Float glass

Although this is the most commonly used glass, it offers little protection from damaging light rays. It should only recommended for items of little or no value as they will fade over a comparatively short time.

Glazing - what protects the picture

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Anti Reflective Glass

The anti reflective coating reduces reflection typically to less than 1%. It can make the glazing seem invisible and is particularly recommended for darker items.

UV filtering glass

The coating on this glass will filter 98% of UV rays. UV is in all natural light and will affect paper colour and water colours particularly; especially if any sunlight washes the picture.

In the picture here you can see how the paper has changed from cream to ochre and the depth of colour has leached from the picture giving an almost monochromatic effect, leaving only blues and browns.

Museum glass

This a combination of UV filtering and anti reflective glass. It is very good but expensive.

Acrylic glazing

Perspex (actually a trade name) or acrylic glass has improved enormously in recent years. The Rijksmueum in Amsterdam which re-opened in 2012, is glazed completely in top quality acrylic glass which has all the properties of museum glass as also being shatter and scratch resistant and lighter in weight. These latter qualities have a real function for pictures to be hung in children’s bedrooms or public places where safety is a concern.

Budgeting for glazing

When considering the cost of the glass; rather than comparing the price per square metre, compare the actual cost with the benefit of the superior product. Here are the different types of glass in cost order.

Standard acrylic is similar in cost to float glass with superior acrylic comparable in price to museum glass.