Difference Between Lustre and Metallic

Lustre vs Metallic

Lustre and metallic are finishes of photo prints that are very different from each other. While preserving memories, people like to order their prints in either Lustre or metallic finishes depending upon their liking. Though matte and glossy are the terms more common when talking about photo finishes, lustre and metallic are also gaining ground. This article attempts to find out the differences between lustre and metallic to help readers choose either of the two finishes to their full satisfaction.


Lustre is a beautiful finish in a photo print with a little bit of gloss and a texture that resembles the texture of a pearl in a subtle manner. As far as saturation of colors is concerned, it is quite high, and one finds not only deep saturation of colors but also high contrast. You would also feel as if you are holding a thicker paper than is the case with other photo finishes. One good thing with Lustre finish is that the photo does not become dirty with finger marks. The photo is also anti-glare making it suitable to frame and hang on the wall as it will not produce glare in the eyes of the onlooker irrespective of the degree of illumination inside the room. If lustre finish were to be described in terms of other finishes, it would suffice to say that lustre produces the best of matte and glossy and produces the effect by combining the two finishes together into a single finish.


This is a typical photo finish that produces a special effect of the print having been brushed with chrome. As far as the finish is concerned, it is similar to glossy but metallic in nature. This finish allows the photos to have rich colors and extraordinary sharpness. Photos done in this finish are very eye catching because of the metallic look as one gets a feeling that the photo has been printed on a metallic background, and the image is popping out of this background. As far as longevity is concerned, metallic finish is a very durable finish. If you have seen the back side of an aluminum foil, you know what a metallic finish looks like.

Lustre vs Metallic Print

• Metallic is more glossy than lustre and this metallic shine almost pops out of the image from the background.

• Lustre has a subtle pearl like texture making it suitable for portraits and for hanging on walls as it is anti-glare.

• Metallic is more eye catchy than lustre.

• Lustre paper is thicker than other photographic papers.

• Metallic finish is ideal for outdoor uses.

• Lustre has a higher contrast but metallic is more durable than Lustre.

• Lustre does not get smeared by fingerprints.

• Metallic is sharper, but lustre has a deeper color saturation.