When you’ve got an acrylic painting that you like, one of the joys of ownership is deciding how to display it properly (with safety in mind, of course). To that effect, can you frame an acrylic painting with glass? The answer to this is a definitive ‘yes’. Some people actually prefer to frame an acrylic with glass, because acrylic paintings tend to attract more dust than oils and thus benefit from that shiny, attractive layer of protection. With oil paintings, you would likely skip the glass to let them ‘breathe’ and to avoid the possibility of trapped moisture in the glass that the varnished acrylics can ‘shrug’ off.
While you certainly can frame acrylic in glass, I’ll talk a little more in the article about whether you should or not, and we’ll also talk a little about general framing options for stretched and unstretched canvas.
Let’s delve into the wonderful of framing!
Should you frame an acrylic painting with glass?
Framing your acrylic paintings with glass looks nice, but is it something that you actually SHOULD do or just an option? I personally prefer not to frame them in glass myself and it’s for a small, but annoying (for me) problem.
The reflective surface of the glass.
You’ll already got a reflective layer on your painting in the form of the varnish, which sometimes produces funny effects in photos where you’ve got a painting hung up. Add in the reflective layer of glass and it because an extra distraction that I feel takes a little away from the painting.
Now, my own opinion aside, there are certainly some perks to putting your acrylics behind glass. It can certainly look quite nice and regal, for one thing, but there is also the practical aspect of dirt. Oil paintings are fairly steeled against this, but over time acrylics can attract dirt and that glass layer arrests that problem immediately.
The most popular choice is actually to skip the glass and just to find a place where there’s not going to be a lot of dust – ultimately, it’s up to you, but now you have my 2 cents worth on the subject!
Should I frame a canvas painting?
Framing a canvas painting is actually a good idea. While you certainly don’t ‘have’ to do it, framing can provide a bit of extra structural protection for a stretched canvas that makes it a pretty appealing option.
This can add a little longevity to the piece, as it’s going to protect those vulnerable edges and the corners from wear and tear by the means of your frame and if you take a little time to pick some fancy framing, then it can be an extremely tasteful and pleasant way to both protect and to display your canvas.
There are also some specialty frames out there that can really make your canvas pop while still maintaining an elegant, refined appearance wherever you’ve chosen to display your art. Take a look at some of the framing options and see what you think. Personally, I always frame them and I’ve never had any regrets on it. They really look that good.
Can you hang unstretched canvas?
Yes, you most certainly can. There are a number of different ways that you can display an unstretched canvas. For instance, if you hang your canvas from a nice copper or bronzed pipe, then you get a sort of tapestry look. If you are into metal etching art, you can even etch that pipe first and sand it down a bit and get an incredibly elegant look about it.
You can also mix things up a bit and use things like grommets, pushpins, or contrasting combinations such as a beautiful unstretched canvas on display that looks like it’s being held in place by crude, askew nails.
I like the tapestry look myself and you can mix and match, with some canvases being framed while some large, unstretched ones provide living tapestries in the same room. That way both your art and your display mediums are diverse and visually attractive.
Some final words
Framing acrylics in glass can help to protect them from dirt, but just keep in mind that you are going to be putting a reflective surface over the top of your painting and this be a distraction for some viewers. If that is not a problem, then framing your painting in glass is definitely an option and it can look amazing with the right choices in your frame.
When it comes to canvas, framing is optional, and a mix of framing and not-framing your canvas is a great way to spice up the viewing experience home where your art is being displayed.
Just in case you are curious, there’s a nice little 3rd party article here that you might like that explains in a little more detail the differences between stretched, unstretched, and frame canvases and it can give you a few fun ideas for displaying the canvases that you own.
Whatever you decide, they’re going to look great!