Why do so many of the world’s most prestigious museums and galleries use acrylic to protect and preserve their most important works? The answer is simple and straightforward: Acrylic, also known as plexiglass or glazing, is a high-quality material that serves as the “window” to framed artwork, shielding and conserving pieces without distortion or the risk of shattering.
For hundreds of years, artists and framers believed that glass was the best protective window for framed works, given its qualities of clarity, strength and preservation. Over time, however, the benefits of acrylic have made this option a top choice for framing applications.
For starters, acrylic is significantly lighter than glass, which makes hanging framed works easier and less risky. It’s also shatterproof, so there’s no potential for the framed work to be damaged by broken pieces of glass should the piece fall or be mishandled. Some acrylic is anti-static, which is strongly recommended for framing works in pastel or charcoal since these can dust, flake and release powder during and after the framing process. With anti-static glazing, the debris won’t stick to the acrylic. Finally, acrylic has exceptional archival qualities. It can be acid-free, and some types filter out as much as 99% of harmful UV rays that may damage and discolor artwork over time.
At American Frame, we wholeheartedly recognize the importance and value of delivering exceptional, customized framing treatments, and that includes high-quality options for the acrylic portion of your framing stack. That’s why we offer five different choices of acrylic sheets, each at a different price point and featuring varying attributes. Check out these plexiglass options, all of which are suitable for professional framers and discerning DIY-ers alike.
1. Standard Acrylic
Our standard framing quality acrylic is priced economically for professionals and DIYers framing on a budget. ACRYLITE® Gallery FF3 Acrylic plexiglass is lightweight, acid-free and shatter-resistant, and it provides 90% UV protection from harmful ultraviolet rays that can damage artwork. It contains only virgin resin and is manufactured under tight quality controls. This standard acrylic is color neutral and measures 3/32" thick.
2. Non-Glare Acrylic
Glare is widely referred to as the enemy of artwork, as it can obstruct or distort a piece’s beauty. That’s what makes non-glare acrylic so valuable. Our ACRYLITE® Gallery P99 Non-Glare Acrylic plexiglass features a matte surface and is lightweight, acid-free, shatter-resistant and non-reflective. At 1/8" thick, it helps minimize glare while filtering out 90% of harmful UV rays. To ensure that your artwork is placed within 1/4" of the acrylic, a mat board of up to 8-ply thickness is recommended. Note that this particular acrylic option is NOT recommended for frame designs using spacers or shadowbox treatments.