Do-it-yourself Shrink-wrapping

To protect my paintings from dirty hands and potential damage at art shows and sales, I wanted to cover them in plastic shrink-wrap. After several failed attempts at using a hot iron to seal the edges, I discovered that my soldering iron was much better suited for the task. As opposed to the flat iron, the soldering iron’s fine point gave me just the right amount of localized heat. Here’s my technique:

1. Place the painting between two sheets of shrink-wrap. Lay a metal straightedge against one edge of the painting, pressing down the shrink-wrap.

2. Run the hot soldering iron along the straightedge to seal the edges of the shrink-wrap. With the ruler still in place, pull away the shriveled shrink-wrap from the seam.

3. After sealing the other edges in the same fashion, use a hair dryer to apply heat to the back of the painting to tighten the shrink-wrap and to bring the seam to the back of the painting.

4. Turn the painting over and use the hair dryer on the front to further shrink the material around the artwork. Then the painting’s safe, clean and ready for sale.

A resident of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Brian Shure has had many exhibitions of his work and is the first non-Japanese artist represented in the collection of the Jingu Chokokan Museum in Ise, Japan. Also an accomplished printmaker, he’s taught and lectured extensively and is a part-time faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design. He’s represented by the Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery in New York City and the Lenore Gray Gallery in Providence, Rhode Island.

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