Shipping Pictures with Glass: Traps, Pitfalls, and Solutions

Shipping Pictures with Glass

Shipping pictures with glass is not the same as shipping unframed paintings. And if the frame with glass protects the painting when it is hanging on the wall, it is the biggest threat to the canvas during transit. Properly packing and shipping a framed artwork with glass can be a challenge even for professional art handlers. However, at Fine Art Shippers, we have expertise in this process and are happy to share our knowledge with our readers. 

Shipping Pictures with Glass: Most Popular Mistakes, and How to Do It Right

If you know the basic rules of shipping pictures with glass, you can cope with this difficult task. Here is a list of the most common mistakes made by beginners, along with several tips on how to do everything right without damaging the picture.

Mistake #1: You have not reinforced the glass. As a result, the glass may break during transportation or handling, and the fragments will go directly into the canvas. If this happens during transit, a complete restoration will be necessary.

How to do it right: Reinforce the glass with special glass protection tape. Even if the glass suddenly breaks, the tape will hold the fragments, and they will not damage the canvas. All you will have to do is replace the glass, thus saving on an expensive restoration.

Mistake #2: You use bubble wrap only to protect the painting. This can cause serious damage to both the frame and the glass, as bubble wrap alone may not provide adequate protection against bumps or rough handling.

How to do it right: You’ll need more than one layer of protection for shipping pictures with glass safely. Make a “sandwich” with a painting: place it in the middle of two sheets of foam, and only after that wrap it in bubble wrap. It’s also worth reinforcing everything with thick cardboard as a final layer. All these layers will protect the painting from vibrations and shocks on bumpy roads. Don’t forget to protect the corners of the frame with cardboard or foam: these parts are the most vulnerable during transit.

Mistake #3: You ship several paintings in a stack. This can cause the lower paintings to be damaged by the weight of the upper paintings, especially if they are large or heavy. In addition, the surfaces of the paintings may be scratched or scuffed because movement during shipping can cause the surfaces to rub against each other.

How to do it right: Pack each painting separately with all layers of protection and transport them in a vertical position. To prevent them from falling, firmly fix them in the trunk, for example, with the help of belts. In addition, there is a special rule for arranging paintings: put them only back to back, and face to face (that is, glass to glass). This technique greatly reduces the risk of damage.

We hope that this short blog post will help you with packaging and shipping pictures with glass. And if you’re still not sure if you can do it right on your own, contact Fine Art Shippers. We will be happy to assist you anytime!