Sending artwork in the mail

  • I wasn’t sure where to post this so I thought I would post this here to start. I finished a commission piece recently and sent it through the Post Office in one of their tubes. My gut instinct was not to use the “Priority Mail” tubes but time was of the essence and I’m new to this area and didn’t know where to find a “more substantial” tube.

    When my client received the painting, my worst nightmare was realized…..the tube and my painting were crushed. I’ve never sent a painting out before so I wasn’t sure what to do. The client asked me how he might try to “get the wrinkles out?” I’ve had a few problems with artwork getting wrinkled but it was never important enough to have to figure out how to resolve it. I told him to start with the painting face down on a clean linen towel. I also told him to gently try to roll out wrinkles with a rolling pin (again with a paper towel over painting), quickly heating and rolling. I did warn about over-heating the paper and not to use water. The other fix might be to use a “dry” iron again, with a towel under and over the painting.

    He messaged me that he tried a “steam setting” on an iron, and my first reaction was eeeek! But, he stated that it worked well. The other fix I suggestion was to have it “mounted” like a poster on foam core.

    I did offer to replace it at no cost to him. He was grateful that I offered, but he said it was just fine and he was so happy with the painting!

    If you have had any similar problems and know other “fixes” please share. I do know I will never use those mailing cartons again. Sometimes we learn by making mistakes.


    Wow! I’m glad your customer was willing to work with you.  I don’t have any ideas at the moment, but while I’m surfing for tutorials and such I’ll see if I can find something.

    What I have done with watercolour paintings is to cover the painting with tissue paper, place it into a plastic cover or bag, then sandwich it between two mat boards, then place it all into a bubble envelope. Of course, other types of boards could be used (like sign boards). The boards help to prevent any crushing/bending etc. I also place a sticker on the envelope not to bend or fold or staple…….. Of course, this was for 1/4 sheet paintings, and smaller. I’m not sure what one would do with a larger painting. Hope this helps.

    Holy cow, that would have freaked me out too. I’ve heard that sometimes when a package has a “fragile” sticker on them, some mail carriers  try to break it. I have trouble believing that but it makes me leary to advertise that the piece is fragile. I have no idea how to ship a large piece. Thankfully it was a good outcome!

    Oh my word,,that’s just awful but then so wonderful,,so glad that it all worked does make one wonder the best route to go..I’m thinking it was just a bad experience.

    Thank you to all for your comments. Yes Pamela, I am so grateful that it all worked out and that I had a client who was not afraid to help fix the problem. Definitely one of those learning lessons.

    When I’ve sent larger Items I’ve bought a substantial mailing tube, and then sandwiched tissue paper around them.  And fully ensure….

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