How to ship and frame Watercolour Paintings (and art prints)
What is the Best way to ship and store watercolour paintings?
I always ship my watercolour paintings flat, never rolled. To roll a painting, especially if it is on thick watercolour paper can easily damage it and make it difficult to frame properly. It does not matter how long a painting is rolled up for either - First class post may only take a day but what if you are out when it arrives and it gets taken back to the depot and stored for a week before you can pick it up? Changes in temperature as the painting is shipped can cause the painting to shrink and expand.
Shipping a painting flat may take slightly more effort and cost a bit more in both packing and postage but it is worth it to make sure a buyer received their new artwork in the best possible condition. If you are a buyer always request that an artist ships a watercolour flat. If you do buy a painting or print that is shipped rolled in a tube unroll and lay it out to flatten it as soon as you receive it.
Framing your painting
Never store your paining rolled in a tube. After only a little while stored like this it will be impossible to flatten correctly.
Standard size paintings and prints can be slipped in to a standard frame and hung straight away, this is an excellent temporary measure but the best thing to do is to take your new art to a framer and have it professionally mounted and framed. It may cost a bit more but the effect and the use of archival acid free materials will preserve your painting the best possible way and be worth it in the long run. For watercolour paintings you should also ask about framing using special Perspex or Glass that cuts out UV rays. This will stop your painting from fading and also help it to stay it tip top condition for as long as possible. A professional framer should also seal the back of the frame so that bugs, dust and moisture cannot get to the picture.
When your painting is framed make sure you hang it somewhere where the conditions will not damage the painting. Do not hang it over a radiator or other source of heat, and it is best not to hang original works in bathrooms or places with high moisture.