I have an issue.  Well lots of issues, but lets tackle just one today.  I am a mixed media painter.  My work starts with photographs I take, edit then print.  They are glues onto canvas or wooden panels with Gloss Gel Medium.  After that they are painted on and them varnished with a gloss varnish.  I do large works, but also smaller works that are 4x4 inches, 6x6 inches and 5x7 inches.  My issue is that they paintings stick together, then become damaged.  I want to limit the amount to packing involved, as I need to take as many pieces as possible.

What are suggestions to fix this?

- something placed in between the paintings?

- different way of packaging them?

- A different Varnish perhaps?

I am open to all suggestions.

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  • Have you tried Glassine? This is used by a lot of pastel artists because it won't pull the pastel particles from finished pieces. I think it works well and it's worth a shot for your situation.


  • I would be careful using plastic, I used plastic bags for some varnished giclee's and they stuck a little when stored. I paint large pieces 24"x30" & up, so I made large pouches using this foil insulation http://www.lowes.com/pd_13358-56291-BP48025_4294925567__?productId=...=

    All I do is cut foil, make flaps and use foil tape to seal. It works great for taking to shows as it's water proof and heat resistant! It is a little expensive, about $5-$10 a painting but it has worked out great for my bigger pieces. Small pieces I wrap in butcher paper, a  hell of a lot cheaper!

    • Where would you get butcher paper and won't the paintings stick to it as well?  I know it is the Gloss Gel Medium that is doing it.

      • I guess it's actually acid free kraft paper, you can get it at any office supply or shipping store. No, it doesn't stick as long as it's acid free, like glassine but cheaper.

  • Acrylic paintings, I have found, will stick together if placed face to face. That's just life in acrylic-land. I avoid the problem by storing mine in clear plastic (polyethylene) bags. Uline sells them in all sorts of sizes, or Google "polyethylene bags." I like the bags to be at least 3 mils thick, more if you can afford it.

    • Do you use any glosses or varnishes on your acrylic?  Have you had any issues with the paintings sticking to the plastic?  What if they get warm outside in the heat?  I like the idea.

      • I use a gloss topcoat on most of my acrylic paintings. I've done extensive testing with the polyethylene bags over many years. They don't stick, ever. It's a very slippery kind of plastic, the paintings just slide off. I store my paintings in these bags for months, some even for years. I've left them in my hot car for a day or two, and I had some for a few months in the garage where it got quite hot (Los Angeles), never had any problem. That's why I recommend them so highly.

        • So it is the gloss gel medium that is seeping through that is doing the sticking.  You just get the Polyethylene bags from Uline?  If that would work, it would be the best option more me.

    • Sherry, an acrylics painter, has made her own versions of portfolios. Each painting is placed in a pouch made from old blankets, which is then place in a pouch made of a one sided vinyl-one sided cushioned type material. The exterior vinyl pouch is to keep things dry. She bought this material from a local fabric store. She spent a couple of days at her sewing machine to make these pouches. The pouches with the paintings inside are then stored in Stanley Mobile Job Boxes we purchased at Home Depot. These boxes have two wheels and a telescoping handle so they are easily rolled to our tent and back to the truck. The also are used as work tables during set-up and take down. They are easily rolled into our house for storage between shows.

      At the Virginia show she put two miniature gallery wrapped paintings next to each other in the same pouch and they stuck together in a small place on the side while they were underneath the camper top in the truck. Lesson learned. We will always make sure each painting has it's own pouch, and I will make sure the back of the truck under the camper top is vented better for traveling in the heat. The miniatures are only 5" by 5" so they should fit in zip-loc bags. Fortunately, the area that stuck was small and on the side so they were easily repaired.

      At the two shows we have done people have asked about the Stanley Mobile Job Boxes. They are big enough to store all but Sherry's larger works

      Here is the link:


      Good Luck!

      • The Pouch idea sounds intriguing, although I do not sew.  Or does my wife. I would need to have a friend make these.  Hmm.

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