Glass vs Acrylic Picture Frames

Category: picture framing

For picture framing glass and acrylic are the two most popular choices.  They are both often chosen for this same task yet glass and acrylic have different properties with  pros and cons to them both.  Depending on the situation one may be preferred over the other.

Plastic experts, The Plastic People, offer guidance about the suitability of acrylic for framing requirements.

Undoubtedly the biggest benefits of acrylic to picture framers are its strength and durability.  Compared to glass acrylic is incredibly lightweight yet much, much stronger.  For large pieces of artwork, where glass can be dangerous to handle (threatening to flex and snap) as well as dangerously heavy (causing frames to bow), acrylic is an exceptional choice.

Coldplay use acrylic for their artwork which traveled with them on their 2016 world tour

The next biggest reason is likely financial. For artworks which are likely to be moved around a lot and especially for pieces that will be shipped, acrylic is a sensible financial decision given the significant loss of value any damage will create.  Couriers transporting artwork which becomes damaged typically only the value of the items used to create the work; (ie, the paint, the paper and the glass) rather than the full market value of the artwork. Acrylic helps sidestep this discrepancy and potential disaster.

However, despite being stronger and more durable, acrylic is also more fragile than glass in that it is easily scratched. In the first instance, acrylic should be supplied with a plastic film on both its sides so when this is peeled away, the acrylic is completely perfect compared to glass which is usually dirty and dusty when bought, requiring meticulous cleaning.  To prevent scratching, acrylic should only ever be cleaned with a soft cotton cloth and warm soapy water or a specialist acrylic cleaner like Vuplex (as opposed to a glass cleaning product).  If acrylic does scratch, all is not lost – fine scratches can be buffed out by hand or by using a scratch removing product like Xerapol.

For picture framers clarity is key. At 3mm thick, acrylic and glass are indistinguishable in frames.  However, anyone who has ever handled a glazed piece and loaded it into a frame to discover dust trapped on the glazing will understand the frustration of trying to remove static build up (the cause of clinging dust and lint!) which happens with both glass and acrylic

There are ways to eliminate it.  With glass, we understand that leaving glass to dry on its own rather than wiping it dry helps (though we are not glass experts, only plastic!)  Another option as is brushing the glass once with an anti-static brush (before loading the glass into the frame.)  It’s much the same with acrylic – brush the acrylic sheet with an anti-static brush after peeling the protective film off..

When it comes to cutting, glass beats acrylic as it is easier to cut. However, there is always an option to buy acrylic cut ready to the size you require.  Because it is super strong, it can be delivered out to you safely.

Last but not least, acrylic can be more expensive than glass. Acrylic prices can fluctuate because it is a petroleum based product, susceptible to oil price spikes.

So in summary, when it comes to durability, cleanliness and weight acrylic wins every time.  On price (and cutting, if you are doing it yourself) glass often wins.


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Greenhouse Plastic For a Shatterproof Greenhouse

Category: Gardening, Greenhouse Panels


polycarbonate greenhouse

If you’ve a greenhouse glazing task to do, you might already be searching for replacement greenhouse glass or new greenhouse glazing panes but before you make any decisions, consider greenhouse plastic instead.

Greenhouse plastic is usually polycarbonate which is an increasingly popular alternative to glass greenhouse panels.   That’s because polycarbonate looks like glass  but is much stronger than glass.  200x stronger in fact.  Meaning greenhouse panes made from polycarbonate are very, very unlikely to ever break – ideal for people who never want to have to replace their greenhouse glazing again :)

Rather than use polycarbonate sheets, make things easy on yourself by sourcing polycarbonate cut to the sizes of your existing greenhouse panes.   Because polycarbonate sheeting is nearly impossible to break, you can do this job online and not worry about any delivery breakages.

As well as being stronger than glass, polycarbonate sheets are also half the weight of glass meaning you can lift and move it easily yourself….and happy in the knowledge that if you do drop it, it is really very unlikely to break:)

For gardening reassurance, polycarbonate is thought to beat glass in terms of performance too.  You can read more about that from The Telegraph here.

You can likely find virtually unbreakable polycarbonate greenhouse glazing panels with a quick Google search or you can visit plastic specialists, The Plastic People, who have tonnes of experience helping customers choose and use polycarbonate and their greenhouse glazing.   Polycarbonate greenhouse glazing is available in standard sizes as well as cut to size and shape from their website.


