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Very valuable paintings should be shipped by a professional art moving company, but a great many works, however beloved by their owners, do not require the white-glove treatment. Fortunately, there are less expensive options available.
If possible, ship paintings unstretched and unframed, to provide the maximum protection against damage. Instead, roll the canvas around a sturdy cardboard tube, paint side in, then wrap it in bubble wrap, then encase the whole in a second, larger tube.
If this is not possible -- for instance, in the case of paintings on board -- you may be able to use a "mirror box" available from most moving-supply stores. Pad this with corrugated cardboard or bubble wrap. Another inexpensive solution comes from the Airfloat company, which makes boxes with foam layers that can be easily customized to the exact size of your framed art and a protective layer that can be placed on glass to prevent damage from breakage.
When you uncrate or unpack a painting, save the crate or packing material in case you need to ship it again.