Choosing Acrylic Glazing for Your Picture Frames

Glass may often not be the ideal choice for your picture frames. Glass is usually limited to smaller-sized frames. Its weight will make it difficult to hang the frame on the wall. The fixtures of the frame may not be strong enough to hold the frame and make it vulnerable to falling and breaking. Glass also has a slight green tint.

Although glass is still the choice of inline oval frames or frames with convex glass, some buyers prefer acrylic glazing. This is durable and break-resistant, making transport of the frames easier. The overall weight of the frame is also lighter with acrylic glazing so that hanging the frames on the walls becomes less of a challenge. Acrylic can also be equipped with additional features that helps protect the quality of the photographs.

However, it is also important to remember that acrylic has its disadvantages. Although it is durable in that it is shatter-proof, it is also delicate because it easily scratches. You need to use soft cloths when cleaning the surface of the acrylic glazing. Avoid using cleaning materials with wood pump as it can damage the acrylic. Also, once the acrylic is scratched, it is very difficult to get rid of these abrasions.

When choosing between glass or acrylic glazing such as Plexiglass, it is helpful to ask the following questions:

  • Where will the picture frame be displayed? If it will be placed in high-traffic areas where it can be bumped or jostled into, it is advisable to use acrylic.
  • What is the size of the picture frame? If the picture frame is small, glass will be suitable. If one dimension exceeds 18”, it is best to go with acrylic glazing.
  • What will be framed? Is it artwork or photographs that are easily replaceable? If not, go with glazing that has additional protective properties.
  • Will be picture frame be transported or moved often? If the picture frame will be packed and shipped, glass may not be a good option since it is prone to cracking and breaking.

Types of Acrylic Glazing

Once you have decided on getting acrylic glazing for your frame, you can choose from the following types of acrylic glazing:

  • Standard acrylic. This is plain acrylic with no extra tints, finish or coatings. This provides an optically pure and clear view of the photograph being framed. This kind of glazing is ideal for photos that have digital file copies.
  • Non-glare acrylic. This comes with a matte outside surface that minimizes the amount of reflections produced by light. However, the optical quality is not as pure as standard acrylic but the loss of sharpness is minimal.
  • Acrylic with UV filter. This is equipped with a UV protective coating that blocks the entry of ultraviolet rays. UV filter acrylic has a slight yellowish tint that is hardly noticeable. This type of glazing is best used for picture frames that are displayed in areas that get sun exposure or are brightly lit. The UV protective properties help prevent fading and discoloration in photographs. This type of glazing is also ideal for display cases.
  • UV/Non-glare acrylic. This is equipped by both UV protective and anti-glare properties.
14th Aug 2014 Eric Morgan

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