The Art of Choosing Glass for Your Custom Frame

Arts & Entertainment

  • Author Arielle Celeste
  • Published April 16, 2020
  • Word count 531

"You don’t look different, but you have changed. I’m looking through you, you’re not the same."

  • Lennon/McCartney

When deciding to display a photo or custom framed work of art in San Diego, aside from the choice of where to hang it, there are a few things you may want to consider. One consideration is which type of glass should I use? I know. I know. What’s to decide? It’s just glass, right?

I hate to break it to you, although all men are created equal, custom framing with glass is not.

Is plastic that fantastic?

Although technically not glass, acrylic or plexiglass are other options. The pros to using these options include lighter weight, harder to break and can be purchased in regular, non-glare and conservation options.

The bad news is, acrylic and plexiglass can be easily scratched, they're more expensive than glass, and they must be cleaned with a soft cloth and Plexiglass cleaner. Windex is a no, no.

Walmart isn’t an art store

One of your first options for glass is clear glass. I’ll answer the question you’re thinking. Yes, almost all picture glass is clear. However, when offered "clear glass," It’s a nice way to say cheap and thin. Most frames found at inexpensive department stores have clear glass due to its low cost. The drawbacks to using clear glass are the horrible glare and there's zero UV protection.

We know how much you love that lovey bright red Pollock print you have hanging in a place of honor over the couch. With clear glass, unless you live in a cave, it will soon be Pepto Bismol pink… if you’re lucky.

The spirit of transparency

A small upgrade is what’s referred to as conservation clear. With plenty of UV protection, you won’t have the pink Pollock. Of course, the glare would still be an issue. Maybe you wear sunglasses or just hang it up at night.

Conservation clear would be good for your children's yearly school photos or prints clipped from a travel magazine.

You can clearly see the difference

Anti-reflective glass is also a thing. No, really. It’s the Invisible Man of glass. If you like the "no glass" look, it’s the way to go. Oh, wait. Like cheap sunglasses there’s no UV protection. So, if you’re ‘fraid of the fade, look elsewhere.

The drawbacks to anti-reflective glass is it’s heavy, scratches easily, may distort the image, and you'll constantly see fingerprints from people trying to figure out if its glass or not.

Hello, Tesla

If you’re one of those people who only buys the best, say hello to the Tesla of picture protection, museum glass. This baby is loaded with custom features. It comes standard with an anti-reflective coating and plenty of UV protection.

Let’s be clear about this

When you’re ready to frame, seeing a professional will save time and frustration. A pro can explain all your options, stay within your price range and guarantee the work. You want the final result will be something you'll be proud to hang on the wall.

To learn more about custom framing visit

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