Aluminyze Photo Printing review

The Gadgeteer is supported by readers like you! If you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thank you! Learn more.

aluminyze 16

“If a picture speaks a thousand words… Aluminyze leaves you speechless!” announced the Aluminyze website.  It is precisely what you think:  your photos are printed on a sheet of aluminum.  Huh?  Why?  Aluminyze says that their aluminum prints are durable, beautiful, and make great gifts.  I had a corner of my office that needed some color…  I took the plunge.  Let’s check it out.

Well as it turns out, there IS one photo I’ve always been meaning to enlarge.  This was a good opportunity to try it out.  Let’s walk through the process from the Aluminyze website.

It’s quite simple:  If you choose to Aluminyze a photo, there are only 5 steps:  Choose a shape, upload your photo, select a mount, select a surface, and select a finish.

You can choose from traditional rectangles (5″ X 7″ t0 24″ X 36″), hearts (11″ or 16″), squares (12″ to 30″), and panoramic (7″ X 30″ or 12″ X 36″).

aluminyze 01
You’re just 5 steps away from Aluminyzing your favorite photo.

Next, I chose this photo of my son, Joey (age 6 in this photo).  I took this at a birthday party, and there just happened to be this colorful mural.  For some reason, he’s wearing a white t-shirt over a bright turquoise long-sleeved shirt.

aluminyze 07
Original image: 3456 x 5184 pixels. Canon EOS REBEL T3i w/ EF35mm f/1.4L USM, F5 at 1/160 sec, ISO 100  (Click for full size)

Next, choose a mount.  You get to choose from an easel, wall float, or acrylic tabletop stand (not pictured).

aluminyze 02
I chose the wall float option ($6.95)

You have two surface choices:  Silver or Standard White.  I chose white, as the t-shirt takes up quite a bit of space in the photo, and I didn’t want a giant mirror looking back at me.  It was also the advice of the Aluminyze website for photos with people or for large white areas (and “if in doubt, choose white”).

aluminyze 03
Description of the Silver Surface
aluminyze 04
Description of the Standard White Surface

The final option is the finish:  Matte or Glossy.  I chose Glossy for some extra “pop”, since I had opted for the less dramatic-sounding Standard White surface.  I wonder how it’ll turn out?

aluminyze 06
Choose matte to reduce glare
aluminyze 05
…or go glam and get glossy!

I opted for expedited processing (extra $4.95) and I received my order exactly one week later.

aluminyze 08
One week later… My 11×17 print, unboxed. Note ruler placed along top edge.
aluminyze 09
There’s the float frame
aluminyze 10
Closeup of float frame. There are also four little rubber feet to keep things from sliding around. Nice touch.
aluminyze 11
The photo is printed on a thin but sturdy sheet of aluminum.

I chose the glossy finish.  I angled the camera to capture the effect from a nearby window.

aluminyze 12
Glossy finish does show some glare, sometimes.

How’s the picture quality?  For something blown up from a lossy JPEG and printed on a slab of aluminum?  I’m quite happy.  This isn’t quite a fair comparison, but when you’re not looking close up at specks of lint, the Aluminyze quality is more than good enough.

aluminyze 14
Close up of Aluminyze print. Notice lens reflection.  (Told you it was glossy!)
aluminyze 17
Crop of original digital image
aluminyze 13
Closeup of Aluminyze print. Yes this is in focus. Note the speck of lint on the lower eyelid, center.
aluminyze 18
Crop of original digital image

I really like how it looks.  The frameless aluminum print with the float frame really makes the picture look sleek, and the glossy finish gives it a nice visual pop.  I can’t imagine what a silver finish would look like.  I might have to try that next with a suitable photo.

aluminyze 15If there’s one drawback, it is price.  5″ X 7″ prints start at $24.95.  My 11″ X 17″ print shown in this review begins at $64.95, before the cost of the mount and shipping.  The good news is you get something unique, durable, and ready-to-show.  If you’re looking for that extra-special treatment for a favorite photo as a gift, this is it.


Product Information

Price:Starts at $24.95
  • Durable and beautiful.
  • Comes in a nice variety of shapes and sizes.
  • A little pricey, but worth it.

17 thoughts on “Aluminyze Photo Printing review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Do you know if there’s a clear coat covering the printed ink? Something that will prevent wear and tear from the outdoor elements? Any idea if the ink will color fade when exposed to UV? I’m thinking of using it in a more commercial setting for my business.

