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A Guide To Different Framing Glass Types

May 08, 2023

A Guide To Different Framing Glass Types

Whether you are an art collector, are interior-obsessed, work in an industry where you get to boast your certificates on the wall or are simply looking to frame some new family photos, there's one thing in common — you are looking for a high-quality frame to display your pieces.

There are several aspects to custom framing that come together to create a quality finish; selecting the glass for framing your piece is a critical part of the process. 

When framing artwork, photos, 3D items and memorabilia, there are different types of glass available, and it can be tricky to decipher which glass is best for your framing needs. 

So, instead of choosing the wrong glass and risking damaging your artwork, stick with us, and we will take you through all the glass options and help you to discover the best choice for your piece.

The different types of glass for picture frames

wall photo frames perth

Regular clear glass

Regular clear glass is the most common type of glass used for picture framing. It is transparent, with a very slight undetectable green tint.

Benefits:Regular clear glass is affordable, readily available and provides basic protection to your art piece.

Recommended use:Regular clear glass is suitable for general framing needs. It is a particularly good choice when you are concerned about budget or framing less valuable pieces that you don't believe require any advanced protective measures.

Non-glare glass

Non-glare glass offers a matte, slightly frosted finish. Non-glare glass also helps to diffuse light and reduce the reflection on your frame.

Benefits:Non-glare glass reduces glare, making it easier to see your artwork in rooms with more light.

Recommended use:Non-glare class is perfect for framing pieces that will be in environments with a strong light source, for example, being close to a window or underneath direct light.

UV protective glass

UV protective glass is made with a special coating that filters out the harmful UV rays that come from both natural and artificial light sources.

Benefits:Investing in UV-protective glass is a good idea to help prevent fading, discolouration and any further damage that could be caused to the artwork due to UV light exposure.

Recommended use: UV protective glass is ideal for framing valuable or irreplaceable artwork, photographs, memorabilia or documents, mainly when it is likely that they will be exposed to direct sunlight or fluorescent lighting.

Museum glass

Museum glass is a premium glass option, boasting low-reflective glass with UV protection. It also features an anti-reflective coating that eliminates all reflections and glare.

Benefits:Museum glass provides high-quality clarity and colour fidelity and superior protection against UV light damage.

Recommended use: Museum glass is often used for historically significant or sentimental pieces that require the highest level of preservation and visual appeal.

Acrylic or plexiglass

Acrylic glass, which can also be called plexiglass, is a lightweight, shatter-resistant alternative to standard glass. Plexiglass comes in various options, including clear, non-glare and a UV-protective selection.

Benefits: Acrylic glass is a more lightweight and durable option than standard glass; this makes it a great option for larger pieces or when using particularly heavy frames. Plexiglass is also recommended where safety is a concern, for example, when decorating a children's room.

Recommended use: Acrylic glass is recommended for large or heavy pieces and in earthquake-prone areas or places where safety is a priority, like public spaces or children's rooms.

Tips for how to choose the right glass for your picture frame 

If you are trying to select the right glass for your frame, consider some of the following tips and tricks:

  • Consider your artwork's value; this will help you to understand the type of custom frame and glass type you are willing to budget for.
  • Consider UV protection. Where will your frame be hanging? Are there direct UV rays? Will it require a non-reflective glass option? Ask yourself these questions before making a decision.
  • Think about safety. Even a small picture frame can cause damage if broken glass is scattered on the ground, so carefully consider the location and if the normal glass is a good option or if plexiglass might be a safer alternative to real glass.
  • Consider the size and weight. A large picture frame may require a lighter glass option like plexiglass; likewise, carefully consider the size with a heavier ornate frame before moving forward with a glass choice.
  • Consult the experts — you don't have to do this on your own; Portfolio Picture Framers are here to help; if you have any framing questions or would like to come into the store and grab some advice,  reach out to us.

Importance of proper handling and care of picture frame glass

Proper handling and care when it comes to your picture frame glass are critical for a few reasons, like preserving your artwork, maintaining its visual appeal, ensuring safety, and prolonging the lifespan of your framing materials.

When you have your artwork framed with a professional custom framing company, you ensure that the necessary precautions are in place to safeguard your piece. These precautions include cleaning the glass with appropriate products, handling it delicately to avoid damage, and protecting it from potentially harmful environmental factors.

Why Portfolio Picture Framers?

We simplify the custom framing experience, making it simple for you to end up with a framed piece you love. Our in-house team of experts are trained to help you to make the best decision for your piece; whilst it's one thing to do your research online, taking your piece in-store and getting an expert opinion is a reassuring way to guarantee the best results.

We offer cut-to-size glass for picture frames, ensuring your piece has a streamlined and premium finish. Additionally, we offer  glass repairs for broken glass picture frames to get your frame back into perfect condition in no time.

With over 30 years in the framing industry, we are here to help. So if you have questions on the best glass for your piece or are simply looking for a high-quality and professional framing team, please  contact our team.

Send us a message!