Choosing the Right Glazing for Your Picture Frame
When you speak of glazing, the image that immediately comes to mind would be that layer of sweet sugary goodness on top of a warm doughnut. But do you know that glazing (picture frame glass, that is) is also an important choice for your picture frame requirements. The glazing actually works as one important protective component of a picture frame – shielding the framed object from the elements – dust, grime, humidity, moisture and heat.
So, how do you choose the glazing that best fits your needs? Here are some glazing solutions you can choose from:
- Convex glass. This is actually meant for the classic, antique look in frames. Convex glass, also known as domed or bubble glass, is curved in such a way that only the edges of the glass touches the picture. This prevents the photograph from sticking onto the glass because of moisture and humidity. Convex glass is commonly used with oval antique picture frames, for classic portraits that were all the rage in the early 1900’s. The Victorian Frame Company provides convex glass as replacement for antique frames, as well as for modern antique frame replicas. These are available in standard sizes but custom-sized convex glass can be made to order.
- Clear glass. This is plain, flat glass provides the most basic protection against grime and dust. However, this does not provide any other levels of protection. This is, obviously, the most affordable option and is ideal for picture frames that will house easy-to-reproduce images such as photos with the digital files kept in your back up, posters and other items that do not merit preservation. Clear glass is not ideal for overly large frames as the picture frame may buckle over the combined weight of the glass and the frame itself.
- Non-glare glass. Also referred to as non-reflective glass, this diffuses light so that even when the frame is hung in an area with lots of light, the image inside the frame is still highly visible. The glass is etched on the side facing the viewer. When using non-glare glass, it is best to minimize the layers of matting and spacers, since the distance from the glass to the image affects the clarity of the image being displayed.
- Clear Glass with UV Protection. This type of glass is ideal for antique and irreplaceable photographs as well as expensive artwork. This prevents sunlight (as well as artificial light) from penetrating the glass and causing damage on the image. Over time, light can cause discoloration and fading, as well as cracking.However, take note that this may not effectively limit the presence of reflections.
- UV Non-Reflective Glass. Aside from UV protection, this glazing option ensures more visual clarity with its non-reflective properties. This is due to the fact that one side of the glazing is etched to diffuse any light reflections. Because this is more expensive, this is ideal for important photographs and expensive artwork. This provides clear images, for framed items that hold up to two layers of matting.
- Acrylic. This is a popular option since acrylic is cheaper, shatterproof and very light. Standard acrylic will have no UV protection. Thus, it is best to choose acrylic glazing that is equipped with UV protective qualities and low or no reflective properties for visual clarity. This works very well for oversized frames. However, care should be given when cleaning acrylic glazing as this is very prone to scratching. When cleaning, no household solutions or chemicals should be used. This option is also not ideal for charcoals or pastel artwork, since acrylic can produce static electricity that will attract dust onto the surface of the glazing.
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