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Old 12.01.2021, 10:59
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How to package painting with fragile surface?

Hi friends!

Question. I need to send a painting from Zürich to New York, but I'm not entirely sure how to package it without damaging the surface. It's the acrylic/plaster painting below. Any tips on how to wrap it safely to avoid damage?

Also, does it exist any adhesives/similar that I can spray on top of it, so the crackled parts are more sturdy (but also don't leave a weird glossy finish)?

Thank you so much!


Last edited by mmaa; 12.01.2021 at 11:17.
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Old 12.01.2021, 11:10
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

I send collectible items around the world as a business (mostly lamps and furniture). Depending on the insurance value I would not recommend packing yourself.



A piece like this will normally need wood crating as an outer layer; around Geneva/Vaud I would recommend Jetivia, they can provide a door-to-door service including the crating. As you can image it will not be cheap though, with just the wooden box starting at CHF 150 + shipping & insurance.


Either way, I like pieces like these, so let me know if it's for sale
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Old 12.01.2021, 11:24
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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I send collectible items around the world as a business (mostly lamps and furniture). Depending on the insurance value I would not recommend packing yourself.

A piece like this will normally need wood crating as an outer layer; around Geneva/Vaud I would recommend Jetivia, they can provide a door-to-door service including the crating. As you can image it will not be cheap though, with just the wooden box starting at CHF 150 + shipping & insurance.

Either way, I like pieces like these, so let me know if it's for sale
Ah, you may be right. I live in Zürich so I'll try to contact a similar shipping company here and see what they have to say. I'm sending the one above plus this one in the same package, too. They are 100x100 and 70x70 cm respectively, and I'm already sweating over how to package that. Maybe better to leave it to a professional...

And yes, all my pieces are for sale! So happy you like them all. I've sent you a PM :-)
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Old 12.01.2021, 11:25
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

There are videos on youtube for how to safely package paintings for shipping, including videos for how to build your own wooden crate, measured to fit the painting.

Depending on the value of the painting, I would probably also consider just wrapping it in foam or layers of bubble wrap and then on top of that, on the bottom and top of the painting, place thin pieces of board, tape it all around so the boards stay in place -- and then put that in a flat shipping box (which you can buy on amazon.de, etc.).

As for a spray to protect the painting, you could try a matte varnish spray (depending on whether your painting is oil or acrylic, etc.). Those are usually used to protect the finish of the painting (e.g. from UV rays) but if applied thick enough, I think it would also provide some degree of protection for the texture itself -- to help strengthen it and make it less easily chipped off.
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Old 12.01.2021, 13:13
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

I would recommend against spraying anything onto a painting without consulting with a professional restorer first.

Anything that could modify the overall elasticity could weaken the overall structure.

I totally wrecked a piece once while trying to treat the woodworm that was consuming it. Fortunately it wasn't a piece of much value, a piece of tat that I had brought home as a holiday souvenir. But I learnt my lesson.
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Old 12.01.2021, 15:51
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

Please do note that if you plan to make your own crate, the US has very specific requirements (ISPM-15) in terms of wood treatment to avoid contamination.



Any wood for packing needs to have this IPPC stamp (already on most Europallets), it's better to use therefore a company specialized in this sort of thing, at the risk of your shipment being blocked at customs.
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Old 12.01.2021, 15:57
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

In case you wanted to do this yourself, I shipped a large oil painting by constructing a box from hardboard (a good balance between strength and weight to keep shipping costs down).

Covered the painted surface with bubble-wrap and the back with pieces inside the frame with enough layers to come just above the back of the frame.
Accurate cutting of the hardboard is important - I made the 4 'thin faces' of hardboard sit inside the large back and front pieces. All pieces cut to make a snug fit so the painting can't move.
With the 'shiny' face of all pieces on the outside I joined all edges using parcel tape which bonded well to the surface and gave a very rigid final structure - again, accuracy is the key so take your time.
Obviously I covered it in fragile stickers!

Regarding the painted face, it comes down to just how fragile this is and the consequence of the odd paint flake coming off. I would not try spraying anything on it. Instead, if you think the bubble-wrap would not work get a 'feeling' for it by trying other material e.g. perhaps and old piece of fleece. This is where having a snug packing fit is critical because the surface will only be impacted by movement between the material in contact - so if it can't move it should be fine. I would not ship to the final destination but to a friend who can unpack, check and remove any odd flakes that drop off before hand delivering.

Regarding shipment I think speed is your friend here so I would pay out for a fast as possible shipment to reduce the time during which problems could occur. Alternatively, if you know anybody going to NY I would advise getting them to take the parcel and put it down the 'Outsize baggage' route - may sound unlikely but this option only gives 2 steps where the baggage handlers can cause a problem, but by making your parcel distinctive with Fragile stickers etc. you can hope and expect them to take more care.

