Canvas photo prints FAQ: your questions answered

canvas print FAQ
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you've found this page, then you already know that canvas prints offer a beautiful way to display your favorite art or photo in your home. And the best online services out there can add a distinctive texture and striking colors to the final piece.

Aside from which imagery to choose, people have various aspects to consider before investing in a new canvas. In this article, we’ll discuss the most popular of these so you’re fully in the know before even heading to a canvas printer website. 

Mixbook is our favorite canvas print service

Mixbook is our favorite canvas print service
Mixbook is a brilliant do-it all service that is fantastic for photo books, calendars, cards and canvas prints. It's actual canvas and print quality is excellent and the online software makes things so easy to create a fantastic gift or memory for your own home.

How are canvas prints made?

A canvas photo print shouldn’t be confused with a canvas painting, although they can look similar. A canvas print, as opposed to being hand-painted, is produced by an inkjet printer before being stretched over a frame. The designer will then staple the print to the wooden backing, keeping it secure for years to come on your wall.

Originally, canvases were made out of hemp, but in recent times materials such as cotton are increasingly being used instead. And the best services out there - the likes of Mixbook, for example, use really high grade canvas materials.

Are canvas prints waterproof?

The answer is... it depends. Heat and moisture can both cause your print to stretch and loosen if you choose a more traditional product that doesn’t offer specialised protection, simply because the fibers in both the wooden frame and canvas strings are porous. 

So unless your print provider offers this protection, you’ll want to keep your canvas away from bathrooms, outside areas, and maybe even the kitchen. Even with the most thorough of guarantees, we’d still advise against mounting your print where it might get directly rained on.

How do I clean my canvas print?

The best method for cleaning your print will depend on the ink that was used to originally produce it, but there are some general rules to live by.

First, avoid any strong detergents or soaps which might chemically interact with the chemical composition of the inks. In fact, where possible, only clean your print with a dry cloth or feather duster. If you do need to wet clean it, stick to lukewarm water and make sure any excess moisture is rung out of the fabric before you begin wiping.

Before diving into a cleaning session, it’s also worth reading through the canvas upkeep manual that some printers provide or contacting the printers directly for advice. We have more on upkeep in our dedicated guide on how to care for your canvas prints.

canvas prints

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Can canvas prints be framed?

Canvas prints can easily be framed and pretty much all of the best canvas print purveyors offer a selection of framing options before you make your final purchase.

Of course, there are various advantages and disadvantages to putting a frame on your canvas. On the upside, frames can be good for adding another layer of individuality to your artwork, helping you to more closely tie your canvas in to the rest of the room’s style or send a really special photo gift. And if you want to change the art, you can remove the frame and place it around a different piece.

However, frames can be expensive, heavy, and difficult to transport, as well as being susceptible to changing fashion trends. They also add glare and reflection to your piece.

The choice, as they say, is yours.

Do canvas prints fade?

 Many canvas prints nowadays come with a UV-resistant coating as standard. However the sun’s rays are powerful and even this isn’t impenetrable over time.

To make sure your canvas doesn’t discolor, keep it away from direct sunlight. If you want to be entirely sure it won’t fade, some companies offer a glass cover for additional protection.

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Toby Douglas-Bate

I am a London-based writer with work in many national titles, trade publications and magazines. I have extensive in-house and agency copywriting experience across many industries, specialising in tech, entertainment, and current and consumer affairs. I am passionate about the work of Heung-Min Son.