View Full Version : Shipping Pastels

04-01-2008, 10:24 AM
How do you guys ship your pastel paintings? How do you keep them from smearing during shipment? Thanks for any advice you can provide!:)

Kathryn Wilson
04-01-2008, 11:00 AM
Tape glassine paper over the top of your painting and sandwich the painting inbetween two foam core pieces, taping around the edges.

Deborah Secor
04-01-2008, 11:15 AM
I ship them framed under glass in a Strongbox by Airfloat.


04-02-2008, 09:10 AM
Which leads me to two more questions.....Where do you get glassine and where do you get the Strongboxes by Airfloat? And thank you so much for your replies.

Kathryn Wilson
04-02-2008, 09:36 AM
I ordered a roll of glassine from one of the art supply catalogs ... Dick Blick or Jerrys Artarama. If you plan on using pastels, it is useful in protecting them wherever you take them unframed ... workshops, classes, critiques. Money well spent.

Deborah ... when you sell a painting to clients out of your area, do you ship pastels in the box too? How do you ensure that you get the box back? Guess I am not as trusting as you!

Deborah Secor
04-02-2008, 11:43 AM
Google for the Strongboxes and you'll find a lot available online. I order them from the manufacturer in Mississippi.

Kat, I just ask my customer to place all the packing back in the box and return it to me, at my cost. I include instructions and the UPS number so they can just call for a pick up. So far I've had a 100% success rate....it's a big box and most folks don't want to store it, so having someone come and get it is fine with them. :wink2:


Kathryn Wilson
04-02-2008, 12:10 PM
Deborah - I went to two sites. One sells them singly, whereas the one you recommended, you have to buy in cases of 5 and 10.

What size did you purchase and did you use the glass skin? Also, lined or unlined, single or double?

I figure everyone will get some use out of this thread if I ask the questions upfront - :)

04-02-2008, 12:31 PM
Kat the official website address of Airfloat is http://www.airfloatsys.com There you will find all the boxes listed to buy either single or in bulk. I always buy those that have the lining, and have never had one fail. I have had the outside of the box punctured, but it hasn't gone through the lining. When I do get a puncture, I just put packing tape over it and continue to use the box.

If you want to keep the box "pretty" for a longer time, when you first get it spray the outside of the top and bottom with clear varnish. This will make it easier to remove old tape and packing labels.


Kathryn Wilson
04-02-2008, 12:54 PM
Peggy, that's the one I only saw packs of 5 or 10 - no singles. Maybe they've changed since you ordered last. I don't imagine I will have to ship too many paintings, so was thinking of one of each of the most common sizes.

04-02-2008, 01:02 PM
Peggy, that's the one I only saw packs of 5 or 10 - no singles. Maybe they've changed since you ordered last. I don't imagine I will have to ship too many paintings, so was thinking of one of each of the most common sizes.

Kat, I just went there this morning! ON the right hand side is a box that is titled "Catagories" and under that you'll find "Strongboxes" so click on that and then you'll see "unlined" and "lined" so choose the one you want. Then you will see the pages that list all the sizes and you can put the number of each one you want in the space provided that will add them to your cart.

I didn't see anything that says you have to buy in bulk. However, you can also call them at (800) 455 - 2580 if you have more questions.

Hope this helps.


Kathryn Wilson
04-02-2008, 01:55 PM
This is all I saw Peggy - case of 10 and 5


Cristina D
04-02-2008, 03:01 PM
Hmm... I've never posted here before so I can't put up any URL's, but if you change the last part of the URL you posted to 1_9 instead of 1_10 you'll get the page where you can order the boxes singly.
Hope that helps,

Kathryn Wilson
04-02-2008, 03:05 PM
Ohhhhhh .... I see now. I was looking at the Master Packs, not understanding what they were. Thanks to a newbie for straightening me out!

Sorry, Peg - senility has set in.

Deborah Secor
04-02-2008, 05:56 PM
Whew! I was thinking I'd have to get a bunch at a time! Easy mistake to make, Kat.

I always buy the lined ones, too, and I LOVE having the Glass Skin in place, for that extra added assurance. I have a roll that's lasted years, but I don't ship really often.


04-03-2008, 10:18 AM
The glassine paper you are talking about....is that at Dick Blick and it comes in a roll or sheets? I want to make sure I get the right stuff.

Kathryn Wilson
04-03-2008, 10:28 AM
Yes, here's the link to the catalog page:


I bought the roll because then you can cut the paper to fit any size painting.

04-03-2008, 06:33 PM
I have shipped a couple pastels successfully coast to coast. I have strongboxes for when I ship art to exhibitions ( I also reuse them), but I make my own shipping box for sold work, using some of the ideas that I found in strongbox.

I buy a box, flat and unconstructed, and make it the size and depth I need. Then I line it with convoluted foam I buy as inexpensive mattress pads, cut to the size of the box. I cover the framed piece in glassine or a neutral pH paper, then wrap it in bubble wrap. That I sandwich between two pieces of either foam core or gatorboard, cut slightly larger than the dimensions of the bubble-wrapped package, and tape across the ends and sides. I lay this in the box on one of the pieces of convoluted foam, rippled side up, and lay the other pice rippled side down. Then I lightly score the box ends to make the folds snug and tight, and finish taping the box together. I have yet to have a painting arrive with any issues. I even shipped a painting ahead on vacation (a celebrity portrait I was presenting at our gala) so I could see what it is like to open one of my paintings. . . . and I was impressed that I have found something that works well, costs ≤50% of what a strongbox alone costs, and costs considerably less to ship. I always ship air and whichever method will require the least handling.

I do not like using fixative, so I try to make sure all loose pastel dust has ben knocked off the work before framing. Shipping under plexiglass (which I often do) makes it more challenging, but it can be done. Once I ship, I cross my fingers that the work will not travel the entire way on its belly . . . but over some things the artist has little control. :)