Acrylic plastic is becoming increasingly popular for home use, with applications ranging from furniture to greenhouse panels. This is especially true for clear acrylic sheets – although these sheets are visually similar to glass, acrylic is half the weight and 17 times more durable. Although clear acrylic is arguably the most popular type of acrylic plastic, this thermoplastic polymer is available a large swath of colors, hues, and tints, making it great for decorative applications.
Due to these features, acrylic is considered an ideal material for determined do-it-yourself homeowners. A sheet of acrylic is inexpensive when compared to similar materials, and can be safely cut, grinded, glued and refined using consumer-grade workshop products.
Over the years, there have been many creative and effective uses for sheets of acrylic plastic – let’s take a close look at seven creative ways to use acrylic sheets at home.
1. Acrylic Windowpanes
If you own property near a golf course, baseball field, or similar area, you may have persistent concerns about launched projectiles flying through your window. Unfortunately, depending on the age of your home relative to the sporting area, you may be liable for every ball that breaks through into your home. With window replacements costing $200 or more, this can cost a pretty penny over time!
Instead, homeowners should use clear acrylic sheets as windowpanes. Acrylic panes have a similar clarity to window-grade glass, allowing it to seamlessly blend in with other glass panes. In addition to this, acrylic is much more durable and cost-effective than a similarly sized pane of glass.
2. Acrylic Greenhouses & Cold Frames
Have a green thumb? Consider building a DIY greenhouse! While many gardeners understand the merits of greenhouses for starting, growing, and protecting crops year-round, many home gardeners don’t believe they have the space or the resources to make their own greenhouse. Thankfully, this is a misconception – it’s possible to build a basic backyard greenhouse in a short amount of time, especially if the gardener is handy.
On the simpler side, gardeners could consider making a small, knee-high cold frame that’s made of clear acrylic sheets joined to plywood. This “greenhouse” would open up at the top, allowing gardeners to protect their important plants in a moderately sized enclosure. Alternatively, a crafty, passionate gardener could create a walk-in sized greenhouse out of similar materials.
3. Acrylic Furniture & Protective Coverings
As acrylic plastic’s pricing becomes more accessible, it is being used to create sleek, modern furniture. A clear acrylic panel could emulate glass tabletops, which can be both fragile and expensive when compared to acrylic. Or, it’s possible to use colored acrylic sheets to create artistic, daring furniture. Since acrylic is so lightweight, it’s easy to maneuver around your home and inexpensive to bring to new homes.
In a similar vein, DIYers can use thin sheets of clear acrylic as protective coverings for their existing tabletops. This is exceptionally common among people with expensive or unfinished wood furniture that would like to protect it from damage caused by pets, stains, the elements, or just general wear-and-tear. In addition to protecting the integrity of the furniture, it also creates a beautiful glossy finish on the tabletop.
4. Acrylic Kitchen Backsplash
If you’re sick of scrubbing the grout from your kitchen backsplash, or if your kitchen tile feels outdated, consider constructing an acrylic backsplash. It’s available in a range of colors and tints, allowing DIYers to create shimmering, sleek backsplashes in any hue. Then, latex paint can be used to create a glossy, sophisticated appearance, or creative designs. However, creating a backsplash for the kitchen requires precisely cut sheets acrylic – so, either research acrylic cutting methods, or purchase cut-to-size acrylic sheets.
Unlike grout tiles, acrylic is low maintenance and can be easily cleaned with special cleaners (such as the Novus system), or a mix of dish soap and water. In addition to this, it’s smooth surface prevents most materials from sticking to the backsplash. Just be wary of harsh chemical cleaners, or intense scrubbing materials – these can cause damage to the acrylic backsplash.
5. Acrylic Cabinet Doors & Windows
Certain circumstances can cause glass cabinet doors to break – or, maybe you’ve noticed that the glass on your cabinet doors is becoming old and brittle. For this reason, acrylic is growing in popularity to replace glass cabinet windows. Homeowners won’t need to worry about accidentally closing the cabinet door too firmly, shattering the glass, while property managers can prevent repetitive repairs due to rowdy tenants.
Oftentimes, the most difficult part of this installation is removing the glass from the cabinet door. Acrylic is easy to cut to an exact size, and its lightweight nature makes it simple to adhere to a cabinet.
6. Acrylic Picture Frames
Photographs hold our memories. But when a picture frame breaks, the beauty of these photographs is temporarily compromised – and when a homeowner has a mischievous pet or rambunctious children, these frames may be breaking more frequently than they’d like.
To resolve this issue, purchase specially designed frame-grade acrylic sheets. These acrylic sheets have exceptional optical clarity, and won’t break under regular household conditions. Frame grade acrylic sheets can be easily be affixed to existing or newly created ornate frames, or they can be displayed without a frame at all – creating a sleek, straightforward aesthetic appearance.
7. Acrylic Shelving
Glass shelving embodies modern, minimalist beauty. Unfortunately, glass shelves are exceptionally heavy. This often makes installation more difficult than expected. Worse, if the installation is completed poorly, the entire shelf will come crashing down, breaking the glass shelf and potentially items on top of it.
By using clear acrylic sheets, DIYers can avoid this tragic event. Since acrylic is visually identical to glass, it will maintain the same aesthetic appearance while being more durable and lightweight. Simply purchase a clear acrylic sheet and affix it to your wall using standard shelf brackets.
Acrylic sheets can be used for a wide range of purposes, ranging from kitchen backsplashes to backyard greenhouses. This wide range of use cases can primarily be attributed to acrylic’s versatile, inexpensive, and accessible nature. Of course, this list of home uses for acrylic is not exhaustive – every day, creative crafters find new ways to improve their homes and make their lives easier using acrylic.
Looking to purchase acrylic sheets for your next home project? Take a look at our selection of cast and extruded acrylic sheets, or contact us today.