View Full Version : Plexiglass recommended for shipped work

09-06-2006, 02:22 AM
Hi all,:wave:
I'm very new to "wetcanvas" and fairly new to the art scene. I'm thrilled to have had a pastel accepted into a juried show. In the instructions they suggest Plexiglass for shipping. As I will be shipping my painting and have never used Plexiglass and heard negatives about using it for soft pastels... I am wondering what to do. I plan on having it packed professionally and they put a piece of material over the glass for protection. Is this OK? Or should I use plexiglass? Appreciate your ideas.


09-06-2006, 08:09 AM
I've used plexi for years without a problem.
First clean the plexi with an anitstatic spray.
Then be certain you have a deep enough mat so the plexi is about 1/4 inch from the face of your work.

The only draw back is if you haven't smacked the back of the painting to sufficiently remove the loose pastel, there may be some dusting. Since I mostly use sanded surface papers, it holds the pastel very well when I've "smacked" enough prior to framing.

Good luck and congratulations on your acceptance into a juried show.


09-06-2006, 08:56 AM
I vote for shipping with plexi, and making sure you have whacked it GOOD!!...when I went to deliver a painting for my show, the curator and Pastel pres. had two beautiful paintings that had comed shipped with glass; one had broken into shards, and the other, pastel had drifted all over the mat, and glass had a crack...they were going to contact the artists, and see if they wanted to withdraw, or Lisa would take them both to a framer for repair, at the artists' cost...

Deborah Secor
09-06-2006, 11:36 AM
Back in 2001 I served on a panel at the IAPS Convention that explored matting, framing and shipping pastels. We discussed using Plexiglas there. I've posted this report on my Pastel Talk web page (I loaned the name to this forum! :D ) so you can see the whole thing:
How to Mat, Frame and Ship Pastel Paintings (http://www.deborahchristensen.com/pastel_talk.html#anchor_86)


09-06-2006, 12:01 PM
Thank you Peggy, Tressa and Deborah for the good information. I'm going to order the plexiglass! I have already cut my mattes that will ensure the 1/4 inch... used an acid free foam board between the pastel and first mat.

Can I buy the non-static spray at a hardware store and is there an art to spraying it on.

Great article Deborah!

Oh another question... They indicate that I need to have return shipping included. How do I handle this?


Deborah Secor
09-06-2006, 12:37 PM
Jo Anne, I use a product called Tend, which is a spray cleaner like Windex that cleans and also removes the static cling. I use an old tee-shirt, nice a soft and lint-free. There are probably other products like this you can find. Plexi scratches a lot more easily than glass, so you have to use some care.

I purchased mine from a framer friend, but I suspect you could find it online, or perhaps from optometry shops (lots of plastic lenses) or aircraft maintanence shops (they use Plexi for airplane windshields.) Maybe Peggy or Tress will suggest something else... I've had this one bottle of Tend for 10 years! Obviously I don't use it a lot.

Return shipping can be purchased at the time you ship the painting. Just ask your carrier. You can prepay and have a label printed, and include it in the box.


09-06-2006, 02:17 PM
Thank you Deborah!!


09-06-2006, 03:41 PM

Not saying that you should use one thing or the other, I will say that I've sent framed pastels (with glass) abroad through regular airmail.
Untill now they got there in mint condition.
Note that framed glass is much more resistant that a single sheet.

Kind regards,


09-06-2006, 03:59 PM
And here's my two bits worth. I pack my paintings extremely well in wooden crates with several layers of convoluted foam so that they have a little give when they are dropped off that truck. I attach heavy duty metal handles to the one side of my larger crates to assist in handling. I've had those handles come back absolutely flattened to the box afer stencilling FRAGILE in four inch letters on all six sides of said box. Never have I had a piece of glass broken but I have had disasterous results inside of my plexi-glassed pieces. There is no way I will ship with plexi-glass no matter how much of a spacer is used....and my spacing is usually triple mats and 3/16 inch foam core which is closer to 3/8 "allowance. My paintings are severely spanked before framing and my backing is solid foam core so they don't move in there. I've used anti-static sprays and anti-static cloths. NEVER AGAIN!! Not even a very small piece.

That said...there are some competitions that don't just recommend plexi but will not exept any glass. This is especially true with travelling exhibits. I feel so strongly against plexi-glass that I won't even enter these ones.

To each his own and mine is glass.

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

09-06-2006, 08:20 PM
Jose and Dianna,
Thanks for your input... gives me more to think about. I have a day or two more before I have to make up my mind.

By the way Dianna I visited your website and your work is beautiful.

09-07-2006, 09:42 AM
Like Deborah I've had my can of spray cleaner for years. I got mine from American Frame, an on line frame and framing supply vendor.

As Donna said, to each their own. I might add that I have two paintings of my own that are premanently under plexi, and have been "bounced" around from wall to wall in my home for one oversized piece that would have otherwise been very heavy to hang with glass. It was painted on Wallis paper. A product that holds pigments very well. The other one is small, but my son wanted for his college days. He carried it all the way from central Washington to Santa Barbara California and back to Washington never bothering to worry about dusting. When I saw it years later, I was totally amazed at how clean it was. Not even glass would have made a difference with the rough handling it got. That particular painting was done way back before Wallis or Art Spectrum existed and is on Ersta rough grit sand paper - another good pigment holding product. Bottom line here is I think the support one paints on is critical to the successful use of plexi. I may be wrong, and if I am I apologize Dianna, but I think Dianna uses a smooth surface for her fine work.

On another note. Having been on both ends of the shipping situation, I can tell you that the more complicated and heavy the shipping crate to most shows is, the more likelhood of damage to the artwork. I haven't read Deborah's shipping article, but I was in attendance at the seminar. In fact I was the very lucky receipent of the top drawing prize from the shipping crate company named "AirFloat" that donated their boxes for this seminar. Since I'd been using their boxes for years, I was very grateful to be able to order more. I've reuesed them over, and over, etc. and oldest ones still in use are problably at least 10 - 12 years old. You might look into this system if you plan on doing many show entries because in the end it will save you money rather than having a shipping company box the work for you.


09-07-2006, 12:01 PM
Thanks Peggy,
The piece for the show is on Canson smooth surface... I painted it this winter before I discovered Wallis. I now love working on Wallis. After a workshop this spring with Maggie Price I learned about Wallis as well as putting 3/16" acid free foam board between the picture and the mats. I have cut my mats for the Canson picture with the acrid free board this time.... But being very new to this I am not sure what would be best. I did successfully mail four pictures from Colorado to the New York area without any problem using glass and using the Post Net Store in town to pack and mail and Federal Express Gound as the carrier which they recommended. That is what I am inclined to do again since I at least have some experience with that. I think I would rather test on something that isn't a juried show first. By the way... I enjoyed looking at your website, seeing your work and seeing that you are from Oregon. The accepted piece is to the Oregon Pastel Society Show.

I wish I could come in person to see the show... and who knows maybe we can do a spur of the moment trip while the show is up!


09-07-2006, 02:15 PM
Hi again,

If I'm not mistaken there is anti-static acrylic (Plexiglass is a brand, I don't know why one says Plexiglass). But you have to pay hard earned money for it.
There may be other kind of sheets that can probably be used such as PP (polypropylene ?) . But I'm not sure about these other options.

Kind regards,