How to Ship a Canvas or Painting

Learn the best way to ship a hard canvas and the importance of protecting it with the right kinds of packing materia
ship a canvas or painting
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Who says you need to partner with a big time gallery to sell your art? Nowadays, eCommerce platforms like Big Cartel make it super easy for artists to sell their works online. As a result, artists can make money using only their talents and computers…but they need to know how to ship their stuff! The good news is, we’ve got you covered. This guide is all about shipping hard canvases and paintings, so that you can focus on doing what you do best: making (or selling) art!

USPS is the Cheapest Way to Ship a Canvas or Painting

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to ship your hard canvas, the best option is to ship with the US Postal Service. USPS offers the best mix of affordable rates and quick delivery times, as long as your canvas isn’t too big. If it’s one of those enormous canvases that cover up an entire wall, however, you’ll be better off going with UPS.

That being said, most canvases are lightweight items (under 16 oz) that aren’t too big. Therefore, your best bet is to ship them USPS First Class Package service. First Class Package is hands-down the cheapest way to send lightweight items, and delivery occurs between 1-3 business days. It also comes with door-to-door tracking in the United States. What’s not to love?

Save Money with Shipping Software

As it the case with shipping anything else, you’ll save the most money when you use shipping software to buy discounted postage. Online shipping software solutions allow you to access rates such as USPS Commercial Pricing, which represents the deepest level of discounts that USPS offers. USPS typically reserves these discounts for huge shippers sending out more than 50,000 packages a year. However, the best shipping software solutions pass these savings along to you for free!

Properly Packaging your Canvas

Since a canvas is a delicate item, you’ll want to take all the necessary steps to protect it during transit. The best way to do this is to include plenty of packing material inside your box. You can use different types of packing material such as packing paper, tape, bubble wrap, and foam sheets to cover the canvas. We’ve outlined some simple steps to follow below:

  • Cover your entire canvas with packing paper, taping it so that no part of the canvas is exposed
  • Wrap the whole canvas in a couple layers of bubble wrap and tape it so that it stays in place
  • If you have any more room, tape on another layer of foam sheets for additional protection

Here’s the bottom line: you don’t want anything to tear or rip your canvas before it reaches its destination. Using the kinds of packing material mentioned above is the best way you can keep that from happening.

Pro Tip: You’ll want to find a new, corrugated cardboard box that fits your canvas as snugly as possible. Canvases come in a slightly weird shape, so you may want to invest in custom packaging for your packages. Visit our Reviews page for some recommendations for custom packaging companies!

Don’t Forget the Insurance

When you buy postage online with shipping software, certain mail classes like Priority Mail come with $100 of built-in USPS insurance. However, First Class Package does not. Therefore, we always recommend that you purchase additional shipping insurance in case your canvas takes damage during transit or is lost. It will only cost you a couple of extra bucks depending on the value you declare, so it’s well worth it in case anything happens!

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