How to Ship Paint

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Things You'll Need

  • Metal paint container

  • Bubble wrap

  • Packing tape

  • Plastic box with screw top

  • Cardboard box

  • Packing peanuts

  • Marker

The pigments in paint aren't dangerous, but its alcohol-based solvents turn it into a dangerous substance. That's why the U.S. Postal Service classifies paint as a flammable and combustible liquid. To ship paint, you must use proper packaging and follow other Postal Service regulations. You can't ship it internationally, and domestically it can only be mailed using ground transportation. The post office allows a single 1-gallon paint container per package.


Step 1

Make sure the metal paint container holding the paint is sealed tightly.

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Step 2

Wrap the paint container in the bubble wrap, then secure the bubble wrap with the packing tape.


Step 3

Place the wrapped and taped paint box inside the plastic container with a screw top. The box must be sealed tightly and able to prevent the paint from leaking if it accidentally opens during shipping.


Step 4

Place the plastic box inside the cardboard box and fill the cardboard box with the packing peanuts. Make sure there are enough peanuts in the box to keep the paint container from moving.


Step 5

Seal the cardboard box with the packing tape and shake it to make sure the paint container is firmly in place.


Step 6

Write "Surface Only" or "Surface Mail Only" on the side of the box, using the marker. Below that, write "Consumer Commodity ORM–D." The U.S. Department of Transportation uses this acronym to identify small amounts of a hazardous substance.


The post office requires a complete return address.

Try cornstarch peanuts as a more environmentally friendly alternative to polystyrene packaging peanuts. These cost more but dissolve in water and are biodegradable.


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