  3. Jackie: That’s an excellent question. I have no idea how they do this magic. It does seem completely waterproof, or at least water resistant. When you touch the surface, it feels like… aluminum. Nothing else.

    I just checked the Aluminyze website and based on their Facebook plugin at the bottom, Aluminyze answers the same questions. (1) It is suitable for outdoor locations, and (2) “All colors will eventually fade over time, but the good news is that it will take up to 3 times longer then paper photos.”

  4. So it looks like your picture came out a little softer than the original? I just got a 5×7 metal print from AdoramaPix – satin (matte) white, and it was a little soft and not as sharp as I was hoping, and I was wondering if that’s due to it being matte.

    Resolution of the original was 4897 x 3265, and that into a 5×7 I would’ve thought would’ve been a little sharper than it was. I did upload it as a jpg instead of tiff so…

  5. Hi Andy,
    I’m confused. I have read raves on other sites re: aluminum prints. And you say you really like how it looks yet it is clearly inferior to the original digital image. The detail is grossly inferior and the skin coloring is vastly different. I got 20 x 30 color jpeg paper enlargements from Shutterfly a couple of years ago that are outstanding even at that size. However, if aluminum is better I’ll gladly use it. But given the added expense I would want a superior print vis a vis paper which your example wouldn’t seem to promise. Help please!

  6. I have to say, it’s pretty neat to look at and it’s pretty novel. Not too long ago I dropped the picture (while moving it) and a corner got dented. Not really the kind of thing you can just get another frame for, unlike a traditional print. From an arm’s length, it still looks great… unless you’re a pixel peeper. If you’re unsure, I’d go with a traditional print.

  7. Prints on aluminum come in two basic types: direct onto aluminum, and dye transfer prints onto a polyester coated aluminum. This service seems to be the latter since it offers both white and metal effects (the polyester coating is white in the former and clear in the latter). The image is made in reverse on dye transfer material then that is placed on the polyester coated aluminum and put in a heat press where the dyes are heated until they vaporize and are driven into the polyester layer creating a long-lasting, durable print. The workplace must be pristine in order for dust not to get into the print. All images should start as highest quality (think .tif or .tiff), not lossy formats like .jpg. Also please follow printer’s suggestion as to file size for optimum results. Hope this helps clear this up a bit. I have no experience with the service provider mentioned above.

  8. I’m looking to hang a metal print on an office wall similar to this. Something you would put a thumb tack into. Can you comment on how you attached that float frame to the wall?

  9. But how exactly does the Wall Float “stick” to the wall? Do you drill two screws in the wall and then insert them inside the float? There are no instructions about this on the Adoramapix website either. Thanks

  10. I agree that the float thing isn’t very intuitive. I ended up using a long pin on my fabric-wrapped office cubicle wall, and hung it on that.

  11. Thank you for your experience, Andy. But what I would like to know is how is it “intended” to be stuck to the wall? Did it even come with instructions? My guess is that it doesn’t since the Adoramapix website doesn’t give specifics on “usage” at all. My Googling for “Wall Float” resulted in nothing useful at all, hence my query here.

  12. I do not know. My only guess would be to cut a piece of wood with an angle to it, so the frame rests in the groove, like two puzzle pieces.

  13. Andy, I just got a reply back from Libby at Adoramapix, via their FaceBook page. Here is what he said (which I do not understand):

    It’s a small rectangular piece of mdf that has 2 screws that you put into it the piece of wood, then drill into the wall. Then it has a lip that fits into the lip of the metal print.

    Check out this article.. and the third picture you’ll be able to see them:

    Does his reply make any sense to you in light of what you received with your Metal Print?

  14. I am sorry but this print looks way off compared to your digital image. I also dont like how small the back float appears compared to the size of the print, I wouldnt trust that small of an area to be supported by such a small area of adhesive.

    I have tried about half dozen metal print labs and flesh tones is where you can really tell where the printer is not properly calibrated. I always order proofs before making a purchase so I can be sure that I will receive what I want.

    My favorite lab is shiny prints, you can see their pricing is much less than aluminyze and most other labs and they do a far superior job than anyone else. They are a smaller lab but that means high quality and backings are included free in all their prices see here:

    bayphoto also does a a good job with flesh tones but they are located too far away for me to consider using regularly. Always go with a smaller lab that you can actually talk to someone with authority, I have found this is how you get the best results.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *