Timing of posting and mailing oil paintings

How long do you wait for oil paintings to dry before posting them on DPW? How long before mailing? When the painting is very dry to the touch, is it long enough? I realize the technique, particularly thickness of the paint, does make a difference, so please include this information in how you determine when to post, sell, and ship. Thanks for everyone’s input!

I’ve only sold a couple of oil paintings, but I have a note in my auction shipping section that notes that it may be a couple of weeks before the painting ships as I post them as soon as I finish them. I would wait until a fingernail will not indent. Of course, I’m not using a lot of slow drying medium in my paintings. Perhaps, though, it might be wise to build up a collection before posting so they are good and cured when offered for sale. I guess I’m sort of thinking of my plein air paintings that have sold off the easel. Those are VERY wet. Sometimes they get framed and sometimes they don’t. I know a wet painting can be sold, but it does take some special care.

If you offer them at auction, you can add the length of the auction to your drying time. A couple of times when I felt the painting was not quite dry enough for shipping, I have contacted the purchaser and they were ok waiting a few more days to be sure it was safe.

Thank you for your information. I’ve been wondering if most people post immediately or wait a bit to allow for drying. So far I haven’t done any auctions, but have been thinking about it. Thanks again!

Thanks for asking about this Rebecca, I wonder about the same thing!

After a one incident where a painting sold immediately after I posted it and it was still wet, I stopped posting wet paintings. The customer was good about waiting for the painting to dry before shipping but I prefer to ship ASAP to keep my “to do” list streamlined and not have sold paintings hanging around.

Because of that I use a dish drying rack (wooden dowels spaced about 2 inches apart - maybe it’s a CD rack) for paintings to dry on and wait until they are dry to the touch before posting. Enough that I feel I can confidently wrap them in tissue paper and bubble wrap before boxing them for shipping. That way, when (if) a painting sells, I can immediately box it up and ship it out. I’m happy to have my “to do” list clear and my customer is happy to receive their painting so quickly.

Side note: My husband made me similar drying racks to fit 6x6’s and another one for 8x8’s. I like the stretcher bars to hit the dowels. If you paint on panels there might not be an issue.

So that is how I now approach the timing of posting and mailing of my oil paintings! Hope this helps! :slight_smile:


That is a GREAT idea! Never thought of that. I am def gonna try that drying rack idea.