Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Packing Stretched Canvases for Sending

I thought it would be helpful to consider how to pack artwork that is painted onto a stretched canvas.

Holiday times are a good opportunity to look at this as chocolate boxes, especially the large flat ones are very handy packing materials. So if you receive any boxes of chocolates (particularly the ones with just one or two layers of chocolates as they tend to be a good size) you may want to save it for future packing material.


The way I package stretched canvases uses an appropriate size of box, lots of bubble wrap, a couple of sheets of cardboard with some extra cardboard to reinforce the edges and corners. Also some paper to wrap the box and parcel tape to keep it all secure.

My Method

I start by putting a couple of layers of bubble wrap in the gap at the rear of the stretched canvas. This will fill up the void at the back of the canvas. Then wrap the canvas in bubble wrap. It helps to both protect the painting and keeps any dampness away from the artwork too.

Next put a sheet of cardboard to the front and back of the stretched canvas. Cut these an inch or two larger than the size of the painting including the bubble wrap.

Roll up some lengths of bubble wrap strips to pack the edges around the canvas. Place in the gap between the 2 cardboard layers. Pack the bubble wrap strips out to approximately the edge of the cardboard layers. This will help to protect the edges.

Cut spacers of cardboard

Cut some lengths of cardboard wide enough for the gap between the two layers of cardboard (on the front and back of the canvas). Put these between the two layers. Be sure that the corners are well protected and put the lengths of cardboard the whole way around the artwork. Use the parcel tape or any wide tape to hold this in place.

If there is room add another layer of bubble wrap around all of this packaging, and then place it into the box.

If the box is not deep enough (the bubble wrap will make it quite a bit larger all around) you can add some more lengths of cardboard as a spacer between the top and bottom of the box.

Pack any spaces with more bubble wrap and tape the top and bottom of the box together. (The corners are the area most likely to get damaged. Be sure to check that they are well packed.)

To finish, wrap with paper and tape to secure.

I probably over-pack stretched canvases, but I‘d rather use too much packaging and have the artwork arrive in good condition.

Damaged stretched canvas?

If you are unlucky and the painting is damaged you may be able to repair it.

If the canvas and painting are intact it is possible to get some new stretchers and (having removed the canvas from the original damaged stretchers) re-stretch the canvas over them. However if the canvas or paint is damaged you will probably need to decide if it is worth the trouble of trying to get it repaired.

Should the paint be damaged you may find that you can repaint it successfully. However if the canvas is torn I wouldn’t bother trying to repair it. Perhaps you could cut it down to a good section and re-stretch it as a smaller picture.

Sending a few canvases?

If you have a few canvases to send and they are all about the same size you can buy boxes from sellers on eBay. There are some sellers on eBay that will sell boxes suitable for sending pictures. If you have a few to send this could be a good option for you.

But if you only have one picture to send it is probably easier to use the method described above.


Globe Packaging said...

This post are really amazing!!
thanks for sharing my dear friend..

Packaging Boxes | Cardboard Boxes

Zack Ridder said...

Make a second open box following the same steps. Fit this second box over the first, securing your wrapped canvas inside. Tape up all edges and corners of your cardboard box, leaving no open scores or seams. Loading and Unloading Thanks