Choosing the Right Glass for Framing Artwork

When it comes to professionally framing artwork, photographs, documents and other prized possessions, one of the most important decisions is choosing the right glazing material. Glazing is the transparent protective layer, usually made of glass or acrylic, that covers the front of the framed piece and serves to safeguard it from damage and enhance its visual appearance. Choose the best glazing from the wide variety of options available for your particular piece. The expert framers at Beard’s Framing and Frame Central break down the key factors to consider.

“Glazing is all about protecting and preserving your artwork while enhancing the viewing of it,” explains Jennifer Parsons, marketing director at Northwest Framing, the parent company of Beard’s Framing and Frame Central. “Our company uses Tru Vue glazing due to their superb quality, innovation and numerous options for customers.”

There are various types of glazing used in picture framing. Tru Vue’s conservation glazing options offer different benefits with both glass and acrylic. These benefits include UV protection, glare reduction and scratch resistance.

As with most products, glazing options range in price from basic to premium. While regular glass may be suitable for pieces of less significance, important works deserve the best clarity and archival framing. When shipping larger framed pieces, acrylic is a lighter-weight and often a shatterproof option.

“Typically, if you have a really large art piece, we use acrylic instead of glass,” says Parsons. “You can’t tell the difference, and acrylic makes the art piece less heavy and easy to hang, carry and ship.” Costs vary, but specialized glazing is an investment that will pay dividends in preserving your treasured pieces for the long term. Here are the types of glazing that Northwest Framing carries and their advantages.

Museum Glass
Museum Glass offers almost zero glare and also filters out 99% of UV rays. “If you have an intricate piece of art and you want to see every detail, Museum is the best glass option,” Parsons notes.

Conservation Clear Glass
Conservation Clear Glass is designed to filter out up to 99% of ultraviolet rays, which can cause artwork and photos to fade and turn yellow over time.

Conservation Reflection Control Glass
One of the main reasons to opt for specialty glazing is to reduce glare. If the art or photo will be displayed in a bright location or one with direct sunlight, glare can make it difficult to view details. Reflection Control Glass can help to reduce this glare. This glass also protects against 99% of UV rays.

Conservation Clear Acrylic
When framing oversize pieces, weight becomes an important factor. Glass glazing, which does offer striking clarity, can become quite heavy and difficult to work with in large formats. Tru Vue Conservation Clear Acrylic is an ideal choice for reducing weight while still providing protection and visibility. It also filters out 99% of UV rays.

Optium Museum Acrylic
For ultimate protection, Optium Museum Acrylic offers premium UV protection at 99%, antireflection, scratch resistance and antistatic properties to prevent damage and preserve the beauty of cherished pieces. It’s simply the best of the best.

Conservation Reflection Control Acrylic
Glazing like Tru Vue’s Reflection Control Acrylic has an etched surface, providing a matte finish to reduce glare to enhance the art’s clarity. Acrylic is lighter in weight, and this option offers 99% UV protection.

Regular Reflection Control Glass & Acrylic
These options offer non-glare technology and 99% UV protection. Reflection Control Glass is available at Frame Central only.

Regular Glass & Acrylic
Regular glass is the least expensive and most basic option. Tru Vue’s regular glass and regular acrylic are both higher-quality options than what may be purchased at a home-goods store.

The teams at Beard’s Framing and Frame Central can advise you on the ideal type of glazing for your specific framing needs. With Tru Vue products like Conservation Glass, Optium Acrylic and Museum Glass, you can trust you are getting the very best materials to display, protect and preserve your most cherished artwork.