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How to pack pastel paintings for posting

how to pack pastel paintings for posting

This is how I pack pastel paintings. I have had no issues with this method, the artwork arrives at the destination safely and in perfect condition. Here you can see the creation of the  double dog portrait

packing pastel paintings

The main thing about posting pastel artwork is that for the piece to arrive in the same condition it leaves your studio it should be flat packed. I know some artists roll them in tubes with great success but after spending many hours on my art I would rather pay extra and post it this way. This piece is 12×16 inches so for extra sturdiness it was mounted with archival cream mountboard. This will add stability to the artwork during posting. Even better when it has a backing board but on this occasion I didn’t have one.

I use cellophane bags to put the mounted artwork in. People often comment about static but I use pastelmat which grips the pastel like glue so very little is shifted.

posting pastel art

I also pull the cellophane bag as tight as I can, even though they are usually self sealing I do retape to ensure the surface over the top of the pastal painting is tight, this way it will not actually touch any pastel.


As this was a larger sized portrait (16×20 inches when mounted) I used foamboard, also known as foamcore which is quite inexpensive and can be reused. I only had A3 foamboard at the time so I put two together cutting off the excess to fit the mounted artwork. For stability I created a top and bottom for a foamboard sandwich. I make sure the joins are not at the same place by just turning one side around as shown, this will ensure there are no weak points and the foamboard will stay rigid during posting. For smaller pieces I use corrugated cardboard and ensure the corrugate of top and bottom of the sandwich is at right angles to each other, again this will make the sandwich very sturdy.

tape down

I tape the pastel painting down to one piece of foamboard. I use framers tape as it is easily removed after delivery without too much hassle for the client. I simply put the other piece of foamboard on top and tape down securely. The idea is to ensure there is no movement within the sandwich, this will prevent any static and will keep the artwork safe between two rigid walls.

ready for posting

Lastly I used a plastic parcel bag to keep the artwork dry during transit. For smaller pieces I’ve used jiffy bags too. The bubbles inside are made of plastic and also provide a waterproof barrier.

I have posted to Australia from England using this technique without any issues and these materials are all very light to help keep postage to a minimum.

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12 thoughts on “How to pack pastel paintings for posting

  1. Good idea Rober, it’s always better safe than sorry

  2. HI again I m gonna take an old pastel I do ot like pack it that way and mail it to myself out of curiosity not than I have doubts at all but I wanna know what clients gonna get that is only fair IMHO
    Thanks for the tip I ll let you know about my experiment

  3. Glad it was of help Robert! I do send with the mount as it’s easier for the client at the other end just to pop it in a frame rather than having to tape a mount to it as well.

  4. Thanks for the tips Karrie-Ann, I love pastelmat too and also use velour and Uart 800 when posting. I’m doing pretty much like you but I do not put a mat around tne painting I’m affraid the shaking during transport will make some dust fall out so I place a sheet of clearp astel protection right on the work and then like you foam board on each side or those thin hard styrofoam sheets from do it yourself stores.
    I’ll try with a matboard as you say it works fine I was always affraid to
    Thanks for sharing

  5. It is smooth Kaz, that’s what I tried to explain about pulling tight over the art and taping it down so it doesn’t touch the pastel 🙂

  6. oakey doke thanks, image of work looks extremely smooth, so thought it was something more than a cello sleeve 🙂

  7. You should, it’s fabulous! Easy to blend on, takes lots of payers and grips pastel like a vice!

  8. Thanks! I am going to have to give pastel mat a try…

  9. Yes I have, I used the same sandwich technique. I posted one to Australia from England and it arrived safely too Mary. I then found pastelmat so have not used it in a while.

  10. Karrie-Ann…have you ever posted velour paintings? I suspect that is very different.

  11. The cello sleeve I mentioned, so when the piece is mounted, just pop into a cello sleeve and tape it tight across the picture, the thickness of the mount will keep the cello from touching the pastel itself. Hope that it explains it Kaz!

  12. Karie, what is covering on top of the dogs, is it perspex ? Before the foam board is laid across the top Kaz

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