Acrylic Or Glass — What Is Best For Picture Frames?

Acrylic or Glass_ What Is The Best For Picture Frames

When deciding to put a picture into a frame, you must understand that they will both form a single unit. The materials that will protect and cover the picture are as important as the frame itself.

Frames are also called glazing material. They come in acrylic, glass, and styrene covers for custom-made frames. To know which one is best between acrylic and glass glazing material, you must first understand what each brings to the table.

Understanding Acrylic

Acrylic glazing materials provide a good level of clarity and strength. Unlike glass glazing material, acrylic is light in weight and is highly resistant to shattering. These special properties allow acrylic covers to be used for frames of large sizes.

When it comes to picture frames, acrylic is a more versatile option. However, this advantage comes at a price. Acrylic frames are usually more expensive.

Understanding Glass

For most people, glass is the default option for picture frames. Glass glazing material is the most traditional alternative for picture frames. The glazing material is hard enough, making glass frame covers resistant to scratch. Glass covering offers class to any room in which the picture is displayed.

However, caution is required in the use of glass. Glass is heavy, and it becomes heavier as the size becomes larger, making it difficult to be carried and hung. Also, glass has a brittle nature, making it very susceptible to breaking and shattering.

When To Choose An Acrylic Frame

When To Choose An Acrylic Frame

There are instances where your choice of the frame should be acrylic. Here is a look at situations acrylic frame is the best option to use:

Avoiding damage to your picture

There is a good chance that the residual materials of a broken glass frame can damage the picture beneath. Acrylic frame is preferred to reduce the chance of damaging the picture in such instances. Using acrylic will protect the integrity of the picture. Broken glass can be hazardous, so they need to be avoided at all costs.

Protection to your picture frame from UV rays

Regardless of the kind of glazing material that is used, UV rays can cause damage to your picture. When your pictures are exposed to this ray over a long time, they get damaged and develop issues like discoloration and wear and tear. However, using special acrylic can help to reduce the damage that UV rays might have on your picture. This special acrylic helps in protecting your picture in the best way possible.

Reduce glare

A glass frame will reflect light rays off its surface when placed in a bright environment. This will affect your ability to see the piece. Acrylic glazing materials can help avoid this because they come in a variety that includes a non-reflective option. With acrylic, you get to enjoy your piece no matter the time of day it is.

Shipping a frame

Acrylic is the best option if you are shipping a frame. For one, it is less prone to breaking and shattering. Also, acrylic is lighter, which can reduce the shipping cost. Moreover, the chance of damaged acrylic affecting the picture beneath is low.

Using larger frames

The best option when you are framing a large picture is an acrylic frame. Not only does it reduce the amount of glare that you see, but the overall piece will also be made lighter, and the amount of hardware need for installation will also be reduced.

When To Choose A Glass Frame

When To Choose A Glass Frame

Just as it is with acrylic glazing material, there are some instances where glass frames are the best option. Here are some situations why you should go for glass:

A cheaper option

Generally, glass is cheaper than acrylic. If the picture you are framing is large and you are thinking about the cost, you should go for glass.

A classic look

The look to go for depends mostly on personal taste. However, some people love the general look of glass. Its reflective nature is sometimes associated with class and quality. It also gives an impression of sturdiness and strength.

Extra durability

Even though it is less likely for the acrylic to break, it can bend within the frame over time. This can greatly affect the quality of your piece. Glass is a good choice for this reason because it will not shift as time goes on.

Resist scratches

With glass, you do not have to worry about your frame being scratched. Glass offers more resistance against wear and tear, and it is stronger when compared to acrylic. This quality could imply that your glass will last longer than acrylic.

Simpler to clean

Normally, you want to clean your frames regularly. Regular cleaning can help keep your piece visible and beautiful. It is much easier to clean glass glazing than acrylic glazing. Glass glazing can be cleaned, by using just a microfiber cloth.

However, you may need to wash acrylic with soap and water before it can be cleaned. This process can leave a scratch on it.

You have the appropriate hardware

In supporting your frame on the wall, it is appropriate to have the right hardware. Since glass frames are heavier than acrylic frames, using the appropriate hardware becomes more important. If you have all the right hardware installed, you should choose glass glazing.


Both acrylic and glass glazing can protect your picture. When compared together, you will find that both have their strengths and risks alike. If it is the protection of the piece beneath the frame you are after, acrylic is the best choice. However, if you want a cheaper and more classic option, then you should go for glass. In the end, your choice between acrylic and glass may come down to your preference.

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