Friday, 2 May 2014

Cracked finished wooden boards-DIY backgrounds for food pictures

I have recently started to put together a collection of wooden boards and textured finished cards to use as backgrounds for food photos. Often you see beautiful food photos taken on rustic aged wooden tables, boards and they look really great.I googled and watched you tube videos on how to create different finishes. With some ideas pencilled down, I set about sourcing some off cuts of wood. First I raided the garage and found a couple of bits of wood that were old  plywood drawer bases. Next I went to my local builders yard and looked around to see if I could pick up some odd off cuts of wood. I was lucky as my local store cuts wood to size and has a box of small of off cuts that are discarded  and you can buy them for a small cost.I paid between fifty pence to one pound each  for a couple of bits of wood.

I also went to the local garden centre and bought a small piece of decking approx 18 square. Lastly looking and feeling like an idiot I asked the young assistant if they had any "old" wood off cuts I could purchase.After staring at me with a quizzical look he pointed me to a rubbish area and grunted look there. I rummaged through rubbish  old wood, feeling like a tramp and seriously trying to contain my embarrassment as the young lad starred at me in disbelief probably thinking I was eccentric. I managed to retrieve three battered pieces which  looked like old fencing. They were truly weathered from the rain and were covered in sticky tree sap in places but looked really rustic. Armed with my find I was really excited to get home to venture on my new project but before I could do that I had to pick up some painting supplies.

My next stop was a paint shop,I bought some mini emulsion sample paint pots, some small acrylic paints, some pva glue, wire wool, sand paper  and some in expensive brushes. I was excited as my project was finally going to commence. All these supplies will enable me to create some different finishes, today I am going to share my first project of creating cracked finish wooden boards, I hope to share more tutorials using my purchases above in later posts.


Project one- Cracked finished wooden boards.

Materials:

Two small plywood boards ( any size of your choice)
PVA glue
Acrylic paint (light pink) ( light blue for blue board)
Dulux emulsion paint sample pots (dark pink) (Dark blue for blue board)
2 paint brushes
2 old rags (old T shirt cut into squares )
Bin liner
Sand paper
Hair Dryer

Method:

1.Open out the bin liner and put it on the table so that you don't mess up your table.
2.Sand any rough edges from the wood so that you don't get splinters from it.
3. Damp one of the rags with water and wipe the wooden board to clean off any dust.


         Step 4                                                    Step 6                                                Step 7

4. Paint the wooden board with your base colour which should be darker than the top colour so that when
we put the lighter colour on top the darker colour will show through from underneath.
5. Leave the board to dry totally and wash your brush and dry it on the second rag.
6. Once the board is dry, we are going to paint it with the pva glue. This stage is important as you must choose which direction you want your cracks to form and paint the pva glue in that direction only.
7. The amount of glue you paint on the wood will determine the size of the cracked finish. For a lighter crack finish paint a thin layer of glue, for larger more prominent crack finish paint thicker layer of glue but remember always paint the glue in one direction.


            Step 8                                                Step 10

8. Immediately on top of the wet glue with a clean brush paint a thin layer of your acrylic paint. Take care to paint it lightly with gentle strokes as not to lift the glue off and also paint  in the same direction .
9. You don't have to be too careful with the painting, you get a better finish if you get some odd patches and the final  finish will be more natural.
10. Once the acrylic paint is on the wood, immediately dry the paint on the wooden board with the hair dryer or heat gun. The hot heat will dry the paint and as its drying you will see cracks appearing in the painted surface.



                                                                  Step 11

11. Once the paint is semi dry leave the board to air dry for another 24 hours before using it.



You can see I created a blue board and a pink board. The cracking on the blue board is more definite as I had painted a thicker layer of glue and I had also painted the glue diagonally  and with random brush strokes to change the pattern of the cracking.


The pink board the cracking is finer as I had painted a thinner layer of glue and also painted it in vertical lines.There is a noticeable difference in both the finishes.






Here you can see the finished boards in my food photos.



65 comments:

  1. OMG this is a brilliant idea! Off to get some over a weekend. Totally love it as I always struggle with a background.
    Thank you so much for sharing it!

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    1. I have seen this style of backdrop on many photographs. Thanks for sharing how to make it. Who does that on these food blogs? Thanks again :D ~ Bhaktin Christina

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  2. usually they look pretty crap, but how you've displayed them makes them look so good, looks like the barry m nail crackle effect haha xx

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    1. Maybe I could use the crackle paints from the nail varnish next time.

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  3. they make a great photo backdrop! I love using that technique :)

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    1. Thanks Polly, I really like them for the texture they create.

