canvas vs metal prints

Canvas vs Metal Prints: Which Art Decor Product is Better?

Metal prints vs Canvas? If you are still confused between these two art decoration options, let’s Merchize help you out. In the following, we will explore the pros and cons of each option and see how they fare against each other. Hope you will find your answer and make the best decision.

What are Canvas?

canvas frames

Canvas refers to a special type of fabric that is most commonly used for painting. With qualities like strength and durability, canvas offers a strong base for painting and can hold the paint very well.

Canvas are traditionally made from cotton, linen, or a combination of both. As for today, new synthetic materials are also used in modern canvas production.

The fabric is woven in a plain or twill weave, resulting in a sturdy material with a coarse texture. This coarse surface allows the paint to sit and stick to the canvas, despite the application of various painting techniques like layering and blending. Added with resistance for better control over brush strokes, canvas provides an ideal foundation for painting.

Beyond the world of painting, today, canvas has become a popular material for art decor printing as well.

Most of the canvas wall decors available in the market today are stretched canvas. A canvas is stretched tightly and evenly over a wooden frame or stretcher bars, then secured into the frame with staples. The result is a framed canvas that can be easily hung up on the wall.

canvas stretcher

Canvas is prized for its versatility, durability, and texture, making it a popular choice among artists, photographers, and art enthusiasts. It is also a wonderful choice for printing artwork, especially if you want to sell your printed art.

At Merchize, we offer a wide range of high-quality Canvas of different sizes and frame options, all ready to be printed and delivered to you or your customers.

Advantages of Canvas

Now, let’s dive into the unique features and benefits that form the appeal of canvas as a decor option.

  • Textured and matte surface: Canvas prints have a textured surface that adds depth and dimension to the image, giving it a more tactile and organic feel. The texture of the canvas enhances the visual appeal of the artwork, especially for paintings or images with intricate details.

The matte surface of canvas prints also creates a softer and more subdued look compared to the glossy finish of metal prints. This warmth and softness can be particularly appealing for certain types of artwork or photographs, adding a cozy and inviting feel to the space.

canvas display

  • Traditional aesthetic: Canvas prints have a classic and timeless appearance that suits a wide range of decorating styles, from traditional to rustic to eclectic. The canvas material evokes the look and feel of traditional paintings, lending a sense of authenticity and charm to the artwork.
  • Customizable: Canvas prints offer flexibility in terms of size, shape, and framing options. They can be stretched over a wooden frame in various thicknesses and depths, allowing for customization to fit specific preferences and display requirements.
  • Lightweight and easy to hang: Canvas prints are lightweight and easy to hang, requiring only a nail or hook for installation. This makes them convenient and hassle-free to display, with no need for additional mounting hardware or special support systems.
  • Cost-effective: Canvas prints are often more affordable than metal prints or other display options like acrylic or glass. They provide a cost-effective way to showcase artwork or photographs without compromising on quality or visual impact.

What are metal prints?

metal print

In contrast to canvas’s rustic vibe, metal prints offer a more contemporary display option for modern arts. The stark difference between canvas and metal prints arises from the use of different materials – while canvas is made from highly versatile and soft fabric, metals make use of tough and rigid aluminum sheets.

Unlike traditional paper prints or canvas prints where you can print directly into the surface, metal prints require a different printing method called dye sublimation. During this process, the prints are transferred from a special sublimation paper and pressed into the aluminum surface using heat. After that, to secure the prints, the newly printed artwork is covered with a special coating that guarantees the print won’t fade off or die out easily.

Metal Signs are also available at Merchize for print on demand fulfillment. Check out our Decorative Metal Sign for the best price in the market!

