How to Pack a Painting for Shipment

How to Pack a Painting for Shipment

One of the most common questions I receive is how to pack a painting for shipment, so I thought I'd provide a video of how I do it. I learned this technique several years ago from a gallery owner who had used this process for many years without any issues.

I'll preface this by saying that I get cardboard in sheets from a local cardboard manufacturing facility. The sizes vary depending on what they have on hand, but are usually in the 4'x8' range. This makes it easy for me to construct my own boxes of any size required for my paintings.

I use a two box system, using an inner box and an outer box for additional protection for the artwork:

Step 1: Wrap the Painting with Palette Wrap. I purchase palette wrap at Office Depot. Palette wrap is plastic wrap on a spool with large handles for easy wrapping. It is used in warehouses to wrap products onto palettes so that it is easy for forklift operators to move palettes around without the contents falling off.

Wrapping the painting first with the palette wrap helps protect the painting surface and is easily removable without sticking.

Step 2: Construct a Box Just Big Enough for the Painting. This box should fit rather tightly to the painting without allowing much movement of the artwork within the box. I measure the painting and record the dimensions on paper. i then transfer the drawing to the cardboard and cut it out. I score the edges to be folded, being careful not to cut through the cardboard.

I put the box around the painting and secure it with packing tape. The tape I use is brown packing tape that I purchase from a local U-Haul store. Their price is better than what I can find online.

Step 3: Wrap The Box with Bubble Wrap. I then wrap the box with bubble wrap, and tape it as required so that it stays firmly in place.

Step 4: Build the Outer Box. I then measure the package and record the dimensions on a piece of paper and transfer the dimensions to another piece of cardboard. I then cut out the box and put it together with packing tape, leaving one end open to insert the package.

Step 5: Insert the Package Into the Outer Box and Seal for Shipment. The package should fit snuggly into the outer box with no movement at all. If there is movement, you can place pieces of bubble wrap or newspaper in to fill the gaps. Seal the box completely with packing tape and you're ready to ship.

This is a very good system for protecting your artwork during shipment. I have had a couple of cases where portions of the outer box were ripped off exposing the bubble wrap. If not for this double box construction, the painting would have been ruined.

Give the system a try, I know it will work for you.


If you'd like to learn to paint with spontaneity and freshness, check out my list of upcoming workshops: (You can view a list of 2018 workshops HERE)

  • November 2-4, 2017 David M. Kessler Fine Art Studio, Winston-Salem, NC. To register contact David at or 336-418-3038. This is an Advanced Workshop focusing on developing a series of paintings.
  • November 7-9, 2017 Spring Island, SC. To register contact Pam Brickell by email: or phone: 843-987-3403.
  • November 11-12, 2017 Art of the Carolinas, sponsored by Jerry's Artarama, Raleigh, NC. Go to: to register.
  • November 17-19, 2017 Donna Downey Studios, Huntersville, NC. To register contact Bill Downey: or visit the website:

As always, thanks so much for your support! 


P.S. If you cannot attend a live event, or prefer to learn online in the comfort of your home or studio, Abstract Painting Academy is my online workshop:

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Abstract Painting Academy is the next best thing to a live workshop. You can learn more about the program by Clicking HERE. 

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