What is a Metal Print? Here’s What You Should Know

Metal artwork has been a form of self-expression since ancient times. Metal prints, also known as metallic prints, are modern, high definition art pieces made of a sleek metal panel (usually aluminum), layered with any image of your choosing.

These stunning, luminous art pieces can be hung in a living room, bedroom or another favorite place in the home. Metal prints bring photographs to life and often make for a great conversation piece.

If you’re looking to design your own metal print, head on over to our extensive metal print collection.

Why metal art?

Metal art and canvas and prints

While the medium you choose for photo printing is largely based on personal style, there are some unique benefits of metal art.

Metal prints use a frameless design, giving photos a clean, modern look. You don’t have to deal with framing or matting the piece: the art is ready the minute it arrives. Because of its durable material and professional finish, metal art has immense longevity. It looks as new in 20 years as it did on day one.

In addition to its longevity, metal prints are scratch-resistant and waterproof. That’s right: you can hang it in your kitchen, bathroom or even playroom, without worry that it will be damaged. You can have peace of mind knowing the artwork will remain pristine over time.

In terms of how your photograph will look, you may be surprised by how brilliantly it displays on a metal print. Because the image is infused into the aluminum sheet, not on top of it, it becomes clearer and more radiant. In other words, the process takes your image and magnifies its beauty.

Two metal art prints

When deciding on your metal print, you can choose from a few options for your surface finish:

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  • A brushed metal surface: Allows a silver basecoat to peek through your image, enhancing the metallic elements and muting the image colors.
  • A true color surface: Provides a white basecoat that allows the colors of the image to truly pop.
  • A glossy finish: Available for both surface types. Tends to give the image a more vibrant, crisp appearance.
  • A matte finish: Available for both surface types. Offers a more subdued, muted look.

No matter the surface type or finish you choose, metal prints experience less glare than framed artwork. With metal prints, there’s no glass for the light’s reflection to interfere with. It is still recommended that you not place your metal print in direct sunlight, in order to reduce any fading that may occur.

Things to consider with metal prints

Family on metal art

The longevity and brilliance of metal prints make them an increasingly popular choice for home decor. To ensure it’s the right medium for the particular image you have in mind, you’ll want to consider a few key aspects.

The photo you select should be of the highest resolution. This allows your image to appear crisp and professional on the metal panel. Because the image is printed directly onto the material, a metal print becomes a permanent art piece. Unlike a traditional glass frame, you won’t be able to swap out photos. Be selective in choosing your image—one that you’ll appreciate for years to come.

Though our metal prints, like this portrait style design, tend to be relatively light, metal prints are still slightly heavier than other prints due to their durable materials. We suggest hanging your metal print on a stud in the wall rather than on drywall or plaster. For tips on how to hang metal artwork, check out our simple step-by-step guide.

The stunning appearance of metal prints lifts nearly any photo from ordinary to extraordinary. If you’re looking for an art piece with longevity, style and personal meaning, consider designing your own metal wall art.