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Add Colour to Your Garden – With Acrylic

Category: coloured acrylic, Gardening Choose Coloured Acrylic To Brighten A  Low Maintenance Garden 

If you’re looking to add a splash of colour that requires very little maintenance in your garden, check out this customer idea and image courtesy of plastic experts,  The Plastic People. It doesn’t get much more low maintenance that this…

acrylic adds a pop of colour to any outdoor space wand requires very little maintenance

A green garden has been transformed with the addition of coloured acrylic sheets.  Translucent red acrylic sheets have been combined with translucent amber and translucent blue acrylic sheets.  The acrylic has been cut to varying sizes to create visual interest and suspended from wooden frame.

What a great way to inject some structure and colour into a low maintenance garden.

Read more details about this project here and learn more about coloured acrylic at The Plastic People.

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Affordable Kitchen Makeover

Category: coloured acrylic, Home Improvements, Splashbacks

If a new kitchen is the stuff of your daydreams but funding and implementing it the stuff of your nightmares, you might be interested in the easy and affordable update that acrylic kitchen splashbacks can bring, uplifting your kitchen (and possibly your mood when you’re in it!?).

grey acrylic adds stylish punch to a modern kitchen

For many, acrylic splashbacks have made a great choice because of the amazing colour options, for others it’s the variety of finishes; the more practical minded rate their easy DIY installation and the hygiene freaks amongst us love the sheer ease of cleaning and cleanliness offered by a seam-free splashback. Acrylic splashbacks are perfect for kitchens…

Top of the makeover wish list is for new improvements to look the same as they did on day one and this is where acrylic kitchen splashbacks score highly.  Because they are cut from one acrylic sheet there are no joins or grout to clean or discolour over time.  Effective cleaning couldn’t be easier: acrylic kitchen splashbacks  simply wash clean with warm soapy water and a soft cotton cloth.

pistachio green freshens up a white kitchen

go to link ….and very easy to install yourself

Acrylic splashbacks are so light to handle that fitting them yourself is easy.  Solid colour splashbacks can be fixed to kitchen walls using adhesive Strong Stuff. Translucent or tinted acrylic splashbacks can be screwed to kitchen walls to avoid any adhesive showing through.

Acrylic splashback experts, The Plastic People have many pictures of customer projects showing acrylic splashbacks in customer kitchens  - take a look for inspiration.  More details, including prices,  about having acrylic splashbacks cut to the sizes or shape you need are also on their site.  If you have any questions about measuring up for an acrylic splashback contact the friendly team at The Plastic People.

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Create An Outdoor Room on a Budget

Category: Recycle

We’re officially in British summertime and entertaining and dining outdoors are two popular reasons which draw us into our gardens.   Follow these ideas from The Plastic People team to create a livable, usable space in your garden without overwhelming cost or time commitment.

Defining Your Outdoor Room

Outdoor dining rooms can be created anywhere in your garden.  Whether your dining room will be in an independent area (a gazebo for example) or will begin immediately outside your home (for example a porch or patio area) a good idea is to connect it visually to your home with flooring or planting.  Structural yet unobtrusive definition can also be achieved with clear acrylic screens.  Clear acrylic is a great material to use to frame and protect your room as well as give it structure without spoiling any views.

clear acrylic adds structure and protection to an outdoor garden without damaging the views


Use flooring to define your room – decking and stone flooring make better choices than grass to make your space feel more like a room.


Use plants to soften any hard edges around your flooring. Choose plants which evoke the feelings and colours you want for your room. Strategically placed acrylic mirrors can also be used to cover wall areas and reflect planting, providing a softer more ambient feel.

acrylic mirror covers wall areas and reflects planting for a nicer view


Water is recognised as one of the important elements to create an outdoor room. Table top water fountains and container water gardens are more budget friendly, easier options than ponds and waterfalls.  Any water feature can be further enhanced with a surrounding of acrylic mirror which will reflect the feature and add to its effect by magnifying its scale.

acrylic mirror by pond reflects light and water

Acrylic mirrors are a great way to make your outdoor room appear more spacious.

They’re also an excellent way to bring into your outdoor room (via reflection) planting you especially like from other areas of your garden.

Other features which will help to define your outdoor room are firepits,  flowers and lighting.

For more details about acrylic mirrors and clear acrylic for creating screens and balconies contact the friendly team at The Plastic People.

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