Alexei Rebrov Art

In this post I compare two prints I made from the same capture. I explain main differences that you need to know before deciding to purchase aluminum print or print on metallic paper.

At A Glance

Feature\Medium Print on AluminumMetallic Paper
Large Size
Score Total:
13 of 15
10 of 15

Here is a photo of aluminum print and print on metallic paper side by side. Both prints have very high quality of colors and contrast. Aluminum print on the left has a perfect smooth surface and it’s more reflective. As you can see on a photo its surface reflects the windows from across the street building like a mirror. There is not even slight blur. Reflection is sharp and you can recognize the building even further behind the first one. Print on metallic paper on the right is matted. The reflection is blurred. Making a photo I was 2 feet away but even that distance was enough to make the shadow of my right hand blurry.

Aluminum (Left) and Metallic Paper (Right)


Color dyes infused directly into aluminum. Aluminum sheet is 1mm (1/16”) thick. Aluminum is very light. You can see it on the left photo. To hang a metallic paper it needs to have a solid support. Photo on the right illustrates a print on metallic paper mounted on gatorboard. It’s thicker then aluminum sheet and a bit heavier. On enlarged photo you can see the edge of the paper. Please keep in mind though if you put the print on the wall and step out 1 step you will not be able to see the edge of both aluminum print or print on metallic paper. Here is an article explaining in details aluminum prints packaging and mounting

Aluminum Print EdgeMetallic Paper Print Edge


Print on metallic paper looks a tiny bit sharper then a print on aluminum but you can see this difference only if you look at both prints from 5 inch distance. I am sure this is not a realistic scenario :) Take a look at right photo of the corners or right photo of the very first photo at the beginning. You can see that white bright glare has small “bubbles”. It is a result of metallic paper glued to the gatorboard. It is "orange peel" effect despite of use an industrial press. Some people like it some people don't. Again, you won't see it from normal distance i.e. 2-3 steps away.

Aluminum Print SurfaceMetallic Paper Print Surface


Aluminum prints have 3/16” rounded corners and mounted prints on metallic paper have sharp 90 degrees corner. Both prints can be framed later and rounded corners are not a problem.

Aluminum Print CornerMetallic Paper Print Corner


Aluminum prints are more durable and cannot be scratched (unless you purposely damage the aluminum). Fingerprints (if any) can be easily wiped out with a soft cloth.

Metallic prints have protective coating but can be scratched and fingerprints are more visible but still removable. I guess if you're not going to stick fingers onto print this factor is not that important, but if you purchasing print for public places durability becomes crucial.

Price, Framing & Sizes

Prints on aluminum are twice more expensive than prints on metallic paper.

Both types of prints do not require framing. You will get them in the mail ready to be hung.

Prints on metallic paper are limited by 30x45”, prints on aluminum can be 40x90”. All designs I created were with aluminum prints.


Both types of prints deliver super quality. You need to think what matters to you: size; wight; reflection or durability. And price of course.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Written by Alexei Rebrov — March 22, 2013

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