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How to Reduce the Glare on Your Framed Artwork

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You've just bought a new piece of art and now you might be thinking about the best way to display it in your home. One thing to avoid is glare – you want to enjoy your art and show it off, not wonder what's hiding behind the reflection. Here are some easy things you can do to make sure your piece of art looks beautiful and glare-free.

Choose lighting and location

Direct sunlight not only creates glare, but the UV rays may also cause damage to your piece of art. If possible, choose a location where there's no direct sunlight and no lighting coming at an angle that the glass would reflect at the viewer. If you must have the artwork in direct light, experiment with hanging it at different levels and see how the reflection changes if you move the frame slightly up, down or to the side.

You can also use gallery lighting to avoid glare. Gallery lighting is accomplished by placing the light source directly above the piece of art and very close to it, so that the light is reflected at a very sharp angle. You can then only see the reflection if you're looking from below the artwork (which is not something you'd usually do).

Use non-reflective glass or acrylic

Non-reflective glass, as the name suggests, diffuses reflection to allow better view of your artwork. Keep in mind that it doesn't protect from UV rays, so it is still wise to avoid direct sunlight in order to preserve your artwork. If you must have direct sunlight and the artwork you're framing is of value, choose UV non-reflective glass, which is more expensive but will protect from damage as well as reduce glare.

You may lose some clarity when you're using non-reflective glass, especially if the artwork has intricate details. The loss of clarity is proportional to the distance of the artwork from the glass, so for best results, make sure that your picture is as close to the glass as possible.

Non-reflective acrylic is another option for framing that will reduce the glare. It is usually thinner and lighter than glass. Because it's flexible, it doesn't break as easily and it's a suitable option to use when your frame is being shipped. It's also worth considering acrylic when you're framing a large piece of art and you want to make sure that your picture hanging hardware will be able to support the weight.