Hands on

May 8, 2021

Finding the right frame

Buying a picture frame is not that difficult, I always thought. You choose a color and thickness of the frame and buy it. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. There are big differences in the qualities and you should also know exactly what you need when choosing the glass. I did some research on this and would like to share it with you.

The distribution of picture frames on the internet is strongly in Swedish hands. I'm not talking about IKEA here, but portals like Desenio, BGA-Store and many others. In Scandinavia, frames seem to be a popular topic. The no-frills design suits my taste. It doesn't distract from the picture, it just frames it. I think simple frames are good.

First and foremost, the frame has match up with the interior, the wall color and the furniture. Then it depends on what is to be placed in the frame and how light will fall on the frame.

Different types of glass

Often manufacturers do not give any information about what kind of glass they use. Normal glass, window glass or float glass is an inexpensive standard. The glass can be cleaned like a window pane, but it also breaks easily.

That is why it is often replaced by acrylic glass in online retail. Acrylic glass is better known as Plexiglas in Germany. Plexiglas actually is a registered trademark of Röhm GmbH, but it is established so well that we widely use the term in our language when we speak of acrylic glas.

Strictly speaking, Plexiglass is a certain plastic (polystyrene) and not glass at all. It is light, hard to break, but also sensitive to dust, scratches and difficult to clean.

Museum glass

Anti-reflective glass or frosted glass swallows a lot of reflections and is particularly suitable for rooms with a lot of light. Museum glass is the premier class. It's perfectly clear and practically invisible. It swallows disturbing reflections from light and sun. Some types of glass are highly anti-reflective and reduce reflections to a few percent, in contrast to normal glass, which has a degree of reflection of approx. 8%.

But even types of glass such as ClearColour UV60 are already highly suitable for viewing pictures without annoying reflections. UV60 practically absorbs 60% of the reflections, which makes the glass feel invisible under many light situations. Don't expect it to be a non-reflective glass. It still lets through 40% of the reflections which I personally find absolutely fine.

Advice

Since museum glass absorbs reflections more, it is better not to frame pictures in thick passe-partouts at a distance from the glass, but rather to come as close as possible to the pane with the picture. If there is too much distance between the glass and the photo, colors may look less brilliant.

Bolia Frame Away (normal glass)
Deha (ClearColor UV60) seen from the side with the direction of the light

Choice of glass

The choice of the right type of glass is a bit a matter of taste and a bit a prestige issue. You don't desperately need a frame with museum glass if your frame hangs in a place with an indirect light source. In the end, I guess, the price plays the decisive role. In most cases a compromise will be chosen. And this doesn't have to be bad at all.

In my apartment I have frames from Deha with ClearColour UV60 museum glass (see the title image above) and cheaper frames from Bolia with normal glass. I am very satisfied with both variants.

Caution

Please be suspicious if a frame is offered too cheaply. Then the workmanship is usually not that great, so the frame is limp, the fastening at the back is not of high quality and the glass is mostly of simple acrylic glass.

Here is a compilation of frames that I can recommend. I don't get any percentages for this and I'm not a picture frame influencer either. I have compiled the list for 40x50cm frames as this is a pretty decent size and sorted them by price. The online shops I referred to are located in Germany and the shipping prices vary, so you might want to check these before you order a frame.

 

Frames can also be retrofitted by ordering a museum glass individually, e.g. at Halbe Rahmen, Schott Mirogard Plus (UV82) in 40x50cm for 42 €.

 

https://www.simonbolz.com/blog/hands-on/2021-05-08.php

Simon Bolz, Frankfurt
Tel.: +49 (69) 95 82 02 12
Mob.: +49 (172) 620 55 18
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