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Mounted Prints Vs Canvas Prints – What’s The Difference?

Being a digital creative designer, you surely want to put your work on display and might be looking to sell it too.

Or you can be a photographer who wants to exhibit his masterpieces in the form of a video photo frame, or someone looking for some cool personal photographs for decorating your living room.

Knowing different techniques of printing can help you get the most out of your photos and maximize their impact.

Mounted printing and canvas printing are two popular methods for printing your photos.

In this article we will discuss the difference between mounted print vs canvas print.

The basic idea behind the two is as follows: with mounted print, the image is printed on a sheet and then attached on to a board. On the other hand, with canvas print, the image is printed directly from the printer.

Before we compare these two lets first look at each in detail.

What is Mounted Printing?

Mounted printing is the way of printing your masterpieces or photographs on paper that is attached on to a board.

difference between mounted print vs canvas print

You can mount your photos for so many reasons,

  • For protecting the picture from bending.
  • To put it on display.
  • To keep the photo stiff for framing or hanging.
  • To create a portfolio of your work.
  • Or, simply to preserve the photos.

The printing image is mounted to a rigid surface like a hardboard.

Mounted prints do not need to be framed, though they can also be framed if you want to. So, once you have a mounted a print you can use it so many ways as per your choice or requirement.

Different techniques are used for mounted printing. The technique you choose for mounting your photos depends on your objectives.

There are several techniques used for mounted printing. Some of these are;

Dry Mounted Printing

In this method, the printed photo -is sandwiched between the double-adhesive sheets. The printed photo is attached to a board with heat adhesive materials.

The dry-mounted technique is great for archiving only if you choose the acid-free board and other material. Otherwise, your photos will turn to brown with time.

Hinge Mount

Shows both hinge and matting techniques. [Source:]

Hinge mount is another technique for mounting. The print is put in place with tapping, or a folded hinge is tucked out of sight under the print.


In this technique, there is a cutout window for displaying the print. The photo is attached to the backboard.

Backboard and the opening window are attached with tape, and thus print is mounted.

When is this technique used?

This mounting technique is not suitable for valuable masterpieces or pieces of art since the permanent adhesive can downgrade the value of the art piece. Therefore, it is rather used for photos, movie posters etc.

What is Canvas Printing?

Canvas printing is another popular technique for putting your photos on display. In this technique, the photo or design is printed DIRECTLY onto the canvas.

Related: What Is Screen Printing?

What is Canvas?

Canvas is a special fabric made of hemp.

Nowadays cotton is used for preparation of canvas. An inkjet printer is used for transferring the image on the canvas.

Ink is absorbed by the fibers of fabric, and the printing creates a very artistic effect. Other materials like polyester, nylon, or linen are used for canvas printing, and each fabric has its own grace and finish.

On cotton, the printed image becomes a part of the fabric as the color seeps into the fabric. In polyester, the ink sits at the surface of fabric giving a printed feel and vivid image.

Once printed, the canvas print is stretched on board. Then you can either frame it or choose to hang the picture, as it is borderless.

Related: Here's How To Print On Fabric

canvas print

While selecting a canvas, you need to consider the finish option. The sealer can be glossy or have a matte finish.

Several other considerations matter for example if you intend to hang the picture, or where you want to put in on display, and finally, if you want to frame it or not.

The choice of canvas, sealer, and frame should depend on your objectives and décor.

The canvas print has an artistic touch. The prints on canvas are more long-lasting than the photos printed on a paper. Paper has its limitations and can degrade with time.

Canvas, especially of 100% cotton, retains its finish and glow for many years to come.

The prints have better color depth, and they do not have any glow or reflection.

Related: How To Print Stickers: Full Guide

How to Make a Canvas Print?

Mounted Print vs Canvas Print

Both mounted, and canvas printing can be used for putting your work on display. Each technique has its own advantages. Here are few differences between the two.


Mounted printing is done on paper, and canvas printing makes use of canvas. Both these have different finish.


Canvas printing is more long-lasting. Mounted prints will decay with time. To preserve the pictures for years, you need to follow the strict guidelines for archiving.

The mounted print will degrade with years if printed-paper, adhesive material or board is not acid-free.

Cotton canvas, on the other hand, is durable and remains in excellent position for long.


Printing on paper adds a glow or sheen to the prints. Canvas prints do not have that glare and reflection and look more true to life.


Mounted prints are more suitable for creating portfolios, or for exhibitions. They can be used for decorating your space as well.

Canvas prints are more commonly printed for décor and evoke an artistic feel.

Choosing canvas and mounted print should depend on the type of photo and how you are going to use it. If you are printing to add these photos to your home décor, you should choose one that suits your interior.

Some prints may not stand out on canvas as perfectly as in mounted prints and vice versa.


Canvas printing has more of a painted effect, while mounted printing looks more like detailed photos.


Mounted prints are more cost-effective than canvas prints. But if you are buying all those acid-free and high quality material for mounting your pieces, then it can become costly.

In the same way, if you compare the price of a canvas print bought from the market then certainly a DIY canvas print cost much less, however, the cost to procure the large inkjet printers as well as the high quality ink will result in a very high upfront cost.


Here we looked at the difference between mounted print vs canvas print techniques.

In short, both mounted, and canvas printing is used for putting your photos or designs on display. Both techniques have their own feel and finish.

Choice of a certain technique should depend on your objectives and how you are going to use these photos.

You can create some amazing DIY projects with these techniques. Create some amazing creative pictures and sell them for earning some cash.

Either for personal collection or business purposes, these methods of printing can bring a lot of fresh air in your work.