Which Paper Is Best For Photo Prints – Glossy Vs Matte Finish?

When in need of printing photos those require to be longer-lasting, fade-proof, and durable, there are commonly two choices that we seek: Glossy photo papers or matte photo papers. Usually, we tend to seek the type that suits our preference but have you ever stopped to wonder, which paper is best for photo prints – the one with a glossy finish or the one with a matte finish?

Your job is to wonder and our job is to answer! Hence, today we are here to answer this query of yours and present you with the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Which Paper Is Best For Photo Prints – Glossy Vs Matte Finish?

Glossy Photo Finish

Glossy photo finishes are likely to make the colors in your picture pop out and seem more vibrant. They add a fun touch and seem to do all colors the most justice which is why you will notice that most colorful photos tend to have a glossy finish. On the other hand, they are not that good of a finish for a black and white or sepia-toned photo.

The reason behind the shine of glossy or enamel paper is the polymer layer. This layer also decreases its absorbency meaning you cannot print on it using just any printer however, it somewhat increases durability and tears resistance. Two types of glossy finishes are available – semi-gloss finish and high gloss finish. High glossy finish, as you can guess has the glossiest surface whereas a semi-gloss finish is what you would expect when a matte finish and gloss finish meet halfway.


  • Increases the vibrancy of colored pictures making them more pleasing to look at.
  • Doesn’t fade as easily as normal paper.
  • The glossy polymer layer makes it durable and harder to tear.
  • Adds a sharp and neat look to pictures which is appreciated by many.


  • Is reflective and thus, giving large pictures a glossy finish makes them hard to view.
  • Has sticky surface.
  • Cannot be viewed properly when placed under glass frames due to increased reflectivity.
  • Is not resistant to tears and fingerprint stains.

Matte Photo Finish

When you need your photo to have no shine, you can choose to add a matte finish. A matte finish is not reflective and can thus, be viewed easily under the light. Instead, such a finish refracts any light that forms on the grainy and highly uneven surface so, you can view the photo at its highest quality under good lighting conditions. It can hence, be used to display photos in exhibitions.


  • It can be used under a glass background as the reflections are absorbed, creating a good viewing experience.
  • Your fingerprints won’t set on matte surfaces; this allows them to be handled without fear of causing any damage.
  • Are good for application on the glass as they don’t stick to its surface and leave marks.
  • Make black and white or sepia-toned images stand out.


  • Colorful images have decreased vibrancy when printed on matte surfaces.
  • Does not give crisp images like glossy finishes.
  • As the surface is grainy and uneven, it quickly collects dirt.

If you have read everything written in this article of ours, you probably understand by now that both glossy finishes and matte finishes come with their advantages and disadvantages. So, which you choose should depend on which lighting condition you wish to keep the photo under, whether your photo is colorful or not, and other important factors which our article will help you identify. We hope you had a good time reading and will have an even better time printing out your photos.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top