JB Picture Framing Studio Q and A

The difference between Glass and Acrylic Glazing:

Glass is the most commonly used glazing for picture framing.  The benefit of glass is that it is more resistant to scratching and is easier to clean.  The disadvantage of glass is that it is much heavier than acrylic and can be a hazard if broken, not only damaging the art but could also cause personal physical harm. Acrylics can be used in the same way glass can be used.   You can now purchase acrylics that have non-glare and UV blocking features.  Another benefit of acrylic over glass is that postage cost is less expensive for shipping because of the weight difference; glass is close to double the weight of acrylic.   Because of the high potential of glass breakage Acrylic should also be used in frames that are located in higher traffic areas, areas where children play or are constantly present, and for frames  that are being shipped.

The disadvantages of acrylic are: •          Scratches easily. •          Requires extra attention when cleaning. •          More expensive.

For most framing projects we recommend that you use glass.  JB Picture Framing Studio has in stock six grades of glass that will cover the majority of your framing needs.  We will recommend acrylic when you are framing large format frames, shipping the framed art, or when there is a concern about the risk of glass breakage.

Conservation Framing:

Conservation Framing is a process of framing that employs the use of framing materials that has been proven to preserve, protect and maintain art in as close to its original condition as possible.

Materials used in conservation framing are:

•          UV Protection Glass

•          Acid-Free and Lignin-Free Conservation Quality Mat board

•          Proper conservation mounting techniques.

•          Acid-Free Foam Core Backing Board

•          Acid-Free Dust Cover

JB Picture Framing Studio will recommend to you if Conservation Framing should be considered.

Dry Mounting:

Dry mounting is a process that permanently attaches art to a backing/mounting board using pressure and heat.  An adhesive product, generally in tissue form, is inserted between the art and the backing/mounting board and then placed in a heated vacuum press that activates the adhesive while the press applies pressure.  The backing/mounting board that is used is generally regular foam core but in some instances may be a product that is more rigid like Gator Board.

This type of permanent attachment to a backing/mounting board should not be used with art that has value.  It is not considered conservation framing and will dramatically reduce the value of a piece of art. Examples of art that should not be dry mounted are Limited Edition Prints, antique art, and other art that has value and/or is not replaceable.

Examples of items that may be dry mounted are inexpensive and replaceable motivational poster, movie poster, open edition art, wrinkled or damaged art, and other circumstances where the aesthetic appearance of the art warrants dry mounting.

UV Blocking glazing:

UV Blocking glazing (glass & acrylic) will only slow the damage caused by light but will not completely stop the damage.  The only way to totally protect your art from fading and light damage is to keep it in total darkness in a climate controlled area.

Damage to art can consist of one or more of the follow:

  • Fading
  • Activation of bacterial and fungal growth
  • Cracking of paint
  • Degradation of the paper
  • Failure of adhesives that support the art

The amount of damage light can do to art is dependent upon the material of the art, the condition of the art, length of time the light is on the art, and thermal and luminous energy of the light.

Natural light is generally the largest source of light for any art that is being displayed.  Normal window glass does not filter out sufficient UV to be effective.  In summer months especially, UV levels can be to high for to long.  Special glass and special acrylic have 98% UV blockage and helps to slow down UV damage.

Fluorescent lighting also give UV rays and should be avoided.  Incandescent lamps, spot lamps, give less UV rays than fluorescent lighting but LED and Fibre Optic sources give virtually zero UV, and are highly controllable.

J.B. Framing will confer with you to determine what types of glass will work for you.  We carry 4 grades of glass and 3 grades of acrylic to help give you highest possible protection for you art and memorabilia.

Wall Buddies:

Wall Buddies are self leveling picture hangers.  Wall Buddies are attached to the top two corners of the frame eliminating the need for the typical framing wire.

The advantages of Wall Buddies are:

•          Added strength to the frame.

•          Easy to level and keeps frame from shifting.

•          Keeps frame flush to the wall so that you cannot see the wire and other framing hardware.

J.B. Framing uses the traditional wire hanging system on most framing projects but offers the option of having Wall Buddies installed for a minimal additional cost.  Ask to see the Wall Buddie demonstration so that you can make an informed decision about hanging systems you want installed.