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Do Canvas Prints Look Cheap?

canvas prints in living room

You Don't Need To Spend A Fortune For A Quality Canvas Print

Canvas prints are & continue to be extremely popular & one of the highest selling styles of wall décor you can buy.

Why would this be the case if they were cheap & nasty & looked tacky?

Do canvas prints look cheap? No, only cheap canvas prints look cheap. A professionally produced canvas photo print using a decent resolution image, high quality canvas, inks & printer, can be a gorgeous addition to any wall décor.

What Makes A Canvas Print Look Cheap?

It all comes down to workmanship & quality of materials used in the production process.

A mass produced print using a cheap polyester canvas, cheap inks & a low resolution image to begin with, is not going to look good under any circumstances.

Add to that, if the print is stretched incorrectly over a flimsy & low quality timber frame, well it’s just going to be some floppy thing taking up valuable space on your wall.


Further Related Articles To Explore:


Are Mass Produced Canvas Prints Low Quality?

Not necessarily .. there can definitely be el cheapo prints you can buy from those budget shops & discount department stores.

But many long print run canvases are sold through higher end department stores to a very decent standard.

How these compare to a custom printed canvas of course is another story.

Cheap vs Expensive Canvas Prints

A quality printed canvas is still amazing value for money.

When you compare the canvas print medium to acrylic or metal prints (as amazing as they are), canvas really delivers excellent value for dollars spent.

But let’s take a quick look at how a canvas print is made so you’re able to understand the difference.

There’s 3 types of canvas that can be used:

1. Linen or Cotton - this is the type of canvas used for fine art & archival printing.

Being a cloth means the inks are absorbed into the canvas.

This helps in making the ink fade resistant.

It does produce more subtle colours & less sharpness, but this can be a good thing for certain images.

2. Polyester - the cheapest option, but not necessarily poorer quality.

It isn’t classed as archival, but because the inks sit on top of the material, an image can have more vibrant colour, sharpness & contrast.

There is also consistency in long print runs.

3. Polyester/Cotton Blend - this is the most popular & widely used canvas by many print labs.

Using a 60% poly to 40% cotton blend, means it comes in at a good price, still retains sharpness, colour depth & detail as well as print consistency.

There’s also 2 types of inks:

1. Dye-based - although regarded as less fade resistant, this type of ink does offer more vibrant colour.

Although many printers now incorporate UV protectants into the ink.

2. Pigment - these inks are used in archival printing because they offer UV protection, although they are less vibrant.

Protective coating: Reputable print labs will also apply a protective top coat, no matter what the canvas or ink used.

This protects from UV as well as sealing the inks & canvas material itself from airborne contaminants that can degrade the image over time.

Buying Quality vs Cheap Canvas Prints

If you’re looking for a print to add to your décor, there’s many physical, as well as online stores, that stock a large variety.

If possible, ask the supplier what type of canvas & ink they use & is a protective coating applied.

I’m not just saying this because I sell my own photography, but photographers that sell their work will choose professional labs that cover all bases when it comes to providing our customers with a top quality product for dollars spent.

Many photographers will also offer their work as fine art & archival prints.

Some of these will be limited editions & can be very costly, but you’re receiving an amazing piece of original art that under the right conditions will last for decades.

Is There A Place For Cheap Prints?

I do believe you get what you pay for.

Personally, I don’t see the point in cutting corners if you’re printing your own photographs to canvas.

I don’t just mean professional photographers. I’ve seen family snapshots & holiday photos taken on a phone, turned into amazing prints.

If the image quality is pretty decent to begin with, find the optimal size canvas that won’t exaggerate any noise or lack of sharpness & use a quality print service.

A good print lab should be able to give you an idea of the image file size & which size print will best do it justice.

But there are circumstances where a few cheap canvas prints may suit a need.

If you’re staging a home for sale for example.

You really don’t want to invest in expensive artworks that you personally may not like or take with you to your new home.

It’s nice to add a splash of colour in the office too, & if you have a stingy boss, some budget canvas prints may be just the thing to lift the mood.


To explore canvas prints even further, feel free to check out my complete guide.


Final Thoughts

Canvas prints can look cheap, but they can & do look wonderful as well.

I don’t see them going out of style any time soon.

They’ve been around a long time & I see them surviving well into the future.

Camera & print technology just keeps on improving, & this is the major factor in how well an image is reproduced.

Well I hope this article was helpful & please feel free to share with anyone else who may get value from it .. remember .. sharing is caring.


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