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What are the Different Types of Picture Framing Glass?

Museum Glass - Picture Frame Glazing
Museum Glass – Picture Frame Glazing

Picture framing glass (“glazing,” “conservation glass,” “museum quality glass”) usually refers to flat glass or acrylic (“plexi”) used for framing artwork and for presenting art objects in a display box (also, “conservation framing”). Source – Wikipedia

When having your artwork framed, there are several choices available when it comes to the type of “glass”, “glazing”, or “facing” that can be used. In this article we are going to take a moment and discuss what choices are available and what benefits each type offers, when it comes to the protection and display properties of your art. Keep in mind, most of these choices are only available for custom framing where conservation or anti-reflective coatings are important to the preservation of your photos or artistic works.

Glazing Choices Available in Our Ready-made Frames Available at FrameUSA.com

Basic Glass – This type of picture frame glazing is the most common in ready-made frames that you will find in retail stores or online. Basic glass protects your art from dust and scratches only. It does not protect your artwork from harmful UV rays or contain any anti-reflective properties.

Styrene – This type of frame facing is popular for it’s light weight,  affordability, and resistance to shattering. Styrene is the most affordable non-glass facing and provides physical protection from dust and scratches. WARNING – Do not use household cleaning chemicals or solutions! Clean only with a soft, damp cloth.

 

Different Types of Picture Framing Glass
Conservation Clear and Museum Glass

 

Glazing Choices Available in Our Custom Framing Location – Cincinnati, OH

Basic Glass – This type of picture frame glazing is the most common in ready-made frames that you will find in retail stores or online. Basic glass protects your art from dust and scratches only. It does not protect your artwork from harmful UV rays or contain any anti-reflective properties.

Styrene – This type of frame facing is popular for it’s light weight,  affordability, and resistance to shattering. Styrene is the most affordable non-glass facing and provides physical protection from dust and scratches. WARNING – Do not use household cleaning chemicals or solutions! Clean only with a soft, damp cloth.

Basic Non-glare Glass – This type of frame glazing provides physical protection from dust and scratches. This type of glass also has a slightly frosted glass to prevent glare and reflections. This glazing does not preotect your art or images  from harmful UV rays.

Conservation Clear® picture framing glass offers the highest level of UV protection available in the industry.  Over time exposure to indoor and outdoor UV light rays can contribute to fading and deterioration of art, photographs and other important personal keepsakes. Conservation Clear glass effectively blocks up to 99% of UV light rays to protect against fading and help keep framed pieces brighter, longer.

 

Conservation Clear Framing Glass
Conservation Clear Framing Glass

Technical Info:

  • Blocks up to 99% of UV light rays
  • Meets ISO 18902 and passes ISO 18916, by providing at least 97% UV protection
  • Does not degrade or delaminate over time.  Tru Vue uses a proprietary inorganic, silica-based UV blocking coating, which is “baked” into the glass substrate producing a permanently bonded coating.
  • 2.5mm glass substrate

When To Use:

  • Ideal for any framing application, if reflection-free viewing is not important.
  • For protecting art, photographs and other important personal keepsakes against damage and fading caused by UV light.
  • To provide fade protection for posters. The inks, papers and other materials used to create these prints are more likely to deteriorate at a faster pace than higher quality reproductions.

 

 

Conservation Reflection Control® glass enhances the beauty of artwork with a matte-like finish that scatters light to minimize unwanted glare.  Additionally, it effectively blocks up to 99% of UV light rays to help protect art, photographs and other important personal keepsakes from fading and deterioration caused by harmful UV light rays.

 

Conservation Reflection Control Frame Glazings
Conservation Reflection Control Frame Glazings

 

Technical Info:

  • Matte-like finish to minimize glare and allows 89% light transmission
  • Blocks up to 99% of UV light rays
  • Achieves over 97% light transmission to enhance colors, brightness and contrast levels
  • Meets ISO 18902 and passes ISO 18916, by providing at least 97% UV protection
  • Does not degrade or delaminate over time.  Tru Vue use a proprietary inorganic, silica-based UV blocking coating with a matte-finish, which is “baked” into the glass producing a permanently bonded coating.
  • 2.5mm glass substrate

When To Use:

  • To minimize glare while protecting art, photographs and other important personal keepsakes against harmful UV light rays
  • Use on any framing project with up to two mats away from piece without significant resolution loss

 

Museum Glass® anti-reflection picture framing glass with Conservation Grade UV Protection is the best glazing option available for art, photographs and other important personal keepsakes.  Along with its nearly invisible finish, it effectively blocks up to 99% of harmful indoor and outdoor UV light rays so framed pieces remain clearer and brighter for longer.

