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Canvas vs Framed Print: Which one to choose?

November 18, 2021

Canvas vs Framed Print: Which one to choose?

Printed artworks can make a great addition to your home or office, but deciding how to best print, frame and display a piece of artwork can be tricky.

Check out our guide to canvas vs framed prints below for inspiration when choosing the right look for your print.

If you're looking for tailored advice, get in touch with the team at Portfolio Picture Framers for a free consultation.

What is a canvas print?

A canvas print is an artwork or photograph that is printed onto canvas material. The canvas material is then stretched over stretcher bars for a tight, smooth fit.

After the stretching process, unframed canvas prints can be hung and displayed as is, with the sides of the canvas showing. Alternatively you can add a frame around the outside for a different look.

Read more: Why is canvas stretching necessary?

What is a traditional framed print?

Artworks and photographs that are printed on paper are typically displayed with a matt board, wooden frame and glass or acrylic cover. For the best results, museum-grade fine art paper should be used when printing.

Get more tips about printing in our guide to printing and framing your photos.

There is a wide range of framing options with traditional frame prints, including different materials, colours, textures and styles. That means you can achieve a diverse range of styles and looks, whether you're going for something bold and colourful or muted and minimalist.

Canvas vs framed prints

So long as you choose high quality printing and framing services, both canvas and framed prints are a great choice for displaying wall art and family photos.

Keep the following factors in mind when choosing the best option for your wall space.


Canvas is a durable fabric, typically made from cotton, linen or PVC using a plain weave. Images are usually printed onto the canvas material using an inkjet printer.

Canvas prints can have a smooth appearance if the canvas has a tight weave, or slightly textured if the weave is looser. It’s important to choose the best quality canvas to ensure a high standard result.

There are a wide range of paper options that can be used for printing images. For the purposes of displaying art, we highly recommend a fine art paper or card stock.

The finish on fine art paper can be glossy (for a shiny, smooth appearance), matte (great if you want more texture) or lustre (a mixture of glossy and matte finish).


Framed canvas prints are a great option if you want to achieve a bold, modern look. Both framed and unframed canvas prints can be very striking, especially for large sized artworks.

Traditional framed prints typically have a more classic and understated look, depending on the style of frame you choose.

Black, white and natural wooden frames are the best choice if you want a chic, minimalist look. Ornate and vintage frames are perfect if you want to make more of a statement.


Canvas is a great medium for nature and portrait photography as well as bold graphic art styles. Whether you lean towards Scandinavian interior design, Hamptons or art deco, canvas prints look great in a range of settings.

Unframed canvas prints have no distractions – the print takes all the attention. For more classic interior styles, consider adding a floating wooden frame to your stretched canvas for a more traditional look.

A framed paper print will suit any home style when you choose the right frame style, mount techniques and size. As a rule you want to choose a frame that's going to show off the artwork in the best way rather than making the artwork fit an existing frame.

For inspiration, check out our guide to framed art for different decor styles.


Both canvas and paper prints can be affordable to frame, although the size, materials and complexity of the job will affect the final cost. With so many variables in the mix, it's best to speak directly with a professional framer for an accurate quote.

Pre-made vs custom frames for prints

Many frames and canvases can be purchased pre-made from department stores. However, if you are framing valuable or meaningful art prints, we highly recommend going with professional custom frames.

Whether you decide on a stretched canvas print or a framed fine art print, using the right materials and techniques will ensure your artwork is well protected and displayed in the best way possible.

Read more about choosing a custom frame over ready made options.

Canvas stretching and picture framing near me

If you need tailored advice about canvas vs custom framed prints, we're here for you.

Get in touch with the team at Portfolio Picture Framers for a free consultation and quote today. Or come in and visit us at our studio in Myaree where we can show you your different options. We look forward to hearing from you.

Send us a message!