Interior Design Tips

Acrylic Print vs Canvas Print – What’s the Difference?

From time to time we get asked what the difference is between acrylic prints and canvas prints. They are both fantastic forms of wall art but have their own styles. Unless you have seen them hanging on a wall you may not be able to grasp how they actually look which is understandable. They are quite different formats and which one you choose will be determined by your interior design theme and your personal preference. Let’s have a look at the way the two wall art formats differ…

Large canvas wall print

What is a canvas print?

Originally we had paintings that were painted onto canvas material. These days we can actually print onto canvas itself, so basically we take the digital images that our great photographers supply us with (or yours for the custom canvas printing service) and we print the picture direct onto 100% cotton canvas. That’s not how it ends though! We then stretch the canvas around a solid wooden frame (known as stretcher bars) and use professional staples to attached it tightly. When we say ‘stretch’ we must emphasise the actual image is not stretched! What we do is one of two things. If the image and canvas size suits a plain side canvas best, we just make sure the image is printed on the front face of the frame, and leave plain canvas to wrap around the sides of the frame and the back section. If a canvas wrap print is more suitable then we either make the image wrap around the sides, mirror the image for the sides or clone it for the sides. If you have a personal preference for wrap or plain sides, please let us know when ordering your canvas picture.

Once the printed image on canvas has been secured it then has finishing tape applied and a UV varnish applied to the canvas to ensure it is protected from sunlight and can be easily wiped clean. A hanging bracket is then attached to the back of the wooden frame so the print is ready to hang.

gallery wrap canvas print

Gallery wrap style canvas print

plain sided canvas print

Plain sides canvas print

What is an acrylic print?

Although still a form of wall art that is great for the home or office, acrylic prints are a different beast altogether. These are much more modern looking, suiting interior themes that feature modern, trendy designs. They come ready to hang and in a variety of sizes, but that’s where the similarity with canvas art ends.

Acrylic prints are bright and glossy looking, with light reflecting through the acrylic sheet onto the image itself. They are made by printing the photographic image onto high quality photo paper, which is then pressure bonded to the back of a diamond polished acrylic sheet. This is like Perspex – clear, solid and clean looking. We offer 5mm acrylic prints in the floating style. This means that the acrylic does not have distracting stand-off bolts in each corner to attach to the wall. Our acrylic prints have a custom bracket system on the rear of the print which makes the finished acrylic print stand off from the wall. This creates the illusion of it floating off from the wall. It’s a truly stunning look.

Acrylic wall art detail

So which is the best?

There is no winner between canvas and acrylic art prints. Both have their place and both have their fans. Some people prefer the more traditional style of the canvas prints and they work in just about any interior space thanks to their timeless appeal and ease of fixing to the wall. Acrylic prints are gaining ground in terms of sales, especially with people who want more modern looking wall art for their new homes or indeed their office wall space. Acrylic art looks great where there is plenty of natural light as it reflects and absorbs it to produce a really glossy, dynamic looking piece of wall art.

We have both canvas and acrylic wall prints in the office and they don’t look out of place next to each other. Hopefully this brief guide will have given you an idea of the difference between acrylic prints and canvases. Choose from our collection of photographic prints and then buy them as either canvas prints or acrylic prints for your interior walls.


One thought on “Acrylic Print vs Canvas Print – What’s the Difference?

  1. Ella says:

    Great post, I was going to buy a canvas print for my living room but think I will order an acrylic now!

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