What is artwork glazing?
The general term for the clear coating, which protects the artwork while allowing you see it, is glazing. There are many forms of glazing, including glass, acrylic, lamination and styrene. And there are many forms within each of these glazing categories, such as clear, non-glare, reduced reflection and U.V. protective. There is no single glazing material that is perfect for all framing conditions. And there are advantages and disadvantages to using each.
- Regular clear glass is the most common type of glazing. It is durable and more scratch-resistant than non-glass forms of glazing material. Common disadvantages are that most forms are brittle and breakable, and weigh more than acrylic glazing alternatives. Regular glass inherently provides a low level of U.V. filtering (less than 50%.)
- Ultraviolet protection is an attribute added to glazing. U.V. protection is available in most forms of clear and non-glare glass or acrylic. Also known as conservation glazing, it is a special coating which filters out more than 97% of the harmful ultra-violet radiation. Conservation glass will significantly reduce the fading damage your artwork experiences as a consequence of being exposed to virtually any source of light. The added benefit outweighs the nominal extra cost.
- Museum glass is the ultimate protection you can give your artwork. It virtually feels as though there is no glass in the frame and provides 99% U.V. protection.
- Acrylic Glazing is second most common type of glazing (to glass), and is often referred to as Plexiglass (which is actually only one brand of acrylic.) It is available in several forms. The major advantages of acrylic are that it weighs significantly less than glass, it resists breaking, and inherently has a higher level of U.V. protection than regular glass (more than 60% filtering.) The only negative is that it is more susceptible to scratching. The acrylic used by Tuxedo Frame Gallery is a picture framing grade. Acrylic glazing is available in Clear and Non-glare forms, and with or without an additional level of U.V. protection.