DIY Food Photography Backgrounds – with Two No Fuss Painting Techniques
If you have been following my work on this blog you will have seen that I have tended to stick to the ‘light and airy’ look with my work. Mainly because I am a little scared of the darker side! After being inspired by Katie Quinn Davies’ work, her use of shadows and a rustic feel to tell her stories, I am embarking on a new series in the darker tones. So I decided that it was time for me to switch up the background that I had from white to dark. I hit up the local hardware store, bought some paint and a few other materials and painted these babies on my living room table.
I choose two colours. I wanted a dark slate colour, that was not too black but not too grey, and I wanted a blue grey that was going to be a lighter side. As you can’t tell what the colours look like very well from the sample pots, I included a colour panel – real steal and black orbit. Both of these paints are from British Paints. I bought a sample pot of each which was about $6 each for 500ml.
The boards that I used are interconnecting flooring that I found in a wood scrap heap. Best find ever. I wish I had more of it. The best thing about these boards is that they can be taken apart and stacked neatly away when you don’t have a lot of space to keep your props. You can buy these floor boards easily from your local hardware and they should be able to cut to measure for you. I use 5 boards by 700mm (27.5″).
I searched for a while on ways to do this and in the end I just went with two easy painting techniques and hoped for the best. I didn’t want to do too many steps of buy numerous materials. I wanted it done and with no fuss. Turned out marvelously.
Look 1: real steal
Your desired wooden background, painted white
Sample pot paint – real steal (dark teal-grey)
Medium sized paint brush
Painting each board individually, apply a thin layer of paint from one end to the other, making sure you reach the edges and grooves. The thin layer should dry quite quickly. If it is a cool day, you may want to wait a minute or so. Immediately wiped down the board with a clean rag using a continuous stroke from one end of the board to the other and a medium pressure. Making sure that your pressure is the same throughout the continuous stroke ensure an even look, whilst allowing the texture and detail of the wood to show through.
Wait until dry and apply a second think layer if you desire a darker look. You can adjust the pressure to change the amount of white the shows through.
Here you can see the difference between the board that has the thin coat and the boards that have been wiped down with a rag to reveal the white underneath.
Ta-da. The end result.
Look 2: black orbit
Your desired wooden background
Sample pot paint – black orbit (dark slate grey)
Medium sized brush
Painting each board individually, apply a thin coat of paint to the entire board, from one end to the other in continuous strokes and making sure you reach the edges and grooves. Once that layer is dry, use an old rag to apply a second medium coat in a circular motion along each board. Repeat both steps if you want a darker board. Allow to dry.
Using the sandpaper, run over the board lightly from one end to the other to reveal the details of the of the texture of the wood. Always apply the sandpaper in a light fashion, adjusting the pressure to get the desired look.
The end result.