ACRYLITE® Product Advisor for Framing Projects

Find just the right material for your frames, art or gallery

Non-glare Acrylic for Picture Frames: Solutions for bright rooms and direct sunlight

non glare acrylic sheet

Using non-glare acrylic for picture frames will reduce the unwanted glare and reflection that is created by light sources. Non-glare acrylic has a soft matte finish formulation that maximizes the unhindered viewing of framed artwork and prints alike. Another advantage of using a non-glare acrylic sheet for picture frames and similar applications is that it also resists fingerprints.

These are a few advantages of framing with a non-glare acrylic versus a normal clear acrylic. Standard acrylic will protect your prints but will not cut glare and reflection like a non-glare acrylic. ACRYLITE® non-glare acrylic sheet is backed by our 30 year warranty against yellowing.

Non-glare acrylic products are lightweight, easy to cut, fabricate and are used for painting, printing and silk screening. It's also used for printing frameless pictures and artwork. For ensured color accuracy and brilliance, acrylics like ACRYLITE® digital print with non-glare are used.

Anti-Reflective vs Non-glare acrylic

Non-glare acrylic has a soft matte finish designed to reduce glare when installed flush to photos, documents, etc. If not flush to intended object, the matte finish will create a hazy appearance. For applications that require a standoff distance, anti-reflective acrylic is recommended.

ACRYLITE® Product Portfolio to Satisfy Every Framing Requirement

Highest UV ProtectionModerate UV ProtectionMild UV ProtectionNon-GlareMar and Chemical ResistantCell CastExtrudedAnti-reflectiveAnti-fingerprint
ACRYLITE® Gallery UV filtering (OP3) X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery UV filtering non-glare (OP3 P99) X X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery UV filtering mar resistant (OP3 MR1) X X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery UV filtering mar resistant (OP2 MR1) X X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery digital print mar resistant (DP MR1) X X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery UV filtering (UV3) X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery UV filtering non-glare (UV3 P99) X X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery UV filtering (OP2) X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery digital print non-glare (DP P99) X X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery premium framing X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery non-glare (P99) X X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery premium mar resistant (MR1) X X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery digital print (DP) X X
ACRYLITE® Gallery UltraClear Anti-Reflective X X X X X

ACRYLITE® Gallery features three categories of protection, with multiple product solutions in each:

  • Premier – Museum grade, with the industry’s highest levels of UV protection, chemical and mar resistance, non-glare and more.
  • Plus – Conservation grade, with moderate levels of UV protection, chemical and mar resistance, non-glare and more.
  • Primary – For general use, with mild UV protection, chemical and mar resistance and non-glare, but also with an eye toward the budget.

Mar Resistant & UV Filtering Acrylic

Acrylic products used in framing applications are also available with mar resistant and UV filtering protection.

UV Filtering Acrylic

Unprotected, fabrics and paper become brittle, fade, or turn yellow when exposed to sunlight and artificial light. A good example is a faded poster in a storefront or a magazine left in direct sunlight. Unprotected items will yellow within weeks due to exposure to the UV-light.

To protect your pictures, artwork and other prints, uv resistant picture frames should be used. These are often made with UV filtering acrylic that protects art against harmful UV light. To learn more about UV filtering products, read ACRYLITE® UV filtering: Ultimate protection against damaging UV light.

Following an UV protected image (left) and one that is faded by light exposure (right):  

acrylite op3 pencils

uv filtering

The competitive data depicted in the graph above was generated via measurements taken from actual competitive samples obtained from the general marketplace. The data shown here is believed to be accurate and is shown as a general representation of product performance compared to other products listed above. One should always generate their own test data to verify accuracy. Light transmission data was generated in accordance with “ASTM D4802 – Standard Specification for Poly (Methyl Methacrylate) Acrylic Plastic Sheet”.

Description of chart:

At 380nm, many of the UV filtering products are similar, with us blocking out 100% of UV rays while the competition follow right behind within a fraction of each other.

