Creating Backgrounds part 2…

Almost a year ago, I brought you Creating Backgrounds Part 1. Here is the highly anticipated sequel. Creating background part 2.

Lats year, I stained, painted, and sanded a wide assortment of backgrounds. After shooting on these surfaces for almost a year, I have learned what I like and don’t like about certain ones. I have my favorites; and I have some that I have used only once or twice. Over the weekend, I decided to break out the paint and redo my backgrounds.

In the first post, I showed you step by step instructions of how I arrived at the final background. For these backgrounds the process was a little messier with a LOT of staining. Wood stain and my camera don’t mix. So instead, I will describe the technique to you.

It is pretty simple. First, you will need your wood. In the previous tutorial, I used wooden squares. This time, I am painting planks that I bought from IKEA. They are intended to be shelves, but the length makes them perfect to create full tabletops with. You may use whatever wood youlike. Either cut a longer piece your self, or use pre-cut segments. The choice is up to you. If it is a new piece of wood, make sure you remove all sawdust and dirt with a paper towel. On top of the clean wood, I laid down a single layer of either brown, white, or grey paint. Once dry, I applied and removed the stain.

To give an aged and vintage look to the painted wood, I applied the stain in an even layer with a foam brush. Let it sit for a minutes, and then rubbed it away with paper towels. The cleaner the paper towel, the more stain it will rub away. Play around with varying amounts of pressure until you get a look you like. If you rub too much stain on, then you can add a little more and then rub it away. There is no right or wrong combination of paint and stain. Experiment and find something that you like. If you mess up, you can always paint over and start again.


Here are the combinations that I came up with using a variety of paints and stains. I painted one side of the boards one color and then painted the other side another color.

With a little bit of paint and stain you can achieve a wide variety of looks. All the boards you see above all started out this color.

Just remember, if you mess up just paint over it and start again! Here are the 6 colors lined up.

When I do some more painting, I will share with you Backgrounds 3.

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  1. says

    I have been trying to improve the food photography on my site as people enjoy my once a week recipes…I LOVE this idea. You broke everything down so well through your series of posts. Thank you thank you…
    I can’t wait to try this out :)

  2. says

    Neat idea Taylor. Do you use these boards as is, since they’re pretty thin or do you connect boards? I’m checking out some home improvement stores to see the types of wood available.

    Ideally I’m looking for something that won’t require extra sanding.. just the stain or paint. Probably something lightweight, that can be painted on both sides without warping. Any tips on the types of wood you have tried? thanks

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