What Kind of Glass is Best for Your Custom Art Framing

One of the best ways for a custom art framer to protect your artwork, from photos to sketches and inks, is to display it behind glass. The framer will have the best options for your particular piece of art when you come in for custom art framing. Warning: a canvas painting should never be put under glass, but should be displayed out in the open. When a painting is under glass, the canvas is susceptible to cracking and molding.

Light of any sort will eventually damage your artwork if you display it, so choosing the correct type of glass depending on your environment, is very important. There are many different glass options available. For those who are worried about cost, clear glass may be the best option. Clear glass provides approximately 32% protection from UV rays, is very heavy and reflects a great deal. In addition, clear glass used for artwork tends to have a slightly grayish color.

If glare and cost are the issues when framing art, then non-glare glass may be right for your artwork. Non-glare glass offers the same percentage protection against UV rays (32%), but contains a frosted coating which reduces glare to almost nothing. The tradeoff is that it imparts‘fuzziness’ to the artwork underneath.

UV Regular Glass contains a coating that gives you up to 99% UV protection, but has the other properties of regular clear glass.

Alternatively, if weight is an issue, during custom art framing the framer might suggest acrylic instead of glass. Clear acrylic gives the same look as normal clear glass, but is much lighter in weight. Acrylic can be coated for various functionalities just like glass. For example, one can have a non-glare acrylic with a frosted coating (to minimize reflections) or a UV-clear acrylic to minimize damage due to UV rays.

If one is interested in higher end glass protection for their artwork, there are several more expensive options that utilize high tech coatings to achieve the desired effects. Reflection control glass is heavy like clear glass, but is made of higher grade materials. It is chemically etched to a matte finish and allows 90% light transmission, only 8% scattered light reflection, and blocks 45% of UV light. The artwork underneath appears much less ‘fuzzy’ than with non-glare glass.

Conservation glass (both clear and reflection control) has a UV coating that will block 97% of UV light. If during art framing, you decide you can spend a little more on glass, this might be the best choice for you.

The highest quality glass, called Den Glas, allows you to see the pigments without color distortion, while practically eliminating reflection. Den Glas is often called ‘invisible glass’ and is also sold under the brand name of Image Perfect. Den Glas comes in a version that offers 65% UV protection or 99% UV protection. The secrets of Den Glas are the three microscopic coatings of silicone quartz which eliminate reflection without needing to frost or etch the glass.

White water Den Glas is the highest quality for custom art framing. Since it has the lead float removed, it appears as if there is absolutely no glass at all in front of your artwork.

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Comments 4 comments

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA

This is very interesting - I didn't know there were so many options!


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks 'Millionaire Tips' for taking the time to read! It is pretty cool that there is so much that goes into framing. Glad you enjoyed it!


Dbro profile image

Dbro 3 years ago from Texas, USA

Another really interesting hub, Better Yourself! As an artist who works in watercolor, I'm very interested in my options when it comes to framing my work. I was not familiar with some of these types of glazing. Thanks for the information!


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Dbro! Glad it was helpful :)

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