Collaborative Post

Tips for Shipping a Painting from the United States


You have finally found a perfect painting that fits your space and suits your tastes and budget. The only problem is that it is currently at the gallery in New York. How to safely transport it to the UK? International transportation of art is always a challenge, especially if it comes to rare, valuable, large, and antique artworks that require special packing and handling.

Remember that the shipping of valuables is both a science and an art. Below you have some tips and techniques that will help you ship your painting and guarantee it arrives at the destination in the best condition possible.

Tips for shipping a painting from the United States

  1. Make measurements

The first thing you should do is measure the height, width, and length of your artwork. This will help you select an appropriately sized box, tube, crate, or shipping container. Besides, you should calculate the artwork’s dimensional weight by comparing the amount of space it needs to its actual weight. In this way, you can find out the approximate cost of shipping. Art shipping companies can determine the dimensional weight for you, but you still need to provide them with pertinent information.

  1. Choose a shipping container

Wooden crates are the best option for framed artworks larger than 18×24 inches and unframed ones larger than 48×48 inches. For smaller pieces, it is better to use double-wall corrugated boxes, as they will provide extra space for padding and cushioning and minimize movement.

Unmounted artworks can be rolled up and shipped in a sturdy shipping tube without any damage. Make sure the tube is at least several inches longer than the shortest side of your piece of art. Leave some space to pad the rolled art on each side.

If your art is extremely large, build a wooden crate or hire professionals to pack and crate it carefully. Do not use recycled boxes, as they provide less protection.

Couple looking at phone and painting
You should be scrupulous when choosing the shippers for transporting your painting. Image supplied
  1. Opt for the right tools

After you select an appropriate container, take your time to buy the right art packing materials and tools. In most cases, you will need:

  • A knife or a sharp box cutter
  • Artist tape or painter’s tape
  • A marker or a pen
  • Glassine paper
  • Corner protectors
  • A box sizer
  • Bubble wrap
  • Foam boards
  • A T-square
  • A tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Cling film (optional)
  • A shipping scale (optional)

Keep in mind that to use household tape for sealing the box is a bad idea. Such tape may be not sturdy enough for shipping and thus cannot be used for packaging art.

  1. Choose the right art shipping company

What you need is a professional and reliable art shipping company that has offices both in the United States and Great Britain and can organize international art transportation quickly and hassle-free. Art shippers will come to your place at any time, pack and wrap your piece with close attention to detail, deliver it to a clean and safe warehouse, build a custom wooden crate, and ship the artwork to the ultimate destination as fast as possible. They can also provide you with white glove delivery and art installation services if needed. Dealing with professionals is probably the best way to ship a painting from the USA to the UK or elsewhere.

  1. Buy insurance

Sometimes, the damage is inevitable and impossible to eliminate. Thereby, consider purchasing insurance to protect your painting against loss. Visit your shipping company’s website or call them to confirm their liability limit for fine art and art insurance options.

Shipping a painting from the United States may be a challenge and frustration, but with the right tools, supplies, and professional help, you will complete this task safely and efficiently.

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