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Are Acrylic Photo Prints Heavy?


acrylic photo print hanging above a sofa

Like the photograph in this image? Sunset Over Mt Warning. You can buy it here.


Weight Comparison Of Acrylic Prints


Printing on acrylic is gaining popularity, but it’s still a medium that isn’t as widely popular as canvas or metal prints.


I feel this can be down to the cost, acrylic prints can sometimes be substantially more expensive, but you’re buying an amazing product.


Using acrylic, also known as Plexiglass, does produce an image with great colour saturation & depth as well as a very modern & clean finish.


If this is a style of wall art you’d like to own, you may have questions about the weight & how to display these prints.


So are acrylic prints heavy? They do weigh more than other prints such as canvas or metal, but they are significantly lighter than glass prints. A standard size acrylic print will weigh about ½ to 2 kg (1.1 lbs to 4.4 lbs) with extra large prints weighing up to 3 kg (6.6 lbs)

How Does The Weight Of Acrylic Prints Compare To Other Prints?


Acrylic printing is offered by many popular print labs, whereas the heavier glass prints aren’t as widely available.


Glass does offer great quality & more durability, but it’s mainly used in commercial applications.


Although you can find printers offering this service if you’re really keen to try it.


Each print medium has it’s own unique characteristics, so my own humble opinion is that one isn’t better than another.


Some print mediums are more durable & long lasting & acrylic is one of those, although it does weigh more than canvas or metal prints.

 

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An unframed acrylic print will weigh more than an unframed metal print of the same size or an unframed canvas or canvas wrap.


Metal prints are actually very lightweight.


If you’d like the specifics, I put together a weight to size chart you can take a look at.


We’ve probably all handled canvas prints & realize how lightweight they are.


Frames are the biggest factor that will add weight to any print.


And of course, the larger the print, the bigger & heavier the frame.

 

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What makes acrylic prints so unique, apart from the great image quality, is the frameless & borderless modern look.


So maybe the question should be: Why would you frame an acrylic print?


Framing isn't usually an option offered with acrylic prints, so it's an added weight you don't need to think about.


Do Different Print Methods Affect Weight?


There’s 2 ways to create an acrylic photo print.


1. Face Mounted Print - this is where the image is printed onto photographic paper.


Different print labs will offer or use certain papers which have their own characteristics.


The printed photographic paper is then mounted to the back of the acrylic facing forward.


This is what gives that unique depth of colour & quality, as you’re viewing the image through the actual acrylic.


The photographic paper is then sandwiched between either an aluminium or PVC sheet to give it rigidity & prevent warping or buckling.


2. Direct Print - this is where the image is printed directly onto the acrylic.


In most cases the inks are laid on the back of the acrylic, again you’re looking through the acrylic to view the image.


Then different backing sheets are used to seal the ink & depending on the backing used, a different look will be achieved.


Both these methods require a backing sheet of some kind, but the added weight is minimal, even for a large print.


I’ve tried to explain the printing process as simply as I can as to be relevant to how it affects weight.

 

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Weight Chart For Acrylic Prints


Depending on the print lab, they may offer 1 or 2 thickness options, usually 3mm (1/8th inch) or 6mm (¼ inch).


The thinner still produces great quality at a cheaper cost.


This chart was calculated using the 6mm thickness & not accounting for the backing sheet, but hey! Let’s not split hairs ..it gives you a good enough idea for all intentional purposes.




weight chart of acrylic photo prints


Acrylic Prints Are Heavier, So Are They Easy To Hang?


Yes, acrylic photo prints are as easy to hang as any other style of wall art.

You just need to make sure to use the appropriate hanging method & hardware in relation to the size & weight of your print.


Ask your printer if they supply the hanging hardware & if not which method you need for the size print you’ve ordered.


Various Hanging Methods


● Smaller prints are often supplied with a self adhesive metal plate or hook that is attached to the back.


This simply sits on a nail or screw in the wall.


● Another method that gives a unique look & is often used in commercial applications are stand-off bolts.


4 holes are pre- made into each corner of the print.


Then the matching bolts are drilled into the wall & the print simply slides over these bolts.


A very secure method for extra large prints.


● If you’d like your print to sit closer against the wall, a cleat system may be the answer.


Good for larger prints as they won’t fall out of square.


The print will also tilt slightly forward.


● A sub-frame may also be attached to the back of the print.


Again, a very secure hanging method as 2 or even 4 screws can be used which will keep the print staying horizontal on the wall.


● Like most standard pictures, a hanging wire may be attached to the back.


Sometimes this wire may even be stretched between a sub-frame.


Final Thoughts


Even though acrylic prints are heavier than other print options, they are still easy enough to hang & display.


I haven’t had any of my own images printed to acrylic, but I have seen photographs that look amazing using this medium.


You can explore this print medium even more with this complete guide.


Like most things, you get what you pay for.


Cheap acrylic prints probably use lesser quality materials & inks compared to professional print labs.


So I wouldn’t be concerned about the extra weight if you’re looking for something unique & amazing to display on your walls.


I hope you found this article helpful & remember .. sharing is caring.






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