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What's the Difference Between Acrylic & Canvas Prints?

By Amy Wright | Apr 25, 2023

Adding beautiful art to your home is a good idea in all situations, but you have a few options. Once you find a photo or print you love, you have to determine the material that you want to print it on. Today, acrylic and canvas prints are some of the most common print options. Which one is better? What can you expect from either option?

Before deciding how to choose between acrylic or canvas print, consider the difference between acrylic vs canvas prints to see which is better for you.

Acrylic photo prints

Acrylic prints often go by a wide range of names, such as Lucite, Perspex, Plexiglas, or others. All are brand names for acrylic. This method of printing occurs in one of two ways. First, it can be done by printing directly onto the material. Or, it can be printed onto paper, and then that paper is mounted to acrylic. Various sizes and thicknesses exist.

The face mount method of printing on paper and then mounting to paper is a difficult process, and that means it tends to cost more. However, it tends to be the better option of the two. It allows for better vibrancy of the colors. It is also less likely to fade over time.

Canvas photo prints

The second option is to print on canvas. This is a tried-and-true process, which means it has been used for decades to create stunning artwork of various types. It is often done using offset printing processes, but modern options commonly use dye sublimation and inkjet printers.A key reason for using this method is that it allows for the transformation of a digital, ultra-modern photo to be converted into a timeless, museum quality print.

There are various ways to create canvas prints. Many use a canvas gallery wrap, which allows for the canvas to be folded around the frame. The gallery wrap creates a frameless piece, and when done well, it can be beautiful.

Canvas print in living room of family

Which one is right for you?

It may seem like these are two very different types of printing, and they are, not just in the way they look but in the overall style they offer. There are some situations where one is simply better than the other. To find out what works for you, consider these key areas of focus that often make a big difference in the outcome.

Which one lasts longer?

Another factor many people consider when choosing the type of printing style to use is the way the product will last. Both methods can last a long time, and both will be able to handle wear and tear. The key difference here is in what each method can bring to the table.

Acrylic is easy to maintain. It is not likely to shatter, and some products can also offer a UV protection level that is impressive. By comparison, when printing on canvas , it can lack that type of protection. However, canvas that is framed can benefit in the same ways that acrylic does. In that way, then, these two can be equal depending on the style you select.

Moving it

For those who want to send a print to someone or want to be able to move it from one area to the next, canvas is a clear winner. It is far lighter in weight and, over time, it can prove to be a lot easier to r move from room to room or one house to the next. Lighter in weight is one key benefit. Canvas can be a good overall option for those who are looking for easy transporting because the weight of acrylic is far heavier.

Also, think about weight from a secondary vantage point. Hanging a canvas print on a wall does not require much effort – you can do so quickly and without having to place a lot of holes in the wall, even if the print is rather large. That doesn’t apply to acrylic. The weight of the piece will require the need for a heavier and more prominent anchor. You do not want it to fall or damage the drywall in your space, so anchoring it properly is important

Three canvas prints in living room of family

The look: acrylic vs. canvas prints

Acrylic printing is easily considered a modern option. It is crisp, clean, and just like the image you took a photo of. The clear material resembles glass, but is simply plastic. It is bright and glossy and reflective. If that is the look you want, you certainly will want to go for acrylic. It will look very predictable overall.

However, for those who want a more artistic and sophisticated look , canvas works better. Canvas is less industrial and modern. It creates an opportunity to take a photo and turn it into art, more so than you could achieve with acrylic. Canvas is a classic, timeless and elegant option, and tends to have a more artistic flare to it and is less like a simple picture on the wall.

The glare factor

One of the biggest drawbacks of acrylic is glare, which is a constant problem in many situations. As a plastic-like, glass-like surface, it will glare in the sunlight or spotlight. You can fix this by adjusting the light sources and minimizing the overall natural light in the area. Yet, leaving the drapes open means that, at some point in the day, you could have a pretty significant glare.

That does not happen with canvas prints. Wrapped canvas prints will not have any type of glare to them, allowing them to look fantastic no matter what the lighting conditions.

Standing out

When choosing any type of product, you need to consider the way it will look on your wall. If you are looking for a flat surface, one that blends directly into the wall and does not create a lot of visual pop, then acrylic is the way to go. One of the key benefits of canvas, on the other hand, is that it can create more of a 3D visual impact. Depending on the image you place on it, it can help draw attention to that space and adds a bit more character to it.

Triptych in bathroom of beach


Both acrylic and canvas can offer benefits here, depending on the look you want. Acrylic used to be far less common, which means putting it on your wall would allow you to stand out for having an ultra modern style. However, that has changed now that acrylic is more common than ever.

You always get a level of uniqueness from canvas especially when personalized, not that it is actually a new method, but rather that it offers a unique flare. Depending on the colors and styling, it is less likely to look like a reproduction, whereas with acrylic, it's easy to believe that just about any photo has been copied and printed dozens of times.

Finding the right quality matters

As you compare the options in acrylic and canvas, know that skill plays a role in this process as well. Your photos deserve to be printed by the best. Take into consideration all of the options on the market but also purchase confidently knowing you can have the utmost confidence in Canvaspop. When it comes to printing custom canvas prints our quality is unmatched. With intention we combine premium materials with durable construction - to make what matters most permanent.

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