Acrylic Prints vs. Canvas Prints – The Only Guide You Will Ever Need

Acrylic Prints vs. Canvas Prints – The Only Guide You Will Ever Need

Whether you’re a professional photographer looking for high-quality printing solutions for your latest images or an amateur artist who wants a quality print to showcase your portfolio, it’s important to select the right print type. So, when it comes to acrylic and canvas prints, which is better?

After all, different printing surfaces can complement different image styles. The difference between a good print and a great print is in understanding the distinction.

You can take a lot of time taking the perfect photograph. But, if you want to make your images truly shine, you should also allocate time towards selecting the perfect print. Acrylic and canvas prints both offer an excellent way to showcase your finished photography. That said, each print type offers distinct benefits, and it’s important to understand what they are.

That’s why we developed this comprehensive guide examining the difference between acrylic and canvas prints.  Read on to find out the best option for your photo printing.

The Process

How are canvas prints made? 

Canvas prints are created by applying an image to the surface of a canvas and then stretching it taut across a frame. Then, the canvas is secured around the back of the frame.

Using high-quality wood and other materials during this process ensures that the frame and canvas won’t warp over time.

At Canvas Factory, we offer a range of personalised print sizes. So, regardless of the room size you’re decorating, you can select from small, medium, and large canvas prints (and everything in between).

UV laminate is a popular solution used to  provide heat protection from the damaging rays of the sun. This coating is applied during the canvas printing process. It’s so strong that it can provide image quality protection for up to 70+ years. Without it, the image quality would begin to eventually break down due to the damage from sun exposure.

This laminate cover can also protect your canvas prints from getting scratched when you move your prints around the house. This coating provides water damage protection, while allowing you to clean any dust off the canvas with a damp cloth. UV laminate can also showcase the contrast of colours within your print, adding depth and vibrancy. This can ensure your prints pop on your walls.

acrylic and canvas prints


There are two ways to create high-impact acrylic prints.

The first acrylic printing process is known as the face mount. This is when an image is printed onto a photographic sheet of paper and is then placed between two acrylic sheets, front and back, for printing. Before it is sealed, the print is sprayed with air to ensure that every speck of dust is removed from the image surface so that the acrylic is not ruined once sealed.

The second method of acrylic printing is getting your photograph and printing it directly onto acrylic. After that, it is then sealed with a solid coating using a very high-quality printer.

Both methods create an astonishing visual depth for your acrylic print. Regardless of which process you prefer, you need to work with a printer that has experience with the materials being used.

Acrylic print details

What is the difference between acrylic and canvas prints?

Presentation and appearance 

Acrylic is a premium print. This means that it will come at a slightly higher price point than canvas prints. But once you hold it in your hands and mount it to your wall you will notice that it feels and displays much more high-end.

The colours will be more accurate and the visual depth and sharpness of your image will be far more pronounced than anything you have seen before. Also, an acrylic print will generally outlast other more common material types.

Acrylic prints are often chosen by professional and individual artists who like a strong and striking presentation.

Canvas prints, on the other hand, have a more textured finish.  So if you are after a traditional feel to your finished image, a canvas print is the perfect choice. This print option is, without a doubt, the most popular for anyone looking to create wedding prints, family prints or any beautiful image-based wall art print..

Canvas prints are more often made out of cotton or polyester. The primary difference between the two material types revolves around colour exactness.  With cotton fibres, you will find that any colour will seep into the cloth type. However, with polyester, you will find that any printed colour will remain on the surface of the synthetic strands.

Both material types have advantages. If you’re after something high-quality and traditional, cotton canvas is perfectly fine. However, if you’re after something more affordable that still provides a sharpness of colour and offers long-lasting quality then polyester will definitely meet your requirements.

