• Welcome to the largest and friendlest resource for picture framers! Please LOG IN or REGISTER a free account.
    Once logged in, you will be able to SEARCH our archives.
    Forget your password? Click here to RESET PASSWORD Trouble? Click the CONTACT US link.

Protecting a large oil painting


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Nov 19, 2003
Orange County, CA
In the lobby of a local school hangs a large oil painting, very nicely framed. The problem is that although it is in a slight alcove it could be damaged by children walking by (backpacks swinging into it, etc.). It has already sustained a couple of minor scratches.

The Principal asked me to put glass onto the picture, which I do not want to do, and I am searching for a suitable alternative that would protect the painting. The school does not want to move the picture from its current location to a safer site as it is of the founder and in a suitably prominent position.

The outside dimensions of the painting including frame are 38”x48”. The frame is 4” deep. It is in an alcove that is 47.3/4” wide, 5.7/8” deep.

My thoughts include:

(1) Installing tempered glass mounted on standoff bolts, so that the glass stands about an inch in front of the picture.
(2) Fabricating an acrylic box, larger and deeper than the picture. Mount the acrylic onto the wall so that the picture is encased.

I would appreciate your thoughts on any other methods that you can think of.
I am doing right know for a school exactly what you are inquiring. It is an oil of a past benefactor. Large framed piece about 44 x 50. Some "talented" child decided he needed a stogie in his mouth. After removing the magic marker cigar and touching up the painting I will be encasing the whole deal in an acrylic "lid". Actually very simple....I had the inside dimension of the "lid" made to the outside dimension of the framed piece. I added about an 1/8" so it would nicely fit over the frame. The depth was about a 1/4" more than the frame. I'll hang the piece with wallbuddies, slip the lid over the frame and secure with two screws top and bottom through the acrylic right into the frame. It is not air tight and should be no problem with "breathability.
How long do you think it will take before one of those charming young vandals finds out that you can scratch acrylic easily and carves some obscenity in the acrylic?

I would be more inclined to go with the tempered glass. At least it'll scare the %^*# out of whoever ends up breaking it.

I know it sounds pessimistic, but in dealing with high schoolers you have to take into account the least common denominator.