The Benefits of Acrylic Glazing
When you are starting a framing project, choosing the proper elements may be a little confusing. Framing a prized piece of art requires choosing a frame type – metal, wood or plastic; the matting to protect and showcase your picture and the glazing. You can either elect to use glass or acrylic; both have their benefits and disadvantages. Deciding on the glazing that you use depends on your budget, how and where you’ll be displaying your piece as well as the need for conservation.
Acrylic Is Lighter
Acrylic is a resilient material that is less likely to shatter than glass, given the same circumstances. Acrylic glazing is best used in larger format artwork and if shipping will be a concern. If you will be shipping large pieces of artwork, the cost to ship will be cheaper and the trip easier – with less likelihood of breakage, with a picture framed with acrylic glazing. Another consideration is if you artwork will be in an environment with children. Framed artwork with glass can fall and shatter, both the heavy frame and the shards of glass can be dangerous if young children are nearby.
Allows for More Light
Acrylic lets in about 10% more light than standard glass, making it clearer and giving better light to view your work. Your artwork will shine with the clarity and radiance that was intended when glazed with acrylic. But with more light comes the greater possibility of damage from sunlight and UV rays.
Other Glazing Factors
Other glazing factors to consider are UV protection and glare potential and protection. The choice to use the optional UV protection on acrylic matters most if you need to conserve your art piece. A properly protected acrylic glaze should provide about 98% protection from direct sunlight. Another factor is decreasing glare and reflection. Non-glare, which has a single side chemically 'etched' to diffuse light, or anti-reflective, which has an optical coating applied to it. However non-glare glazing reduces the brilliance of your artwork, decreasing the clarity and color with a flatness to the glaze. Anti-reflective coating is more expensive, but the clarity of your work is not affected.
Custom Glazing with Plexiglas®
Frame Destination, online retailers of custom framing and acrylic glazing uses Plexiglas® as their provider of choice. You can opt for any profile – size, shape, portrait or landscape orientation or completely custom. Our selection of acrylic glazing ensures that we can meet your framing needs – no matter what they are. We offer this high quality, resilient glazing in standard, Non-glare or UV protected or both.
Ordering your glazing online is easy with Frame Destination’s simple process. Please use our visual guide to help walk you through the process or get further information on your options in acrylic glazing.
Note: as of January 2017 we currently offer Acrylite® brand acrylic.
I think it’s important to point out a few of the downsides of using acrylic vs. glass as well. For example, while acrylic is MUCH harder to break than glass, it’s also much easier to scratch. So clients need to be aware that they should use cotton or microfiber cloths instead of paper towels for cleaning the acrylic, as paper towels will cause minute scratches which can, in the long run, create a “fuzzy” appearance.
Also, acrylic should be cleaned with a plastic cleaner instead of a glass cleaner, since glass cleaners can emulsify the surface of the plastic, making it gummy and distorting or “fogging” the image.
How to tell the difference: try to push a pin into the glazing in the very corner, right next to the frame, where no pinhole could ever be seen afterward. If it sticks, even a tiny bit, in the glazing, it’s plastic. If it doesn’t, it’s glass.
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