 

 

Frame Glazings - Museum Glass
Frame Glazings – Museum Glass

Technical Info:

  • Reduces reflection by over 85% (to less than 1% of total light), the lowest possible reflection rating available with UV protection
  • Achieves over 97% light transmission to enhance colors, brightness and contrast levels
  • Blocks up to 99% of UV light rays
  • Meets ISO 18902 and passes ISO 18916, by providing at least 97% UV protection
  • Does not degrade or delaminate over time.  Tru Vue uses a proprietary inorganic, silica-based UV blocking coating, which is “baked” into the glass producing a permanently bonded coating.
  • 2.5mm glass substrate

When To Use:

  • For virtually invisible glazing that will enhance colors, brightness and contrast levels of all types of artwork, even posters
  • For protecting valued diplomas or irreplaceable artwork against damage and fading caused by UV light
  • Ideal for framing applications including shadow boxes, multiple mat or deep framing projects

 

If you have any questions about framing or glazing choices available to you, please give us a call at 800.577.5920. A customer service representatives can help you make an informed choice.

If you are looking for wholesale orders with custom glass, laser engraving, or custom mats, please take a moment to fill out our Custom Quote Form.

Thanks!

 

 

57 comments

    • Frame USA says:

      Hello Lewis! Unfortunately we do not have Non glare glass available on our website only our retail store in Cincinnati. If you are able to stop in to our retail location our employees would be happy to help you price that out!

    • Frame USA says:

      Museum Glass weighs around the same as regular warehouse glass, so if you are worried about your piece being large and the potential of it falling and breaking I would stick with acrylic because it is lighter and will not shatter as easily!

  1. Don says:

    I have a large 30×40 picture that was glued to some sort of 1/2 in board. There are air bubbles thru-out. Is there a glass that would make them less obvious? Thanks

    • Frame USA says:

      Hi Don,
      certain UV glass and acrylic have glazing on them that doesn’t make them entirely clear which could possibly help make them less obvious but the only guaranteed way to get the air bubbles out is by getting the picture refurbished.

  2. barb says:

    I am looking for some clear, self adhesive or glue on turn tabs for holding the back of the picture in the frame because the frame is glass and I lost a couple of them. I cannot find them anywhere! I need them clear because you can see them through the glass. Can you help me out? Thanks

  3. DWaters says:

    How do I discern if glazing is UV blocking or not? When buying art that is already framed but without framing and glazing provinance, I’d like to be able to know if I need to reglaze or not.

  4. george anderson says:

    I am working on a project that is a painting on silk. It is painted on both sides and very fragile. I will be framing it with glass in a circle and the glass must be stiff and not flex as to hold this art together as I tightly tape about .5″ of the outside edge which will be held again by a sandwiched frame. Which type of glaze should I use. Right now to stabilize the subject I am using two pieces of tempered glass and will transfer to two round pieces of glass and into a round frame. The diameter is about 26″. The entire item will be held together by the sandwiched glaze.

  5. Frank Lostaunau says:

    I recently discovered non-reflective museum quality glass! I don’t have enough money to pay for my work to be framed with this fantastic glass. Great invention!

  6. There is a non-glare glass that I want to avoid that dulls the colors of the painting. I believe there is another that is non-glare but does not dull or grey the image. I can’t be sure from your descriptions which one that is. Please advise!

  7. Joe Hudson says:

    You have outlined important aspects of choosing picture framing glass. It is essential you replace the glass when the old ones look dull and they are not saving you energy. I also think that you should not spend too much on the way they look rather than on their overall quality.

  8. lawrence says:

    i have an old elliptical picture frame the glass is concave. it is a picture of my grand pa when he was just a young man. i have made the frame that looks like the old frame but i cant find the glass ,it is 20 inches on the major axis and 16 inches on the minor axis inside measurement

  9. Cloe Martin says:

    Two thumbs up for this great blog. Thank you for all the information you have provided about different types of picture frames.

  10. Thanks Whitney for this excellent round up! You have provided an excellent comparison between these custom picture framing glass. Now I can easily decide which frame glass to use for what type of artwork for my clients. Thanks once again!

  11. gloria jones says:

    I have paper used long ago for graphic arts studies called color aid. I want to do some projects with it and wonder if the uv protective glass would keep it from fading. It’s been kept in a dark trunk for a few decades but is still vibrant.

  12. Spork Schivago says:

    Hello,

    What wavelengths of UV can your Museum Glass protect against? I have an exposure unit I’m building and would like to add a glass window so users can view the process, however, I might be using harmful UV rays. Would you Museum Glass be a good choice? Also, is your Museum Glass scratch proof like regular glass or can it be scratched? If it can be scratched, how hard is it to scratch? Thanks.

  13. Kumi Nagaya says:

    Are there any difference of quality between which was made in Japan and US?
     

  14. Brandon Davis says:

    Hello, I just bought a print for a birthday present. Signed and numbered by the artist. I was wondering what material would be best. Kinda like acid free paper in scrap books… Worried it would deteriorate faster in cheap walmart poster frame. Thanks.