Advantages of metal prints

metal print display

The use of metal for printing has been discovered more recently compared to canvas prints. Even so, metal prints quickly gain popularity in today’s art decor space. Here are all the reasons why metal prints are so well-loved in today’s world:

  • Durability: The strong and resilient metals provide a durable and long-lasting base for printing. They can last for many years without losing their vibrancy or quality, making them ideal for long-term display.
  • Vibrant colors and prints: The dye-sublimation process used in metal printing results in vibrant, true-to-life colors with exceptional clarity and detail. Plus, the smooth base of the metal sheet also allows the colors to truly shine.
  • Sleek and modern appeal: Metal prints have a contemporary and sophisticated look that adds a touch of elegance to any space. The glossy finish and smooth surface of the metal substrate create a sleek and polished look that complements modern decor styles.
  • Lightweight: Metal prints are not as heavy as some might think. Most metal prints are made from aluminum – a lightweight type of metal. It is even lighter than other types of wood frames, making them easy to hang and move and offering greater flexibility in display options.
  • Versatility: Metal prints, with their durable quality, are suitable for displaying in a variety of settings, including indoor spaces like living rooms, offices, and galleries, as well as outdoor environments like patios or gardens. With their sleek appearance, they are suitable for both residential and commercial use.
  • Easy to clean: Metal prints can be wiped clean with a soft, damp cloth. You don’t have to worry that the cleaning might affect the print quality or break the surface of the metal print. Unlike canvas prints, they are not susceptible to damage from moisture or humidity, allowing for worry-free cleaning and care. Overall, metal prints are easy to maintain and can look pristine after a long time in use.

Comparison of canvas vs. metal prints

Metal prints and canvas, each option has its own charms and appeal. In the following, let’s compare canvas and metal prints to see which is the better option for you:


As mentioned in the previous part, canvas prints are made by printing an image into canvas fabric, typically cotton or polyester. The canvas is then stretched over a wooden frame.

On the other hand, metal prints involve printing the image onto a specially coated sheet of aluminum using a dye-sublimation process.

The use of different materials also leads to other attributes of each option that will be explored further down below.


Canvas prints come with a textured, matte, coarse surface that lends a softer, more rustic look to the image. On the other hand, metal prints have a gloss, smooth finish that delivers a sleek, modern appearance. The smooth surface also allows for a more vibrant and crisp portrait of details.


Canvas prints are susceptible to damage from moisture, humidity, and direct sunlight. Over time, the canvas may sag or warp if not properly cared for. Canvas can easily be scratched or torn, which can irreversibly damage the artwork.

Regarding durability, there is hardly any option that can beat the sturdiness and robustness of metal prints. They are highly durable and resistant to moisture, fading, and scratches. They can withstand outdoor conditions and are suitable for humid environments like bathrooms or kitchens.

Additionally, metal prints can withstand the rigors of transportation and handling, making them suitable for exhibitions, trade shows, and other events where durability is essential. Their robustness also makes it ideal for outdoor display.

Color accuracy and vibrancy:

Canvas prints offer good color reproduction but may not have the same level of vibrancy and detail as metal prints.

Metal prints provide excellent color accuracy and vibrancy, with the dye-sublimation process allowing for precise reproduction of details and colors.

Weight and mounting:

Canvas prints are lightweight and easy to hang, typically requiring only a nail or hook.

Metal prints might be heavier than canvas prints, especially with larger sizes. They may require additional support for hanging, such as a cleat system or standoffs. However, as metal prints are strong on their own, they can be mounted directly on walls without the need for additional framing, allowing a sleek and modern appearance.


Canvas prints are generally more affordable than metal prints, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious consumers.

Metal prints tend to be more expensive due to the cost of materials and the specialized printing process. The heavier weight might also increase the cost of shipping, which make it expensive to deliver long distances.

Style and décor:

Canvas prints are versatile and suit a variety of decorating styles, from traditional to contemporary. Metal prints are well-suited to modern and minimalist interiors, adding a sleek and polished touch to any space.

It really goes down to what type of aesthetics or appearance you desire for your own space to decide which display option to go with.

Besides canvas and metal, acrylic is also a popular choice in the modern art decor market. Read our comparison of metal prints and acrylic prints to know more about acrylic prints.

Whether you’re drawn to the timeless allure of canvas or the contemporary appeal of metal, each option offers its own unique merits. Embrace the beauty of your surroundings and let your creativity shine through – whether you choose the rustic embrace of canvas or the polished allure of metal, your space becomes a canvas for your imagination.

is a senior writer at Merchize covering products, services, and consumer tech issues and trends. Previously, she was a content writer for trustworthy brands and International corporations. With her deep knowledge in multiple industries, Bich has become a professional writer and has chosen Merchize to explore eCommerce, MMO, and Print on Demand... In her free time, she loves reading, listening to music, and hanging out at cafes.