Packaging Finished Products for Shipping or Transport

Advice on ways to wrap cabinet doors or other finished pieces so they won't stick together. December 14, 2009

We are trying to find a suitable way to package our finished products. Most of our products are factory stained or painted prior to delivery. We had an occasional problem with our packaging sticking to the finish even if it seems to be totally dry before we wrap it up. We started wrapping everything in wax paper before the stretch wrap and edge protectors. This seems to work well but it's been so hot lately that the wax has actually melted and stuck on the finish. I would like to hear what other companies are doing to protect their finishes.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor X:
We use clean wiping rags between the doors, then shrinkwrap them together. We deliver the cabinets without doors and drawers, and install them after the cabinets are intalled. We use packing blankets to put between the cabinets in the trailer. I have also used bubble wrap to put between the cabinet doors and that has always worked pretty well.

From contributor G:
Your lacquer supplier should be able to help with this. There are products specifically for not marking when wrapped.

From contributor M:
Whether I'm wrapping just doors like contributor X, or whole cabs, I use the rolls of blue or pink sill seal sold at lumber yards and then shrink wrap. I covet my clean rags too much to let them go.

From contributor J:
I always wrap the item in masking paper first. It's essentially thin kraft paper and doesn't embed itself into the finish. You can then use plastic, bubble wrap, or whatever for additional protection.

From contributor X:
I forgot to mention that after we deliver the doors wrapped with the clean wiping rags we bring them back to the shop to use in the spray room.

From contributor G:
What does your stacking time spec say in your PI sheets? Most products need 4-24 hours before they are dry enough to be packaged. If you are rushing things too much you will end up with sticking and marking. Just because it is dry to the touch doesn't mean it is dry.

From contributor D:
Ditto the thin masking paper/blank newsprint before the shrink wrap, etc. On especially fine pieces we use the multi-ply expanded core paper some moving companies use before blanket wrapping and then shrink wrapping (mostly for handling and locking the blankets down).

From the original questioner:
Thanks for all of your responses. Part of the problem I think is that we have to use latex paint often. We manufacture custom wood and composite garage doors and the trim paint being used on the house is spec'd for the paint grade doors. Latex never seems to get hard like other finishes. We have to match Ben Moore and Sherwin W. colors most often. Does anyone make an exterior grade finish that dries hard and fast that can be colored match to Ben M. and Sherwin W. colors?

From contributor G:
Every industrial coatings supplier will match any latex color fan sample from any manufacturer in pre cat or post cat interior or exterior lacquers or varnishes. Most of the colors, they already have formulas for. Some of the coatings are specially formulated so you can wrap them quickly without printing.

From contributor L:
I think SW has an epoxy additive for latex paints.

From contributor B:
I had the same issues several years back. Latex paint never completely dries. We started putting using Fuhr's 380 waterborne varnish over the paint and never had a bonding issue. This will allow you to wrap and ship in 24 hours with no sticking issues.