Acrylic print details

Colour sharpness 

As we’ve already mentioned, acrylic prints can offer superior colour sharpness when compared with canvas prints, which can enhance image vibrancy. This is in part supported by the reflective surface of acrylic prints. The acrylic surface limits light passing through the surface of the print, which in turn ensures image colours are able to retain their sharpness when being viewed from all sides.

With canvas prints, the printing process will focus on adding more colour in the right way in order to achieve the best colour coverage. This way, printers can ensure that no image detailing is lost.

At Canvas Factory our print experts are masters at this process. They ensuring ink spread across the canvas is achieved every time. This will ensure that the final finished print looks exactly like your vivid photograph.

Acrylic and canvas prints

Strength and life span

The UV protection and laminate applied to canvas prints ensures that the surface of the prints is protected from bumps and scratches. The laminate also provides water damage protection, while allowing you to still be able to clean the canvas with a damp cloth.

Our canvas material is highly durable. This, coupled with the surface treatment applied, ensures that you will get 70+ years of quality out of a good canvas print.

Acrylic prints, on the other hand, by the nature of the printing process and surface, offer even more protective benefits and longevity for your image.

They are strong and durable, insuring that they are resistant to breaks and scratches. Yet they’re also still light enough to move around the room easily. Similar to canvas prints, they are also moisture resistant and easy to clean with a damp cloth, while also being UV resistant.

Popular designs for canvas prints 

At Canvas Factory we offer traditional shapes, exclusive modern arrangements and bespoke sizes to match your tastes and requirements.

Some examples from our full range are:

  • Single Canvas Prints: Single canvas prints are gallery-wrapped photo prints that are printed on high-quality, stretched canvas. They are available in a wide range of sizes, including custom sizes.
  • Split Canvas Prints: These multi prints allow you to turn your stunning panorama pictures or any other cherished image into sensational split canvas prints.
  • Canvas Photo Collage: This print option allows you to combine photos related by theme or subject into a single layout which results in an impressive creation that’s more powerful than the sum of its parts.
  • Canvas Print Wall Display: Wall displays offer you a chance to create a series of different canvas prints at varying sizes. Canvas print wall displays are an excellent way to visually showcase a curated collection of prints and tell a special story.

canvas prints

Popular designs for acrylic prints

We offer each of these acrylic designs in a range of bespoke shapes and sizes for your convenience.

Check out all the different options we have in store:

  • Shaped Acrylic Prints: Available in three shapes; love heart, round and oval. Your special photos will be presented perfectly and with such vivid clarity. From the quality of materials, through to the quality of printing, you will find the finished product to be the best in class.
  • Split Acrylic Prints: The contemporary aesthetic of acrylic photo printing is heightened when you take one of your stunning images and split it across multiple panels. Acrylic prints have a crystal clear clarity which will enhance any room.
  • Acrylic Wall Displays: The gallery-inspired look of an acrylic printed wall display will make your photos shine. Simply choose a group of similarly-themed photos and have them printed on different sized panels.
  • Silhouette Photo Collages On Acrylic: Adding a playful, unexpected silhouette to your collection of photos creates an instant conversation piece.
  • Modish Shape Collage: Perfect for contrasting with more traditional photos, this modish shape collage allows for a plethora of creative ideas.

Which print type should I choose?

In conclusion, the print type you choose will depend on your image, your budget, and your unique style preferences.

Canvas prints offer a more classic, yet versatile look at an affordable price. These prints are also highly durable, and can last you decades without fading. They will still reflect the quality of the image applied to the material, including richness of colour. A canvas print from Canvas Factory will be with you for over 70 years without fading.

Acrylic prints work fabulously as a modern-style work of art that showcases highly-detailed or highly-saturated images. They’re available at a premium price, yet their price is justified based on their finish, depth and durability.

Yet acrylic and canvas prints both have distinct advantages. Which print will you choose? Browse our range today to decide!


Megan is Canvas Factory's resident Social & Content Manager, and has worked with countless other homewares and interior design businesses over the years. It goes without saying that she also has a passion for decorating her own home!

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