View Full Version : Shipping a framed pastel painting

06-29-2008, 11:07 PM
I recently completed a pastel for my dad for father's day, a portrait of a beloved cat of his that recently died. I used an Ampersand Pastelbord for the piece and had it professionally framed sans a mat, but with a spacer between the painting and the glass.

My question is, can I safely ship a work like this? I did not use fixative on it, and I noticed that a very minute amount of dust is clinging to the inside of the glass in one of the corners (not really noticeable actually). I live in Ohio and I need to ship it to Duluth, MN. I am concerned that shipping the piece will cause additional dust to shake loose inside the frame, or worse, that the glass might break.

Has anyone had experience with shipping a framed pastel piece? Should I turn over the painting to a business such as P.k.g.s or Mailboxes, etc. that handles the shipping of artwork, or should I wrap it in a lot of bubble wrap before placing it in a box with styrofoam peanuts?

I would hate for the pastel piece to get damaged. Any suggestions?


06-29-2008, 11:38 PM
I ship all the time and so far have not had any problems. I wrap in foam and pack foam all around the painting. I do not use the peanuts as they can shift around. I ship anywhere from one to five paintings all in one box and it works fine. My paintings are not huge the largest would be 24x32. Good luck.

Deborah Secor
06-30-2008, 12:54 AM
I'd use a Strongbox by Airfloat (http://airfloatsys.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1). One of the businesses might use them.


06-30-2008, 06:54 AM
Donna Van Tuyl and Deborah - Do you use fixative before packing?

06-30-2008, 12:13 PM
I do not.

06-30-2008, 08:05 PM
Donna, Deborah - Thanks for the suggestions, they were very helpful. Also, Deborah, thanks for mentioning the Strongbox by Airfloat. I will definitely look into that.
- Ann

maggie latham
07-01-2008, 01:45 PM

Just as Deborah said.....definitely Strongbox by Airfloat. I shipped several framed pastels that had hardly any fixative with spacers under glass last year across the US and did not have any problems. Fed Ex handled the boxes well. I used the same boxes to house some framed pastel pieces to go in our shipment from the States to the UK……and no dust or broken glass!! These are great investment boxes for shipping to shows, as providing the piece hasn’t sold ~ it will typically be shipped back in the original box. You can use these boxes over and over again.


07-02-2008, 12:01 AM
Ann- Sorry for didn't answer your question coz I never experience shipping any artwork before, I'm a newbie. One question about Strongbox, is a recipient supposed to return it to a sender or just keep it with an artwork? :)

Maggie P
07-02-2008, 12:05 AM
I don't use fixative, and I ship all the time. I use the Strongbox Deborah mentions, but also use another box, exactly the same but available in only a few sizes, from U-line. I think it's called an art shipping box and their web site is [url]www.uline.com; same box but cheaper.

I always ask the recipient to return the box as it can be reused many times. I send them a prepaid FedEx form for the return shipping; it's cheaper than buying another box.

07-03-2008, 01:44 PM
I use the strongboxes that have a hard plastic liner, and have for many years. These boxes may be a bit "pricey", but I've never had a painting get damaged in one either. My oldest box was 12 years old before I "retired" it! One way to help them last longer is to spray them with clear acrylic varnish prior to the first use. That way the tape you use to close them will pull off more easily, but not tear the cardboard. It is also easier to remove old shipping labels. I always get those with the liner because I have had boxes get punctured while in shipment to the point of denting the liner, but the artwork wasn't harmed.
and it is FedEx or DHL every time for me as they seem to have the best record for safe delivery. If you are concerned about the amount of handling it will receive in transit, send it second day air. Then have the empty box returned by pony express! Oh yah - write your name and address and "property of" on the inside of the box. I've heard of people not getting their box back after a show because the gallery decided to use it when they sold someone else's work, and the client wanted it shipped to them!


Deborah Secor
07-03-2008, 10:45 PM
Whoa--considerable cost saving on the U-line boxes! Top and bottom plastic lined, too. http://www.uline.com/Browse_Listing_2356.asp?desc=Deluxe

Thanks Maggie!


07-03-2008, 11:02 PM
I would like to thank Maggie as well for her suggestion. I've briefly looked into the U-line product and think I'll go with that due to the lower cost.

Thanks to everyone else for their input and to Peggy for her suggestions about using DHL or FedEx for shipping.

- Ann