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Buying Online Art Prints Tips and Tricks

It’s hard to imagine my walls used to be bare. I wanted art, but it all felt so intimidating. I wasn’t ready to invest in a legit original art piece and I wanted something more personal than what the big box store offers. This began my love affair with online art prints. Just buy the file, download, print, and frame. Sounds so easy, right? Well, it is – once you know a few tried and true tips along with a solid understanding of art print sizes. I’m breaking that all down here!

entryway bench with shelf and art work

Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase -I am so thankful if you use my links!

How to Buy Online Art Prints

I definitely learned some tricks and tips I learned along the way to creating beautiful, professional looking online art prints, and I’m sharing them here!

wall art sizing guide

1. Double Check Art Print Size

When you’re shopping around for online art prints, most artists will offer their files in various sizes. To ensure the finished product is scaled properly, it’s important to make sure the file is offered in the size you need.

For example, if you’re hoping for an 8″x 10″ finished print, you’ll want to make sure the file ratio offered supports that art print size. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a blurry or poor quality print.

framed online art prints
framed art prints from Juniper Print Shop

2. Choose a Quality Printing Service

Once you purchase and save the file, you’ll need to print it.

For smaller sizes like a 4″ x 6″, you could print your art print files on your home printer on . I’ve done this in a pinch. The Pigeon Letters has a great guide on the best paper to print artwork.

Typically, I use Amazon Prints or Walgreens Poster Prints which are both super easy with high quality final prints.

For a few vintage prints, I sent the files to a local, professional custom printer who was able to resize and maximize the digital file.

matte vs glossy art prints
matte (left) vs glossy (right): stephen bay photography

3. Best Paper for Online Art Prints

If you’re using a printing service like Amazon Prints or even printing from home, you’ll have the choice in the type of paper. For online art prints, I always go with a matte paper.

Glossy prints will produce shinier results, typical of your traditional family photos. Art prints with glossy paper tend to not look as professional or polished for art work.

non glare picture frame
non glare picture frame from Frame It Easy with acrylic “glass”

4. Choose a Good Picture Frame

One of the benefits of downloading and print is doing it inexpensively, right? Well, I recommend splurging just a touch on a higher quality frame.

One picture frame feature I absolutely LOVE is non-glare acrylic glass. It prevents that annoying light glare and makes for a perfect matte finish. Frame it Easy features this option with all of their frames.

A totally chintzy frame runs the risk of making the whole project appear less professional. I’ve gone through many budget frames only to find that they’re sized incorrectly, break way too easily, or have a low-quality edge finish.

That said, you don’t have to spend a million bucks! You might be asking where you can find a good frame online? Here are my favorites:

  • Frame It Easy – they offer the non glare acrylic and also offer custom sized frames which is perfect for non standard sized prints (BONUS! You get 10% off when you shop Frame It Easy frames from my site)
  • Opposite Wall – their website includes modern art prints and their Oak frames in various sizes are my absolute favorite. As a Canadian company they are also available on Amazon which is helpful!
  • FrameBridge – love the style of their frames and they will even print your file in addition to creating the frame
  • West Elm – Wood Gallery Wall Frames
styled online art prints on display ledge

What is the best website to buy art?

So know that you know all the tips & tricks, you might be wondering about the best source for online art prints.

Hands down, I love Juniper Print Shop. It is a woman owned online print shop featuring female artists. They have a variety of prints in a wide range of sizes (chances are, if you see artwork in my home, it’s from Juniper!)

My next favorite option is Etsy. Which has wonderful artists but can be trickier to sort through. I’ve saved all of my favorite online Etsy art print shops to help make that easier!

how to order online art prints

How to display all these beautiful online art prints? Check out my Framing Prints Video and Ledge Styling for ideas and inspiration.