When it comes to printing on canvas, the choice of finish can greatly impact the appearance and feel of your artwork. There are a variety of options, including glossy, matte and satin finishes. Each finish has its unique qualities that can enhance different aspects of your artwork. In this blog post, we will explore the distinctions between these canvas printing techniques to help you determine which one best suits your needs.

Glossy Finish: Captivating Brilliance

A glossy finish can add a captivating vibrancy to your artwork. It features a surface that enhances colours and gives them a saturated look. This kind of finish works well for artworks with vibrant colours or high-contrast images. Moreover, the glossy surface adds depth and dimension to the artwork, making it visually engaging.

Furthermore, a glossy finish provides image clarity and sharpness. It enables intricate details to be showcased prominently, making it ideal for artworks with textures or patterns. However, it’s important to note that the high gloss surface may sometimes cause glare in well-lit environments, affecting visibility from certain angles.

Matte Finish

For those who appreciate a refined aesthetic, a matte finish could be the perfect choice. The matte surface offers a texture that reduces glare while maintaining the desired elegance. This type of finish complements artwork with pastel colour schemes, enhancing their presentation.

One of the advantages of opting for a matte finish is its ability to minimise the visibility of fingerprints and smudges. Unlike glossy prints, matte prints are less likely to show marks or reflections, making them easier to maintain and keep clean. Additionally, the absence of glare allows for viewing from any angle, making it particularly well-suited for gallery or exhibition displays.

Satin Finish

If you’re looking for a balance between matte and glossy finishes, a satin finish may be the ideal choice. It offers a sheen that enhances colours while minimising reflections. The satin surface also adds depth and dimension to the artwork, with its texture giving it an air of luxury and sophistication.

Artists who prefer versatility often gravitate towards the satin finish as it works well with colour palettes. Whether your artwork is vibrant or subtle in nature, this type of finish can beautifully complement both styles.

Furthermore, the smooth texture of satin reduces the likelihood of fingerprints and smudges compared to prints, ensuring that your canvas remains long-lasting and resilient.

Choosing the Appropriate Finish for Your Artwork

Now that you have gained an understanding of the finishes available, you might still be contemplating how to select the most suitable one for your artwork. Here are a few factors to take into account.

1. Lighting: The lighting conditions in which your artwork will be displayed play a role in determining the finish. In well-lit areas, opting for a matte or satin finish is advisable, as it helps minimise glare. However, if your artwork is intended for dimly lit spaces, a glossy finish can accentuate the colours, making them more prominent.

2. Colours and Contrast: Consider the colour palette and level of contrast present in your artwork. Glossy finishes tend to work with highly contrasting images as they can intensify colours and make them visually striking. On the other hand, softer and more subtle colour palettes often benefit from matte or satin finishes as they enhance nuances without overpowering them.

3. Viewing Distance: Take into consideration the distance from which your artwork will be viewed. When it comes to viewing your artwork up close, it’s recommended to go for a matte or satin finish, as they offer a pleasing experience. However, if you have artwork that will be viewed from a distance, a glossy finish can help maximise visibility and impact.

The choice is entirely up to you. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to preferring the captivating brilliance of glossy, the elegance of matte, or the balanced appeal of satin. Each finish has its merits and can enhance different aspects of your artwork. 

It’s important to note that canvas printing techniques offer more options than these finishes. Some printers even provide pearl finishes which can add a touch of luxury or shimmering effect to your artwork. Ultimately your artistic vision and personal preference should be the guiding factors, in making the choice.


Selecting the finish for your canvas print is a decision that significantly impacts the overall aesthetic of your artwork. Whether you lean towards the brilliance of glossy, the understated elegance of matte or the balanced charm of satin, each option brings its unique advantages.

Take into account elements, like lighting, colours and the distance from which you’ll be viewing to make an informed decision. No matter which finish you opt for, keep in mind that its ultimate purpose is to enhance and harmonise with your artwork, breathing life into it on the canvas.

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