I bought a couple of interior-matching picture frames from Ikea. Overall, looks great, but the front glass gives an ominous glare.

I'm thinking of anti-reflective coating of sorts. Are such things consumer-available? The result that I'm after is something akin to a viewing the pictures through polarizing filter, but with my bare eyes.

†) By glass I mean cheap plastic—but question could be extended to cover both.

  • I have a painting that has anti-reflective glass; you can barely tell there is glass covering it. – BillDOe Oct 22 '18 at 18:26
  • @BillDOe Yes, I'm after something that could be retrofitted to these frames, or applied to like the anti-reflective glass you mentioned already has. – Jari Keinänen Oct 22 '18 at 18:30
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    @scottbb this is about framing the picture with little reflections I think, not reprographing it. – rackandboneman Oct 22 '18 at 20:14
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    Display of photographs is applicable to photography. I think the polarizing filter edit is confusing, because it made me assume the goal was to take a photograph. – mattdm Oct 22 '18 at 23:02
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    Is the glass necessary? Lots of artwork is framed without glass. – xiota Oct 23 '18 at 23:10

As others have described, you will likely need to replace with glass that already has the anti-reflective coating applied. You may also consider not using any glass at all, since a lot of artwork is framed without glass.

Apparently, an anti-reflective coating spray does exist. However, I was unable to locate it for purchase, so I suspect it is not generally available to consumers. The process of applying it requires baking for several hours at 750F/400C. Since your picture frame "glass" is made of cheap plastic, it may not survive the high temperature.

According to MyEyewear2Go:

AR coatings are composed of a clear magnesium fluoride crystalline layer.

  • The coating can be sprayed onto the lens (either on the outside or both sides). Then, exposing the lens to high heat for an extended time liquefies the crystals and bonds the coating to the lens.
  • The coating can also be applied using a vacuum application process. Then the glasses are baked under intense heat to crystallize and harden the solution, binding it to the glasses.
  • Some glasses have the AR coating installed by embedding the crystals in the glass when the glasses are made.

See also:

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    +1 "made of cheap plastic, it may not".... lol – twalberg Oct 22 '18 at 23:45
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    I got that... my point was that a cheap plastic frame pretty much won't survive hours at 750F... not merely "may not"... – twalberg Oct 23 '18 at 0:09

I photograph for museums and galleries and work framed under glass is always a pain. I think there are a couple of options for museum glass which has an anti-reflective coating that might help. A company called tru vue makes it and there are distributors all over. I found a website that sells it but there may be options close to wherever you are.


You can buy bits of clear plastic with anti-reflective coatings from Edmund Optics, at prices which might be reasonable for the consumer if you really love that frame. For example, Anti-Reflection (AR) Coated Plastic Windows:

Our Anti-Reflection (AR) Coated Plastic Windows are a highly resistant, lightweight alternative to glass windows. Combining durability and high transmission, these windows are an ideal cost-effective solution for harsh environments and display protection. Optimized for both indoor and outdoor use, the Anti-Reflection (AR) Coated Plastic Windows are laminated with an AR coating to reduce glare and reflection while transmitting a high level of visible light.

A piece measuring 8"×10" is listed for $75.

This is, however, 0.05" (a little over a millimeter) thick, which may not work in the frame. Additionally, I'd make no guesses at all as to its properties for archival preservation, so consider that if the print you want to display is valuable. Your best bet might be to take your frame to a local framing store and describe your needs.

  • The museum glass answer is way better so I am deleting this. – mattdm Oct 23 '18 at 23:37
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    Both are valid options. I vote to not delete this answer. – Michael C Oct 24 '18 at 15:21
  • @MichaelClark This is significantly more expensive. – mattdm Oct 24 '18 at 16:21

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