How Many Kinds of Glass Are There for Picture Framing?

How Many Kinds of Glass Are There for Picture Framing?

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In the world of picture framing, it’s not just about the frame itself—it’s about what you choose to put between your cherished art or memories and the harsh elements of the world. The unsung hero? The glass. Selecting the right glass for your picture frame isn’t just a choice; it’s a crucial decision that impacts the longevity, clarity, and overall visual appeal of your artwork. Join us as we unravel the secrets behind the art and science of choosing the perfect glass for your framed treasures. After all, what is the right glass for your frame?

Types of Glass

Ever wondered why some framed pictures seem to pop while others fall flat? The answer lies in the clarity of the glass. Here’s a comprehensive list of glass that we offer. These are framing grade (Not the kind or glass you buy at the craft store or Home Depot) and why you should choose one over the other:


(Pictured above: Conservation Clear compared to Museum Glass)

List of Glass from good to best:

-Premium Clear

Pros: This type of glass is your standard glass for picture framing, great for framing on a budget while still using quality glass.

Cons: Reflective, non-UV blocking.

-Reflection Control

Pros: This glass has it’s best quality in the name: anti-reflective. Great for reducing glare in rooms with windows.  Helps art be more visible in strong lighting situations, good quality glass.

Cons: Non-UV protectant. Slightly more expensive than Premium Clear.

-Conservation Clear

Pros: This glass is among our most popular when it comes to custom framing. It is 99% UV ray blocking, excellent quality glass, great clarity.

Cons: Is reflective, but not as much as the Premium Clear. Still great clarity.

-Conservation Reflection Control

Pros: Has all the excellent qualities of the previous two combined into one. Another popular selection as you get UV ray blocking and anti- reflection. Great quality glass perfect for displaying in the home.

Cons: More expensive.

-Museum Glass

Pros: Our best quality glass in picture framing. Has all the excellent qualities of being UV ray , anti reflective (see the image above for the wow factor). This type of glass is different from the rest, as all of the iron is removed from the glass. Called water white glass, the iron is processed out of the sand which makes it super clear. It is then coated with the UV blocking and anti-reflection coating, (which is the same coating on your anti-reflective prescription glasses, which is why it makes this option more expensive as they have a larger surface to cover) Resulting in the glass tint having a very high clarity compared to regular glass.

Cons: Most expensive option because of what was stated above, but definitely worth it for framing for a gallery or home display.


Acrylic or plexi-glass is another option available in all of these grades of picture framing glazing. Acrylic is mainly used in projects where safety is a concern. Also one of the great reasons to consider Acrylic is the availability of large sizes.  It is available in sizes up to 48×96

Why Does Quality Matter?

Sunlight might be a natural mood booster, but it’s no friend to your framed masterpieces. UV-blocking glass acts as a shield, protecting your artwork from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, fading and discoloration. Quality glass lasts the test of time, maintaining your one of a kind art and photos for years to come.

Say you choose Premium Clear as your glass option for your framed image of your family. This is great to display in your home now, but you’ll be dodging your own reflection each time you look at it. Also twenty years later the image will be a ghost of itself if it was left hung in a well lit hallway or room. It really is a matter of longevity, and you’ll be thanking yourself that you chose say Conservation Reflection Control or Museum glass when those years have past.

Preserving for Generations

Selecting the right glass for your picture frame is more than just a finishing touch; it’s a commitment to preserving and enhancing the beauty of your cherished memories. From clarity to protection, each type of glass brings its own magic to the framing experience. So, the next time you embark on framing your memories, remember: the right glass choice transforms your framed pieces from mere displays into timeless works of art. Choose wisely, frame wisely, and let your memories shine.


We are a family owned and operated picture frame shop. My wife and I have been building frames together for ten+ happy years. We specialize in extra wide mouldings and have several different styles and colors to choose from.



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