Showing posts with label DIY wooden boards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY wooden boards. Show all posts

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Photography backgrounds~Diy Tutorial

For those of you who have been following my blog may already know about my love for food props for food photography. I am always looking out for scraps of wood, fabrics etc that I can utilise.On a recent visit to B&Q with hubby, I was getting totally bored as he lovingly examined all the power tools and gadgets on show. I guess he showed the same love that I share when I go to Lakeland for the gadgets so I can't really complain.Whilst he was drooling over the tools, I ventured over to the wood cutting section where B&Q provide a wood cutting service. The chap there has become familier with my eccentricity, and no longer gives me weird looks as I always rummage in their rubbish pile for off cuts which they throw away.

I was really excited to find 3 really nice textured square pieces of OSB meta compressed wood. I know this is technical but its sort of outdoor wood which is made from compressed wood pieces. It has the most awesome texture.Armed with my wood I scoured the paint section for the miniture paint samples. I have recently been watching the 15 minute recipes programme on sky by Jamie Oliver. More than the recipes, I watch the programme to see his food plating ideas using most beautiful wooden boards in some amazing rustic colours.

Armed with my three pieces of wood, three pots of miniture paints costing me a total of £3.00, I was on my way home to create some amazing boards for my photography. Unforunately due to aheavy work load and un forseen circumstances, the paint sat in the bag and the boards in the garage for a few weeks.

This week I have had few days off work, its been too wet and cold to go out so I dug out the boards and paints and started on my project.I decided that to get maximum use of the boards and save storage space, I would paint each side of the board a different colour so that I would have 6 backgrounds in total. I am going to show you how I did this.You do not need any specialist skills to paint these, the more random you paint them the better and more unique and rustic the finish you will be able to achieve.

You will need:

Wooden boards of your choice
Paint brushes
An empty jam jar for water
Couple of old rags
Paint of choice, I used turquoise, white, brown and coral
An empty plastic tray/ tub for diluting the paint
A large plastic sheet or bin liner to spread on the table
1 sheet sandpaper


1.Check the edges of the boards to see if there are any splinters, if the edges are rough gently rub them down with sand paper to smooth them.

2.Wipe the wooden boards to remove any dust and make sure they are dry. Place them on the plastic sheet facing down.

3.Put a dollop of your chosen paint onto the plastic tray and add a few drops of water to thin it out.We want a white wash effect so paint needs to be really thin. Dip the brush into the paint very sparingly.

4. Paint the colour on to the board in random strokes and making it very patchy leaving some "missed" areas. This will give your boards a very rustic look.

5. Next take a rag and scrunch it up wipe away the paint in some random places to make it patchy. Leave the board to dry.

6. Once the board is dry, flip it over and you can paint this side a different colour.I painted the darker colour on one side and diluted the same colour and used it on the second side to get two different colour finishes.

7. To do the lighter colour add a drop or two of the white paint to your original colour and mix it to the desired shade.

8. Follow steps 4 and five and leave the board to dry.

9. Repeat the same procedure for the other two boards with your chosen colours.

10. Leave the boards to fully dry overnight before using them.

I love my finished boards, I have a coral board, dark turquoise and a dark brown boards. In the lighter colours I have a light Turquoise, white and a pine coloured boards.

You may all be  thinking what am I going to use the boards for? Below you can see my boards being featured in some of my food photo shoots.

Strawberry and Chocolate cheese cake and Strawberries photographed on the dark coral board:

Pomegranate shot on the white painted board.

Spices shot on the dark Turquoise board:

Red onions on brown board.

I now have a lovely new collection of background boards. I am really excited about them and hope to use them in some more shoots.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Aged Wooden Boards -DIY backgrounds for food pictures

If you have been following my blog you will  be aware that I have been collecting old scrap wood to create a collection of backgrounds for my food photos. In my last post I shared how I used pva glue and acrylic paint to create some cracked finished wood  boards.In this post I am going to share how I created an aged wooden platform to use for my food photos.
I had recently visited a garden centre where I had managed to source some aged off cuts of old fencing that the garden centre had thrown away. I also goggled how to make inexpensive stain for the wood using wire wool and vinegar.Below is a tutorial of how I created my wooden board.


For Board:

7 strips of wood approximately 18 x 6 inches.
Few  nails 1.5 cm long(depends on thickness of wood)
Paint brush
Bin liner
Empty Jar
Hack saw
Old rag
Rubber gloves

For Stain:

Wire wool


1. In a glass jar add the wire wool and top it up fully with vinegar, place the lid and put the jar in the garage for 2 weeks.After two weeks open the jar in a well ventilated room ( the smell is very pungent) and you will notice that the wire wool has rusted and the vinegar has turned brown in to a stain.Strain the mixture into a clean jar and discard the rusted wire wool.

2. Cut the wood so that you have 7 pieces roughly the same length.They don't have to be cut  too perfect.

3.Place 5 pieces of the cut wood side by side as shown in diagram 1below and place the remaining two pieces horizontally as shown on diagram 2.
Diagram 1                          Diagram 2

4.Nail the  pieces 6 and 7  to the the pieces 1-5 as shown in diagram three with a grey dot. You may want to add a few extra nails to secure the pieces together.(Make sure the nails are not longer than the thickness of the wood.)

                                                                          Diagram 3

5. Using the sand paper sand away any splinters and wipe the wood with a damp cloth.
6. Place the bin liner on the floor and place the wooden board on it, using the brush paint the stain on both sides of the wooden board.To achieve a darker colour apply a second coat of stain after first coat is dry.I applied a single coat to one side of my board and a double coating on the other side so that I had two different finishes.
7. Leave the board to dry for 24 hours.

Finished Board top side

Here is a a picture showing this side of the board used in one of my photos.

Finished board bottom side

Here is a picture using the back this side of the same board in the photo below.

I am really pleased with my board as it has given me two different looks and finishes.

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.


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


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.


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