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How To Print on Canvas Online: A Step-By-Step Guide

Remember the days when you had to search far and wide for home décor that fit your personal style or dig through dozens of wall art options to find a piece that didn’t break the bank? Fortunately, those days are long gone! There is an unlimited selection of affordable canvas prints that suit any design preference, whether it’s tranquil landscapes, meaningful quotes, or even famous paintings.

Canvas pictures combine the traditional craftsmanship of conventional artwork with modern technology that enables anything from personal photographs to custom graphics to be printed directly on durable canvas material. The best part? You can learn how to print on canvas from home without ever stepping foot in a store, consulting a designer, or paying extravagant printing fees!

An online canvas printing service like Optimalprint makes it easier than ever to master the process of printing on canvas. Use our online editor to upload and adjust original photographs or designs for custom canvas prints in nearly 20 different sizes! Whether you’re on the hunt for a new piece of wall art or a personalised gift for a friend, learn how to print on canvas with our step-by-step guide.

Main Takeaways from This Article:

  • Canvas prints refer to images and vector designs that have been printed directly onto canvas fabric with an inkjet printer.

  • Canvas fabric is typically stretched over a wooden frame to make the final product sturdier and allow for simple hanging.

  • Canvas prints can be made from home in minutes with an online canvas printing service that offers convenient editor tools.

  • Optimalprint Canvas Wall Art and Photo Canvas Prints are available in a wide variety of sizes, formats, and orientations.

Understanding Canvas Printing

canvas printing example

If you want to learn how to print on canvas from home, it’s best to start with a basic understanding of canvas printing. Canvas prints are made with inkjet printers that apply ink directly to the canvas surface. A photograph or digital art file is sent to the inkjet printer just like a standard computer printer; however, the image is printed with UV-resistant canvas ink rather than typical oil-based ink.

UV-resistant canvas ink has been specifically designed to prevent the original artwork colours from fading, so that each canvas print maintains its vibrancy. After a print has been left on a flat surface to let the canvas dry completely, the canvas fabric can then be stretched across a lightweight frame. Canvas prints are not to be confused with canvas paintings, which are hand painted and not printed.

For a better idea of how canvas prints are made, take a look at the ins and outs of canvas printing.

Basics of Canvas 

Let’s start with the basics: What is canvas, anyway? Canvas is a durable, plain-weave fabric known for its water resistance. Originally popularised by the ancient Greeks as a material for sailboats and shelter, canvas gained a rich history as a painting medium because it was lightweight, portable, and resistant to warping. Today, canvas has become the top medium for artwork for all assortments!

The earliest versions of canvas were made with hemp; however, today’s canvas prints tend to use a blend of cotton, linen, and polyester. Often referred to as ‘canvas paper,’ canvas is significantly more heavy-duty and sturdy than plain paper. Canvas also uses UV-resistant inks rather than oil-based inks, which are more environmentally friendly because they do not release chemicals as they dry.

Once a printed canvas is completely dry, the material is stretched over a wooden frame (called a stretcher frame) with a gallery-wrapping technique and fastened at the back for easy hanging. Note that there is a difference between prints on a stretcher frame and actual framed prints. Prints on a stretcher frame are borderless and do not have a decorative frame to protect or display the artwork.

The Role of High-Quality Artwork

When it comes to canvas printing, high-quality artwork is a must for high-quality prints. To understand why high-resolution images and graphics are essential for quality final products, just think about the standard computer printer you have at home. If you attempt to print a grainy, low-resolution photograph with your computer printer, the printed image will also be low-quality.

Inkjet printers operate the same way as typical printers. So, if you were to attempt to print low-quality photographs with an inkjet model, the photo canvas prints would be low-quality as well. Fortunately, the same is true for high-quality images. The higher resolution for a photograph or digital design, the clearer and more vibrant your final canvas art print will be!

Whether you plan to print fine art from your favourite painter or turn your wedding photos into wall art, high-quality art and hi-res photos will remain extremely important for canvas prints. Likewise, remember that the contrast and brightness of the artwork will impact your final product. You must select artwork that will maintain clarity and vibrancy even once printed in a larger size.

Selecting the Right Online Canvas Printing Service

Unless you want to invest in an entire printing set-up, the easiest way to learn how to print on canvas is by partnering with a reliable online printing service. There are many benefits of working with printers that have already mastered the art of canvas printing, the foremost being that you can design, edit, and initiate the printing of totally custom canvas wall art, all directly from home!

Of course, there are several factors to consider when selecting the right online canvas printing service, such as:

Ease of the design process. Not everyone is a design expert. With Optimalprint as your canvas printing service, you can utilise our simple editor straight from your desktop computer or download our convenient Optimalprint smartphone application to design custom canvas prints with ease. You can even upload images from your camera roll, social media, or Google Photos directly to our editor!

Print quality and craftsmanship. Custom canvas prints should stand the test of time. Optimalprint uses the highest quality canvas material and expert woodworking craftsmanship to create durable prints that maintain vibrancy for years to come. Not to mention, every canvas print is professionally hand-stretched over a top-quality, lightweight stretcher frame to guarantee a sturdy final product.

