DIY Food Photography backdrops (tutorial)


DIY Photography backdrops

Backdrops for photographs, especially for food photography can be expensive! Although I love the ones I have purchased, I REALLY love the ones I have made myself. It is fun to do, and definitely less expensive. You can make them any colors you like, using the techniques that I have used below.


Sample paints (available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.).
Valspar samples:
*Ultra White
*Jungle Thicket
*Delightful Moon
Acrylic paint (small bottles or tubes):
*French Blue
*Burnt Sienna
*Burnt Umber
Wainscoat Plank Paneling (Bead Boards) – White
Wainscoat Plank Paneling (Center Boards) – Pine, Natural
Wood Glue
1 1/2″ or 2″ Paintbrush
Sand paper

DIY,food photography, backdrop,sample paint,valspar

Ready? let’s make some food photography backdrops!

First you will need to glue your boards together (you can make them any size you want!).  Since these are tongue and groove boards, I first connected them to make sure they were a good fit.  I ran a line of wood glue on the “groove” side of the board and then inserted the “tongue” board and pressed them together.

backdrops,DIY,Bead board, wood boards

Brown backdrop

I used two white bead boards and glued them together. I would recommend gluing 3 together though, as mine were a little narrow.

After the boards have been glued together, I lightly and randomly brushed wood glue on top of the boards, then gently wiped a bit with paper towel.

DIY,photography, backdrop, brown,paint

Apply Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber Acrylic paints (you can find these at any craft store) on alternating boards. After the paint has dried, sand the boards a bit. Next you will make a white wash. Mix approximately 1/3 paint to 2/3rds of water. Using a regular paintbrush, brush the white wash over the entire board. Wait 3 minutes and wipe down with a paper towel.

DIY,crafts,photography,food, backdrops

Green backdrop

Glue together four wooden bead boards, then paint them green (using Valspar Jungle Thicket). After the paint has dried, gently swipe wood glue in long strokes, on top of the board, straight from the bottle. Gently wipe (to flatten glue) with a paper towel.  Paint the entire board with white paint and let dry thoroughly.  Sand carefully, exposing some of the natural wood on the edges of the boards, and over the dried glue.  This will look like wood grain if done correctly.  Touch up creases with white paint as needed.

DIY, photography, backdrops,green

Blue backdrop

To make the blue backdrop, use two or three white bead boards (glued together).  Next you will paint the board. You can either do one solid color, or alternate colors (I wanted to mix things up a bit with this backdrop, so I painted two strips with the Valspar “Merlin” paint, and then the next strip with acrylic “French Blue”).  Continue the pattern with the Merlin and French Blue paints (or other colors of your choosing). Use a paper towel to lightly apply white paint over the whole board. Using a skinny (small kids brush) paintbrush, brush small, random lines/stripes. After the paint dries, sand the whole board – lightly in some places and a little harder in others.

DIY,wood look,distressed,photography, backdrops

After your boards are complete, flip them over and run a line of wood glue down the back seam for added strength.

You can change the effect of your boards by sanding more or less, depending on if you want the original “natural” color to show through some.

You can use whatever colors you like and just experiment. I had a blast doing these and can’t wait to make more!

DIY, Distressed wood, food, photography, backdrops

Stay tuned for my next DIY photography backdrops post – I have some other fun ideas!


About Author

Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!


    • Not very expensive! The boards were about $12 per pack, and I could make 2 or 3 backdrops out of each. The sample paints were a little over $2 each, and I already had paint brushes.

  1. LOVE this! And can’t wait to see what else you come up with. I hate taking food photos – but I love it when they’re all edited and pretty, and these are gorgeous backdrops that even *I* could make.

    Thanks for linking up to Wordy Wednesday. Pinning and stumbling this!

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