Metal Prints vs. Canvas Prints – What’s the difference? Which is better?

Picking the right wall decor can be a challenging task, there are so many options available!
When people think of wall decor they usually think a framed picture or a canvas print, and for good reason. Canvas is the traditional medium for wall art, from paintings to any kind of printed art. It goes well anywhere, from a museum or gallery to a cozy room. But what about the new and modern metal prints?

Canvas prints are ideal for artwork, giving that classic textured look many people love, and are really great in any kind of setting, be it contemporary or traditional, home or office, a museum or a bar.

Metal prints are very different from canvases, as in they give up the classic & traditional look in favor of a much more modern and high definition look, with unparalleled detail and vibrancy. Compared to a canvas print, the difference is like comparing an old tube TV to a new flat screen one. There’s much more detail, they’re sharper, more realistic looking and much more saturated. Images printed on metal look as good as on your phone or TV.

Metal prints look best in contemporary and clean interiors, from a modern home to a restaurant or an office. Due to the fact that they’re waterproof and scratch resistant, they can also be displayed in bathrooms or kitchens without any issues.

Metal prints are sharper and more detailed than any other printing medium available and they’re a great medium for printing colorful and vibrant photographs that bring out the detail captured by today’s high megapixel cameras.

Landscapes have the best color on metal with wonderful shades of blue for the sky and amazing colors for everything else. Any season is good, but autumn leaves look amazing. Seascapes can bring every detail in the waves to life, while Cityscapes have an incredible amount of detail. Sunsets can really light up the room with explosive colors and wonderful sky transitions from blue to yellow, to orange. Black & White images are also great on metal. Even though they only have two colors, the contrast offered by metal prints will make the image pop and your jaw drop.

How are canvas prints made?

Canvas prints are images printed on a canvas and then stretched across a wooden frame, a process known as gallery wrapping. They can be framed for a more finished look, or hanged as is, with the image wrapping the canvas.

How are metal prints made?

Metal prints are done through a process called dye sublimation, which actually infuses the ink in the aluminum sheet, instead of just printing on top of it. The finish can be matte or glossy, each with advantages and disadvantages. Glossy has more reflections and pops a little bit more, but attracts fingerprints easily, while a matte finish has better details due to the lack of reflections and doesn’t attract fingerprints. To learn more about the entire process behind how metal prints are made, head over to this article: What are metal prints?

Both our metal and canvas prints come ready to hang (except rolled up canvases, which need to be stretched), but while canvas prints seem to stick to the wall, metal prints have a float mount that makes them look like they’re floating 1.5 inches from the wall. This also creates a shadow line which helps add a very modern look.

So both of them have a 3D effect, canvases by ‘growing’ out of the wall, and metal prints by floating in front of it.

Printing technology has advanced up to the point that both canvas and metal prints can last well over 100 years if the print quality is good (archival inks and UV coating for canvases and dye sublimation for metal prints), so you don’t need to worry about either of them fading in your lifetime.

However, printing on canvas still has some drawbacks.

Canvases are made from linen and cotton and they’re prone to dampness with the passage of time. It is also possible to scratch or even torn them if you use too much force or if they’re not handled with care.

Metal prints, however, are scratch resistant and very easy to clean by simply wiping them.

If you want to display a print outside, metal will be a better option. They’re more resistant to fading and, being metal, are also waterproof and much more resistant to the elements. Direct sunlight will damage both of them and make them fade faster, so you should avoid it as much as possible.

Both canvas and metal prints are great home decor options and it greatly depends on what you like best and where you want to display them.

We do believe that in a world of 4K TVs and smart homes, metal prints are the wall decor of the 21st century. But canvas prints also have a place with their traditional and textured look that will always improve any room. So, which one is your favorite?

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