Responsibly sourced materials. You deserve to feel good about the artwork in your home. With Optimalprint online canvas printing, you can rest assured that your wall art is made from only the highest quality, responsibly sourced canvas. Our wooden stretcher frames are also sustainably sourced, and we are proud to offer you Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials.

Speed of shipments. Want to give a personalised canvas print as a gift, or just can’t wait to get your hands on your new artwork? Every canvas print you order from Optimalprint is ready for dispatch within 24 hours and can be delivered as fast as five business days! We also ship all canvas prints in specially designed packages, so you can be sure your delivery is just as speedy as it is safe.

Pro Tip: Become an Optimalprint Plus member to unlock fast, free delivery on every order and other exclusive perks. 

How To Print on Canvas: Step-By-Step

steps to printing on canvas

The actual canvas printing process is not all that difficult, but it is time-consuming. After an image is sent to the canvas printer, the design can be applied to the canvas surface. Once the ink has dried, the canvas can be stretched, and the frame can be attached. For experienced printers, the entire process can take a few hours — but for novice printers, it can take a few attempts and several days.

Enter online canvas printing services! Online printing services like Optimalprint take all the guesswork out of how to print on canvas and make it easier than ever to design custom prints from home. Whether you want to create your own modern gallery wall or display your favourite memories as art pieces, follow this step-by-step guide for how to print on canvas with Optimalprint.

Step 1: Choose Orientation and Format

The first step for printing on canvas is to head to the editor tool on the Optimalprint website or mobile app. You will begin your design process by selecting your desired orientation and format. Orientation refers to how you will display your art, such as landscape (horizontal), portrait (vertical), or square. Format refers to the final thickness of the gallery-wrapped print.

At Optimalprint, we offer our landscape, portrait, and square frame dimensions in a 2-centimetre standard or a 4-centimetre premium thickness. Once you decide on the orientation and format for your print, you can decide on the canvas size. We offer canvases as large as 70 x100 cm and as small as 20 x 20 cm, so you can opt for a bold statement piece or subtle piece of home décor.

Step 2: Upload High-Quality Artwork or Photos

The second step to printing on canvas is to select your desired artwork or photograph. Remember that selecting high-quality imagery is essential, whether it’s an original piece of art, a well-known painting, or a digital photograph. The larger your canvas print, the better your image resolution must be to maintain clarity. As a general rule of thumb, the best resolution for canvas size is as follows:

  • 20 x 60 cm requires a resolution of 640x480 pixels

  • 40 x 50 cm requires a resolution of 760x610 pixels

  • 50 x 75 cm requires a resolution of 1200x760 pixels

  • 60 x 90 cm requires a resolution of 1400x920 pixels

Likewise, remember to assess the colour and vibrancy of your selected image. While you can edit the values of the image (more on this soon!), you cannot magically transform a dull, dark image into something colourful and vivid. We recommend selecting an image that’s both high-quality and meaningful, such as a family portrait, photo of a pet, or a landscape shot from recent travels.

Step 3: Adjust Positioning with the Editor

The next step when learning how to print on canvas online is to utilise the Optimalprint editor to adjust the positioning of your chosen image. Positioning refers to how the selected image is placed on the canvas. With the Optimalprint editing software, you can crop an image to be the appropriate size, create a repetition pattern, or rotate or mirror the image to change the print’s look and feel.

Not to mention, you can also upload multiple photographs or illustrations to combine your favourite images into one collage. Unsure of the best image placement? Our editing software has a range of premade collage templates to simplify the design of your personalised canvas! From here, you can also adjust your colour palette to create a canvas print that perfectly suits your personal tastes.

Step 4: Order Your Canvas Print

You’re almost ready to receive your canvas print! All that’s left to do before you order your printed canvas is to confirm your design. Fortunately, the Optimalprint editor allows you to alter your print’s orientation, format, and size at any point during the design process. You can even change your chosen template layout or upload a totally new image if you’d prefer to start over!

Once you’re happy with your final decision, it’s time to add the finished product to your basket. After you input your payment and shipment details at checkout, your canvas print will be en route to you as quickly as 24 hours! Once you’re ready to hang your new artwork, don’t forget to check out our easy tips on how to hang a canvas so that your custom print can truly shine in your home.

Turn Your Photos and Digital Art Into Timeless Masterpieces with Optimalprint

print your own custom canvases

Remember when finding the perfect canvas print seemed like mission impossible? Not anymore! Online canvas printing services like Optimalprint have made it easier than ever before to browse unlimited wall art designs and create totally custom art pieces, all from your desktop computer or smartphone app. Now, you can turn your photos and digital artwork into timeless masterpieces!

With years of experience, Optimalprint is not only certified in professional printing but also preferred by our customers in Ireland for our consistently high-quality products. We combine top-of-the-line printing technology with expert woodworking craftsmanship. Plus, we are proud to offer FSC-certified materials, including lightweight wood stretcher frames that stand the test of time.

Visit the Optimalprint website or download our mobile app to create your own canvas print today!