Buyer's Guide: Canvas vs. Fine Art Paper
Posted on May 17 2018
This is probably one of the top questions that I get asked often: What is the difference between a paper print and a canvas print?
There are several things to consider when trying to decide on which one to choose for your space.
In this post I'm breaking down the differences between the two to help you decide which one is right for your home.
Canvas is a sturdy material, it's basically fabric, that has been specially treated to handle high-quality pigmented inks. The canvas has archival properties, meaning that it is acid-free and will help retain the vibrance of the printed image for a lifetime.
After the image has been printed on the canvas it is then sprayed with a protective varnish in either a matte or glossy finish. This varnish adds a secondary layer of protection against UV light and every day particles. Most customers love the matte finish because it has no glare, but my personal favorite is the glossy because it makes the colors pop even more.
Sample of glossy canvas
Pros and Cons
For these reasons canvas prints don't need to be framed behind glass.
Canvas prints also closely resembel an original painting due to the natural canvas texture that comes through the image.
Types of Canvas
I offer two types of canvas prints, stretched and rolled (un-stretched).
Stretched canvas prints cost the most because we hand build the supporting bars from real wood to stretch the canvas over it. The stretched canvas prints comes ready to hang right out of the box. You can add what is called a floating frame, where the frame fames the edges of the canvas instead of sitting on top of the surface. But this is completely optional!
The rolled canvas prints are called as such because they will arrive rolled in a tube. These are perfect for international customers because it greatly saves on shipping costs. They are also perfect for those who want to display their print in a unique manner, such as having it mounted on a wood panel, or encased in an acrylic box. You can also frame these in a regular frame, with or without glass.
About Fine Art Paper
My fine art paper prints are printed on thick cold pressed paper. This paper does not look or feel like poster paper. It is luxurious with a slight texture, similar to watercolor paper, and a matte surface.
They also have the same archival properties as the canvas prints and are printed with the same type of high quality inks.
Pros and Cons
Paper prints cost almost half the price of canvas prints. The process to create them is less intense which makes them budget friendly.
However, paper prints are more delicate and need to be framed behind glass, so that is an additional cost you will have to invest in. If you can splurge on a frame with UV glass or acrylic, it's even better.
I really don't recommend having them out in the open, as they will get dirty from dust and everyday particals which overtime will affect the colors of the prints. Not to mention they can easily get damaged, particularly the corners.
How to choose the right one
Both the canvas and paper prints are equally as beautiful, and so I would say that the final decision ultimately comes down to your budget and aesthetics.
Think about where you’re going to display the print. If it’s in a high traffic area then a paper print with a glass frame will work best, because you can easily wipe the frame clean.
If you’re going for a mixed gallery wall look then adding a canvas print will add an interesting element.
If you're looking for something that looks like an original without the price tag of one, then a canvas print is perfect!
If you’re on a tight budget then paper prints are your best option.
You seriously can’t go wrong with either choice! And if you need some extra help, feel free to email me and I’ll help you decide :)