How to Choose the Right Glass

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Choosing the right glass when framing your art is something we take very seriously.  Technically, you aren’t choosing “glass”, you are choosing “glazing” since some of the options aren’t glass, but acrylic.  There are several considerations when choosing your glazing:

  • Do you need glazing at all?
  • How big is your art?
  • How light or dark is your art?
  • Where will it be displayed?
  • Will it be shipped?
  • Will it be displayed in a high-traffic area?

Some types of art generally do not need the protection of glazing:

  • Oil or acrylic paintings on canvas or board
  • Giclees on canvas
  • Some needlework
  • Some fabric art
  • Some metal art
  • Tiles

When your art does need protection, there are several different qualities of glazing products that can be combined in different combinations to meet your needs.  These qualities are:

  • Ultra-violet (UV) light-filtering coatings to slow fading of your art
  • Anti-reflective qualities to reduce glare from windows and other light sources
  • Shatter-resistant qualities
  • Hardness

So what all this means for you is that there are several different glazing products for your art.  All have advantages and disadvantages. Here are the products and their advantages.

Glass Options:

  • Museum Glass (our favorite) – Museum glass is both UV-filtering (99%) and has an anti-reflective coating to make it the most clear and the least reflective of all the products.  It simply lets you see your art without reflection and protects it against fading.
  • Conservation Clear Glass – This is regular glass with a UV-filtering coating that filters 99% of harmful UV light.
  • Conservation Reflection Control Glass – This filters 99% of UV light and is anti-reflective by having a micro-etched surface which softens the glare.  The disadvantage is that the etched surface tends to dull color and detail.
  • Premium Clear Glass – This is regular glass.

Acrylic Options:

  • Conservation Clear Acrylic  (our most commonly used acrylic) – This is 99% UV-filtering acrylic.  Acrylic’s main advantages are its lighter weight (half the weight of glass) and shatter resistance.  It is primarily used in high-traffic areas, when shipping framed art, and when framing very large pieces.  The disadvantages of acrylic – it is soft and scratches easily and holds static electricity, which attracts dust and lint.
  • Premium Clear Acrylic – This is regular acrylic.
  • Optium Museum Acrylic – This is anti-reflective, anti-static, UV-filtering, shatter resistant, color neutral, and lightweight.  The disadvantage – you pay for all the advantages.  In other words, it is very expensive.  This is used primarily by museums and for valuable original art.

When you bring in your art to frame, we’ll show you the options and help you find the best glazing for your art and your situation.

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