At 390nm, our product still blocks 99.7% of UV rays compared to the competition, but you can see the other products show diminished levels of UV protection.

Toward the upper end of the UV spectrum at 400nm, our product excels at UV blocking at 84.6%, more than double of our competition such as Optix and Conservation Clear, as they others drop off quickly. The evidence is clear. If you’re looking for the absolute best UV protection, you’re looking for ACRYLITE®.

Mar Resistant Acrylic

If your acrylic frame is going to be exposed to public contact, airborne dirt and dust resulting in frequent cleanings, then an abrasion or scratch resistant product like ACRYLITE® Gallery mar resistant acrylic is recommended. This acrylic has an abrasion resistant hard coat that protects the acrylic, extending the service life of the acrylic frame. It also allows you to clean it with common household cleaners that are not recommended to use on uncoated sheets.

Sheet Thickness for Standard Frames

What size acrylic should I use for my frames?

The Acrylic picture frame design measurements are as follows:

  • For every 12" of the frame length, it should allow for at least 1/16" of clearance
  • For every 12" of frame length, it should allow 1/4” of engagement

Frame Size Inches Minimum Acrylic Thickness
5" x 7" 24" 0.060”
8" x 10" 36" 0.060”
11" x 14" 25" 0.060”
16" x 20" 36" 0.060”
24" x 30" 54" 0.098”
24" x 36" 60" 0.098”
30" x 36" 66" 0.098”
32" x 40" 72" 0.118”
36" x 48" 84" 0.118”

Difference Between Acrylic and Glass

Acrylic, often referred to as plastic or plexiglass is a great alternative to glass for picture frames.

Acrylic is half the weight and much stronger than glass. It is also 18 times more impact resistant than typical glass. This makes acrylic the perfect choice for areas with high traffic or where safety and ease of handling are a concern.

Unlike glass, acrylic will not shatter when dropped. Acrylic may crack into large pieces but the edges are much less sharp than those of broken glass. Another advantage of acrylic over glass are UV filtering properties that protect your artwork and pictures from fading. Like acrylic, glass will protect against dust and scratches but it can't protect against the harmful UV rays.

Learn more about picture framing with acrylic with our video:

Picture Framing Video

Floating Frame With Acrylic: Tutorial

floating frame

What is a floating acrylic frame and how can I make one?

A floating acrylic frame is a borderless image that's printed on acrylic by one of several means (digital UV cure, silk screening, facemounting, etc.) and mounted on the wall using picture frame materials such as standoffs. Standoffs act like spacers and place the print some distance (an inch, for example) away from the wall.

Step 1. Drill the mounting holes.

Please reference our Tech Brief on how to drill holes in acrylic. It provides information on specifically what type of drill bit to use as well as the general drilling procedure. Standard drill bits designed for metal can damage acrylic.

Step 2. Determine what size hole to drill in the acrylic and where to locate them in the sheet.

a. First, the bolt hole diameter should be at least 2 times the diameter of the bolt. This allows for adequate clearance for thermal and moisture expansion and contraction.

b. The distance from the hole center to the edge of the sheet should be at least 1.5 times the diameter of the drilled hole. It is also helpful to avoid having the standoff fastened too tightly to the acrylic, as that will result in bowing due to expansion and contraction.

c. Beyond this technical information, mounting a floating frame is a matter of marking your standoff mounting holes in the wall, ensuring that they are spaced properly, and leveled with each other, etc. Instructions for installing each particular type of standoff will be supplied by the manufacturer. To learn more or purchase standoffs, please visit Displays2Go or Standoffsystems.

ACRIFIX® AC1010 Cleaner 

Acrylic frames can be cleaned with a mild soap and water or with an acrylic cleaner like ACRIFIX® AC1010. Using household cleaners is not recommended as it can damage the acrylic. If using an abrasion resistant acrylic frame, then both ACRIFIX® AC1010 and common glass cleaners can be used.