as best as you can. Before you place it in a container, fill the bottom of the container with packing peanuts and place the artwork in the center. The last step that you need to take to pack expensive artwork for shipping is to fill the rest of the container with the filling. The artwork should not be able to move once you are done.

How to pack expensive artwork for shipping.
You will need to envelop each piece in a layer of bubble wrap.

Special Precautions for Delicate Items

For some items, you will need to take a few extra steps. If your artwork has corners (most often a type of frame), make sure you use corner protectors. Paintings can be a bit tricky and there are two things you should consider. When the painting is framed and protected by glass, you need to secure the glass. Use your duct tape to place an X (from corner to corner) on the glass. That way, if the glass breaks it won’t damage the canvas. If it is unframed, you need to wrap it in a layer of glassine before you use bubble wrap. This protects the canvas from an acidic environment. Finally, consider getting an air-conditioned warehouse to protect the artwork from the environment. There’s no use learning how to pack expensive artwork for shipping if it ends up getting damaged during storage. Good luck with shipping!

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