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Old 01-12-2018, 12:52 PM
T Schneider T Schneider is offline
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Advice for shipping unframed oil

Seeking ideas on safely shipping an unframed stretched canvas, that is freshly varnished. Do not want anything (bubble wrap, etc) to contact the paint surface.

Have thought about suspending on boards with screws coming through bottom and screwing into back of stretcher bars.

Your thoughts appreciated.

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Old 01-12-2018, 02:20 PM
contumacious contumacious is online now
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Re: Advice for shipping unframed oil

Gamvar tends to remain somewhat tacky for quite a while. If it is applied too thickly it will never dry, so make sure that it is not at all tacky to the touch before you put anything over the top of it.

The best material you can use in my opinion as a cover sheet is silicone release paper, the type that is used in heat mounting art and photography in a dry mount press. It is the ONLY cover sheet I would use on Acrylics. A fully dry oil painting may not really need it but it is good insurance against the customer receiving the painting with something stuck to the face of it. You can buy it from several sources. This material is also recommended by George O'Hanlon.

Better than having something in contact with surface is to package it in such a way as to have the front of the painting suspended with nothing touching it.

Some artists will remove the painting from the stretchers and roll it to ship it. Personally I would only roll acrylics as rolling fully cured oils can produce micro-cracking that can develop into visible cracks later..

A decent method from Draw Mix Paint. There are other methods that also work well.

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Old 01-12-2018, 02:48 PM
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Jon Bradley Jon Bradley is offline
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Re: Advice for shipping unframed oil

I'd do this tor framed work too, but most big curators and galleries have box-frames made per painting and sometimes box that before the shipping cardboard.

There are decent tutorials online on how to make them--they're usually just a couple 1"x2"'s cut up and bound.

Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:09 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Advice for shipping unframed oil

When I ship unframed paintings on stretched canvas, I do the following:

First, I drive about 1 1/2 inch finishing nails into the edges of the stretched canvas, provided it is not a gallery wrap. I put 4 nails into the edges, each one about 1/4 of the way from the corner. I allow each nail to protrude from the edge.

Then I pop blocks of styrofoam onto these nails, and lay the whole thing down into the shipping case. This suspends the painting in mid-air. It has worked for me in the past. I have a styrofoam cutter, so that makes this operation a bit easier.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:06 PM
T Schneider T Schneider is offline
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Re: Advice for shipping unframed oil

Thanks to all who took time to respond. William, that is perfect. I can visualize your method exactly, and it seems very workable. Thanks, and I will post a pic of my final rigging.
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:01 PM
T Schneider T Schneider is offline
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Re: Advice for shipping unframed oil (update)

The painting has been shipped via UPS (scary) and received without damage, Houston TX to Hollywood CA. Pics of packing method attached. It is essentially a framework sized exactly to the box interior (no movement), and acts like a cartridge of sorts that slides out in one piece.

The stretched canvas is screwed (8 screws) directly into stretcher bars without piercing. Painting does have a thin foamcore backing of it's own.

It worked and I would use this method again. Thanks again for all of your ideas.


Last edited by T Schneider : 01-20-2018 at 07:02 PM. Reason: Update

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