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Are there any local products you use to protect paintings during shipment?

I am curious whether any of you would trust easily obtained or household products to protect your painting surfaces during shipment. What about wax paper, parchment paper, cling wrap, polyethylene etc.

Hi Gary,

I use bubble wrap with oil paintings and I make a cardboard cradle for the painting to help stop it moving in transport and as protection, enclosed in a plastic bag. With watercolours sandwiched between two sheets of acid free mount board and enclosed in a plastic bag.

I have never tried bubble wrap except as an outer protection. I have read that it can leave marks on the painting surface if placed in direct contact.

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I use parchment paper. Nothing sticks to it, including the drafting tape, which is why I wrap the tape all the way around and back on itself. Then I wrap it in brown paper, and the envelope is padded, of course.

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I have seen bubble wrap marks on paintings but it seems alright if used shiny side to the painting. I always use parchment paper next to the work as it is totally ‘stick free’… then the bubble wrap on top with the bubbles outside.

I put a piece of bubble wrap as a base cushion on my cardboard cradle, with the back of the painting laying on it, not the painted surface.

I transport paintings to shows and galleries proportionately more than I ship, but I have used a wood & laminate flooring underlayment foam (polyethylene) with great success. No dents, scratches or damage to any paintings since I began using it a year ago. It’s very inexpensive, $25.00 at Home Depot for a 100 ft. roll. I simply cut to the size needed for each work. I cover all the painting surfaces (including corners) with the piece I’ve cut and sandwich the painting between two pieces of cardboard cut slightly larger than the overall size of the painting. Then I use the shipping style cling wrap is to hold everything together, it works well, nothing budges. As a shortcut, I’ve also used just one piece of cardboard for the back of the painting with the foam covering over the front, cling wrapped together and that has worked well also.

My oil paintings are always dry and have been varnished with Gamvar when I use this method.


I used that underlayment before too. I actually go to a nearby furniture store delivery area now and they give me their used/very clean sofa bubble wrap which has another layer so I get free bubble wrap/waterproof wrap for free. They have to discard it otherwise in a compressor/dumpster machine they have and it’s great stuff! I first became aware of this resource after my sofa was delivered and unwrapped and I asked him what they do with it. Where do you get your shipping cling wrap?

I purchased a small roll (6" wide wrap) attached to a 12" cardboard spool at WalMart for $6 over a year ago and still have about 25% of it left. A great value!


I get all my shipping supplies on https://boxgiver.com/ when I ship my artwork