Shipping fragile artworks

How do I pack my artwork for shipping?  

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Art has existed for as long as humanity has existed. The beauty of art is that it connects people all over the world. Sometimes people travel to the other side of the globe just to admire that one particular work of art. Some like to add international pieces to their own collection. If you sell art yourself, your items may be shipped to the other side of Belgium or even abroad. In this blog post, we will explain to you the best way to handle the shipping. 

How do I safely pack my art?

Works of art are unique, but often delicate objects. Therefore, the packaging is extremely important and must be handled with care. If the object is well protected, it is more likely to arrive at its new destination in one piece. How do you start packing? We take you through the process step by step:  

1. The right box

The box will help decide whether your artwork can travel safely. Measure the length, width and height of the object. Then add about fifteen centimetres to each dimension. Next, you can start looking for a suitable box. It makes no sense to take a box that is too big. The work of art will have more room to move around and break. 

2. Take pictures

Once you have found the right box, the packing can begin. Take pictures during the packing process, in which the object itself is visible. In case of damage, you can show that the object was well-packed. At the end, take a picture of the package. This photo may be useful in case the package gets lost during the shipment. 

3. Protecting your artwork

Wrap your painting in bubble wrap. Use enough bubble wrap. It is better to be safe than sorry. Eventually, you should have about eight centimetres of plastic along all sides and corners of your work of art. This way, shocks will be well absorbed. 


If you are sending a painting with a glass plate, it is better to take extra safety measures. Tape two diagonals across the plate to increase the stability. Is your painting made with oil paint? Then add tracing paper over the canvas. This will protect against dust and moisture damage. Cut a piece of cardboard that is the same size as the painting. This is attached to the glass or canvas, but do not forget to add a layer of bubble wrap in between. 

4. Fill all the empty spaces

When your work of art has a good protective jacket on, you can put it in the box. Fill all the empty spaces with padding material so that the contents cannot move around. Bubble wrap is perfect for this. 

5. Tape the package firmly shut

Finally, tape the box securely shut. Make sure there are no openings through which dirt can enter. 

Shipping fragile artworks

How much does it cost to ship art?

Each work of art is unique and therefore the shipping costs are also unique. The cost is determined by the size, weight and destination. In order to get the most accurate price, it is best to ask more information at the postal service or the company that will be handling the shipment. Please be aware that some companies have a limit on the number of kilos they will ship.

Is it interesting to choose for insured shipment?

It is recommended to insure your package. In that way, you can give your artwork to the postman with peace of mind. The cost of the insurance depends on the company that will carry out the shipment. Sometimes you pay a percentage of the value of the contents. It is also possible that you pay a fixed minimum amount. You also need to take into account an administration fee. 

How do I send a painting?

Tips for shipping art

Are you ready to send your artwork? Here are a few tips:

  • Put a “fragile sticker” on breakable packages. You can put this on all your packages. This way, you can be sure that it will be handled with extra care.
  • Never save on packaging! The financial consequences of a damaged artwork are always higher than the cost of the packaging material. 
  • Always include a track-and-trace code. That way you know exactly where the package is. 
  • Take customs fees into account for international shipments.
Would you like to sell your own artworks? TransferArt is a reliable and commission-free platform where art lovers can buy and sell art. Everything you earn, goes straight into your own pocket. Join today! 

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