metal print of seascape

Metal Prints vs Canvas

You have a great image that needs a place in your home. You probably remember seeing an eye-catching metal print or an elegant canvas wrap somewhere at a gallery or at a nice home. Either choice can really upgrade the appearance of your room, but one will definitely work better. This depends on your image and the style of your interior.

Metal Prints
Metal Prints are all about vibrant colors and deep contrast. Soft subtle images generally don’t work as well on this media. The high contrast makes any image look bolder and its inherent sharpness brings out detail incredibly well. So if you have a relatively low resolution image or a flawed image, you might want to pass on metal.

As a general guideline, these categories of photography work really well with metal prints.

  • Seascapes – Could be our locale, but seascapes are the most popular type of photography for metal prints in our lab in Southern California. The shades of blue in the sky and ocean look so pleasing to the eye. There is so much detail in the waves that it feels like you could touch and feel the water with your hands. It seems that this media was made for seascape photography.
  • Landscapes – Landscapes are naturally abundant with vivid color. That’s why many landscape photographers choose metal for their galleries. Fall foliage look unbelievable on metal. Head-turning yellow leaves of the Colorado Aspens are a must see on metal.
  • Sunsets – Want to see a sunset ignite your wall? The rich warm colors of sunsets come alive on metal prints. The spectrum of colors between yellow and red pop with so much intensity.
  • Black & White – What?! Yes, black and white photos, look great on metal. You’re thinking, “You just told me to choose images with bold colors. Why are you contradicting yourself?” Truth is … metal offers unprecedented contrast. The blacks are so much deeper than any traditional print. Black and white photographers are always looking for contrast to get that great “pop” in their images. Metal has that in spades.

black and white metal print

Metal prints look most natural in modern or contemporary interiors. You probably seen them at offices, hipster hangouts and trendy restaurants. Their chic modern look and feel make them very popular with the young and progressive crowd. Due to high glossy finish and bold colors they’ll fit really well in interiors with simple clean furnishings and nice polished surfaces. Below is a great example found on

metal print in bedroom wall


Canvas Prints
Canvas prints are definitely more versatile than metal prints. They don’t look out of place anywhere. They look just as good in a museum gallery as they would in a nice cozy home. They’re warm and inviting with an air of sophistication.

Both soft and bold images work well with canvas. The colors come out much softer and flatter than metal, but they’re no slouch when it comes to color fidelity. The color gamut will be closer to traditional photo prints. What really makes them unique is the texture and wrapped presentation. The texture gives your image a soft yet artsy look. That’s why they’re a really popular choice for portraits and wedding photography.

As adaptable as canvas prints are, I personally think they look best in transitional interiors like homes in a Pottery Barn catalog. Canvas really complements interiors with simple and classic styling as seen in this example found on

canvas print on fireplace


Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of the unique characteristics of these two medias. While we did present some strong recommendations, they are essentially just guidelines. There is no real right or wrong. Ultimately, the best choice for your home decor is what makes you makes you happy. 

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