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  4. Brilliant idea to make your own props. Your photos look amazing against the wood, it adds another dimension.

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  5. BRILLIANT!!!! This is JUST what I am looking for as I strive to improve my Recipe Resource photos :) THANK YOU!

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    1. Great I hope you create some nice backgrounds too.

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  6. Beautiful! What a great idea for a project - and they give such great backgrounds!

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  7. What a brilliant idea Nayna! You're a very talented lady ;) We should all come down to yours and learn some tips on DIY! ;)

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    Replies
    1. Sure Sylvia come round one day and we can have a blogging session.

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  8. This is a fantastic tutorial, and such a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

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  9. These look pretty cool. Not really into cracked effects but they look nice. Plus no two will be the same which I find awesome.

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  10. I enjoy looking at food photos that are done well. I love the way the blue board turned out! I think you are going to have a lot of fun with this. Alana

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  11. This is fab! I love to present food on the wooden pizza boards that my housemates borrow from work but never returned when we had a wine and cheese night. Your food photos always look fab =)

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  12. This is gorgeous! What a great and simple idea. I might give this a try. x

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    Replies
    1. Hollie I hope you do , you can use different colours to achieve a variety of boards.

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  13. What a fantastic idea - I love how effective it looks! x

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  14. Oh wow, these do look beautiful as a backdrop to your food pictures :)

    Fiona @ www.dollydowsie.com

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  15. What a brilliant idea - they make me think of summers by the sea! Lovely.

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  16. This is lovely, Great D.IY something I haven't ever thought about but will start doing more. Well done, it looks great xx

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  17. This is so helpful! Thank you!

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  18. What a fantastic idea. I know that at Blogcamp one of the speakers recommended getting slate and off-cuts of wood from DIY stores and it is such a great idea, I just don't know where I would store them all!I use paper as I can roll it up but I love your paint boards.

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    1. Thanks Damson, yes I was at blog camp at the same class. The slate idea is great.

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  19. Oh wow these look fabulous, what a great idea. Great for food photography too I'd imagine!

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  20. This is such a great idea, I have an old table that I didn't know what to do with and now I think I'm going to try this!

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    Replies
    1. Amy yes the finish can be applied to any wood project.

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  21. I can't believe how effective they look in the photos at the end. Such a simple idea and it looks beautiful!

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  22. What a fab project for photo backgrounds! I'll have to dig out the paint and pva glue and give it a try some time! x

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    Replies
    1. Michelle I hope you have fun creating your boards.

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  23. These look amazing! My blog isn't big on the photography front yet because I'm not very confident, but tips like this will really help!xx

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  24. Great technique. I love the pink one. I have some cute plates, but these would be lovely x

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  25. What a great idea, I can't wait to go on a hunt down a salvage yard and see if I can stock up on some background for photos x

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  26. Ooooh this is so cool! I have the best image of you scouring through the old wood bits trying to contain your embarrassment. Good job!

    mezmadeup.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I was rather embarrassed and when I need to go to that garden centre I try avoid eye contact with that assistant. lol

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  27. This is a great D.I.Y saves buying an expensive table from ikea :)

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  28. I love it! I have to think about trying this

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  29. LOVE that effect, what a great DIY! x

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  30. What an amazing effect! I love the look of them as a background in a picture also :) x

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  31. What a great idea I really need to make some of these for our pottery photos.

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  32. What a super idea. I know you spoke about doing this when we met and The finished product is amazing.

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  33. What a fabulous idea - my best 'wall' for taking photographs happens to be in the darkest room - love the idea of a portable wall!

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  34. What a FAB idea Nayna, I have my own boards already painted, but will keep this for future projects! Karen

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  35. Aren't you the clever one - what a great idea!

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  36. Fantastic tips Nayna. I love your boards they look very rustic and stunning in your food photos. Am bookmarking for when I get my hands on some boards.

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  37. You have some truly amazing ideas :D I wish I had a creative streak!!

    Louise x

    Confessions of a Secret Shopper | An Undomestic Goddess

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  38. I have just started experimenting with making my own backgrounds and this is a really useful tutorial Nayna. Thank you.

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  39. Wish I could make some too.. I am trying to get some wooden planks .. but not succeeded as yet.

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  40. Lovely!!! Recently painted one :D This is quite a useful post for fellow bloggers :)

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  41. I had been thinking on the same lines for a while. Will give it a shot !
    Sonal@simplyvegetarian777

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  42. this is really lovely and look fun to do as well!

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  43. The blue looks stunning, a nice effect that would also look good on an old summerhouse if you have one :-)

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  44. Some gorgeous photos in this article, between the cool floor boards and brilliant snaps, you're so creative

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