    • Frame USA says:

      Hello,

      We suggest any of our Wood Frames. Also, we suggest a acid free backing from a Hobby store. Our frame backings are not acid free, but you can easily take it out and add something you find. This would definitely help from deteriorating. Let us know how it turns out! We would love to see a picture

      Thank you

  15. Christine Jones says:

    Hi there, I’m a portraitist and one of my clients wanted advice on framing, particularly the glass. I did a watercolor portrait for him ( 9″×12″ ) and we were wondering, what is the best glass to preserve a watercolor painting?

  16. I would like to first thank the writer of this blog for writing such a technical blog about how types of glass can effect your artwork look & feel ? At Paintboxnolita you will find all such glasses with experts advise if you are not aware about the use of different types of glass.

  17. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and will eventually come back sometime soon. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great writing, have a nice day!

  18. Jane Davis says:

    I have an unfinished quilt of my great grandmothers. I would like to frame pieces of this for my sisters. What kind of frame and glass should I use fo this?

    • Frame USA says:

      The information we’d need to help with this is the sizing of the quilt.
      If it’s less than half an inch thick then it will fit in any of our frames. So from there ultimately it would be up to you to decide which picture frame you find the most aesthetically pleasing.
      For more help give a call to one of our sales reps (800-577-5920) or send us an email ([email protected]) and we can further assist you with this.

  19. Kee says:

    I used museum glass for my photography work and found out that rather than reducing the glare or reflection, I see very pronounced blue colors of reflected windows nearby. Also there is no reduction of glare. What could be the reason for this?

  20. sahar says:

    I have painted directly a black and white painting on cardboard and it looked very good but when covered with glass it was not clear and the black was fade .what do you advice? .thanks

  21. jeff stoff says:

    I recently had a painting framed with “anti glare” plexi and when I got it home and hung it, I was surprised to see there is a fair amount of reflective glare. The shop tells me it is where I am hanging the picture. Isn’t anti glare supposed to be ANTI glare? Does anti glare just reduce glare or is it supposed to eliminate it? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

  22. Batgirl says:

    I’m looking to start a display wall of my comics because why should I have them always out of sight if they can be just as protected from UV & Fading where I can enjoy them on my wall. I was thinking of 3-6 to see if I like the look enough considering I’m currently only renting a 1 Bedroom. Plus next year, I plan on moving to the San Fransisco Bay Area. So one of my major concerns is how easily is this glass going to shatter into so many pieces that I would still be finding tiny shards weeks later. I’m not concerned with the move, but more because of the potential for earthquakes in the future and the fact that I suffer from a genetic bleeding condition. That is why I rarely decorate with glass nor mirrors as much as I would like. The comics are only worth a hundreds a piece, not $50K, so having someone break in just to steal them isn’t a concern. And knowing that having something I enjoy will be criticized and laughed at by relatives with “Age Appropriate & Sophisticated” homes which living rooms display the framed elementary school artwork of the children lit up like like a Picasso & therefore might discourage them to the point where they might not invite themselves to stay for an extended holiday vacation in my apartment, makes me even more interested in this project! Is any of the UV glass tempered? And is it more or less prone to completely shattering like a cheap piece of glass from IKEA would? I’ve been told that acrylic or plexi scratches extremely easily and it will even scratch with carefully dusting. Is that correct? Otherwise, I would love to be able to use that for many DIY projects and inexpensive displays of things that aren’t not valuable and that I’m not concerned with protecting from fading. Also, How much does tempered mirrored glass cost? I’m just assuming that is something you also might sell. DIY is just a relaxing hobby for me after a long week. I’m not that artistically talented nor that innovative, but the more people that see what I’ve made, the more inquires regarding sales I receive. So I’m thinking that if I took in some orders, maybe it will compensate for my increasing craft store & wherever I find interesting materials budget.
    Thanks for the info and for giving me some ideas! Please let me know what you suggest for my request/needs.

  23. Joe Puzo says:

    Am joe and i will like to make some inquiry of a clear glass, and i would like you to get back to me with the quote on the 30 by 30 inch clear glass with thickness: 3/8. annealed with 4 sides polished edge.also advice if you accept credit cards for payment , a prompt reply will be appreciated .
    best regards.

  24. Vicki Wacksman says:

    I have a large antique approx. 200 years old wooden baby cradle..used by enslaved workers to hold their babies while they worked the fields.
    It is in a non-airtight glass case and showing signs of mold. What would you suggest for preserving this item?

  25. It’s interesting how you point out that styrene is a popular choice of framing for it’s light weight, affordability, and resistance to shattering. I have this really beautiful picture of my husband and I from our wedding, and I’ve been wanting to hang it up in our bedroom. It would be really nice if I could get a shatter resistant frame to go over it so that it can last a long time.

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