How to Remove the Protective Covering from Your Acrylic Glazing

Acrylic glazing, sometimes referred to as plastic or plexiglass, is a popular substitute for glass in picture framing because it is lightweight and shatterproof.

When you purchase Acrylite acrylic glazing from Frame Destination it will arrive with a protective covering on both sides to prevent the glazing from being scratched. This covering must be removed before framing your artwork. Because acrylic is easily scratched, it’s important to take care when removing the covering to keep from damaging your new framing material.

Protective covering on acrylic frame glazine

The following images demonstrate how to easily remove the protective covering from your acrylic frame glazing.

Remove the covering on a smooth, flat surface.

Removing the Protective Covering by Peeling

When removing the protective covering, you’ll want to work on a smooth, flat surface. Carefully use your fingernail to peel back the covering on one of the corners. Be careful not to dig into the acrylic. Instead, you’ll want to “hook” the covering with your nail until you can get a firm grip on it with your fingertips. Once you have a grip, continue peeling in a smooth and steady motion to avoid ripping or dropping the covering.

Steady the acrylic by keeping one hand on the covered portion, rather than the exposed one. This minimizes the chance of fingerprints or scratches. To keep the whole thing steady, it may help to keep your supporting hand directly below the point you are peeling, as in the images below.

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Flip the glazing over and carefully repeat on the other side. Be sure you’re on a flat, clean surface to prevent the newly exposed acrylic from scratching after you flip it over and are working on the other side. As an extra precaution, you can lay the glazing on top of a clean microfiber towel.

Alternative Method – Use a Cardboard Tube

If you’re concerned about peeling away the cover evenly by hand, you can use a cardboard mailing tube to help you guide the cover up and away from the acrylic. These tubes are normally used to mail posters or large photographs and can be found at most post offices or shipping centers.

With this method, you’ll also start in one corner. Center the tube over the chosen corner and gently use your finger nail to peel up the corner of the cover. Once you have a bit of the cover raised, press it against the tube and hold it in place. Then simply roll the tube the rest of the way over the glazing and it will smoothly pull the cover up for you.

Use a cardboard tube to remove the protective cover from frame glazing

It Won’t Come Off!

The covering is attached to the acrylic with adhesive. When the covering is difficult to remove it is normally because the adhesive has dried out. People who buy their framing supplies in bulk may experience this issue with unused pieces of acrylic if they’re not properly stored. Exposure to heat and sunlight will cause it to dry out faster, so it’s important to store acrylic glazing in a cool, dark place and use within two years.

If sticking happens to you, there’s no need to throw the acrylic away. Kerosene, hexane, or aliphatic naphtha can dissolve the stubborn adhesive and allow you to remove the protective cover. Always follow the manufacturer’s usage and safety guidelines when working with dangerous chemicals and do you best to avoid the situation entirely by properly storing your glazing and using it in a timely manner.

For tips on cleaning your acrylic glazing after you remove the cover and during the life of your framed art, check out our blog on Safely Cleaning Picture Frame Plexiglas and Acrylic.

About the author

author

Joely Rogers is the vice president of Frame Destination and has been with the company since its inception. She is interested in all aspects of the artist's life - art history, subject matter research, creativity, media exploration and art techniques, the business of art, art preservation and conservation, and framing and display. Joely is a lifelong artist and paints daily. Her personal website is www.joelycrogers.com.

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