Final decision comes down to value, cost and your personal risk profile but it's an option!
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Old 12.01.2021, 16:06
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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Either way, I like pieces like these, so let me know if it's for sale

I have some old tiles that fell of my bathroom wall which look pretty similar from the back side. 3000 CHF each.
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Old 12.01.2021, 17:06
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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Hi friends!

Question. I need to send a painting from Zürich to New York, but I'm not entirely sure how to package it without damaging the surface. It's the acrylic/plaster painting below. Any tips on how to wrap it safely to avoid damage?
How did you get on with shipping the one to Genoa?

https://www.englishforum.ch/other-general/301452-ship-artwork-switzerland-italy.html



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In case you wanted to do this yourself, I shipped a large oil painting by constructing a box from hardboard (a good balance between strength and weight to keep shipping costs down).
Out of interest, what thickness of hardboard did you use?
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Old 13.01.2021, 12:02
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

Guys these are fantastic tips - thank you so much! I looked into art shipment companies and they are insanely expensive - way beyond my budget. It seems I'll have to head to Bau+Hobby, buy some wood and build a box myself. I'll make sure it has the IPPC stamp. Beyond that, bubble wrap, styrofoam, and tape seem to be my best friends here.

Given the surface of the painting, what kind of material should be closest to the painting surface (i.e. what won't stick to the surface)? Bubble wrap, or something else?


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How did you get on with shipping the one to Genoa?
Covid made sure that one did not happen unfortunately :-(
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Old 13.01.2021, 12:35
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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I have some old tiles that fell of my bathroom wall which look pretty similar from the back side. 3000 CHF each.
Some architects go crazy for this type of stuff.
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Old 13.01.2021, 13:41
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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I have some old tiles that fell of my bathroom wall which look pretty similar from the back side. 3000 CHF each.
Don't you think that's an extremely rude comment to make?
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Old 13.01.2021, 13:52
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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Given the surface of the painting, what kind of material should be closest to the painting surface (i.e. what won't stick to the surface)? Bubble wrap, or something else?
I think I would use sheets of foam (about 4 cm thick), which can be bought at stores like OBI or Coop Bau & Hobby and then cut to size. Bubble wrap might also work well, but I would put the bubble side of the wrap on the outside so that the bubbles themselves are less likely to interfere with and damage the texture of the painting. Obviously, you're going to want to be careful to not put pressure on the painting itself, though (whatever you use) and risk chipping away at the painting's texture.

Curiously, what are the dimensions of the painting?
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Old 13.01.2021, 13:58
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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Don't you think that's an extremely rude comment to make?

It can get worse, so don't take it to heart. As they say 'opinions are like a**holes; everyone has one'


I personally like the paintings, especially the black one, but I love abstract. I would literally give my wife's right arm for a Pollock!
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Old 13.01.2021, 15:09
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

I would put something soft between the bubble wrap and the painting. Like one piece flat wool type of fibrous material but not like cotton wool, otherwise it will stick to the irregular surface of your painting and rip off pieces on removal?

Materials that comes with TV packaging might also be useful.

Actually just thought of something. Put in a wooden crate but screw the back of the painting to the inside back surface of the crate. The front of the painting then can have a gap to the front surface of the crate. This way the front of the painting just floats and does not touch anything. You just have to seal the inside of the crate to make it waterproof etc.

Sorry if someone already posted anything similar.

EDIT- It won't protect against box being shaken and dropped though.



Last edited by Talk to you later; 13.01.2021 at 15:26.
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Old 13.01.2021, 18:19
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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Materials that comes with TV packaging might also be useful.
I second the use of this thin foam padding. Look for "Verpackungsschaum".

To prevent damage even in a crate you need to use lots of packing material to protect the painting and make sure it can't shift in the crate.
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Old 13.01.2021, 18:54
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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I would put something soft between the bubble wrap and the painting. Like one piece flat wool type of fibrous material but not like cotton wool, otherwise it will stick to the irregular surface of your painting and rip off pieces on removal?
Grease-less baking paper.

Tom
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Old 13.01.2021, 19:02
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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Don't you think that's an extremely rude comment to make?
"Kunscht isch gäng es Risiko"

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Old 13.01.2021, 19:07
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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I have some old tiles that fell of my bathroom wall which look pretty similar from the back side. 3000 CHF each.
It does oddly look like something that would come out of a bathroom demolition.

I myself was thinking about signing my name on a urinal and calling it art, but someone beat me to it...
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Old 13.01.2021, 22:08
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Re: How to package painting with fragile surface?

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Out of interest, what thickness of hardboard did you use?
Hi Tom, didn't know there was much of a choice but for reference mine was 3.5mm.

I was quite chuffed with the result - found a picture of the packaged painting (the one that Peter Piper picked...)


Name:  Packed Pic.jpg
Views: 32
Size:  115.1 KB

Tim
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