DIY Rustic Background for Photography

by Melissa on June 1, 2011

When your photo studio is located in your home , and there isn’t much space to play around with (granted we have a decent sized house for just the two of us, plus the dogs), having a collection of tables for food and product photography backgrounds isn’t the most convenient thing to do.

Having the same table background in your photos over and over again gets boring and repetitive for my blog readers, my clients and well, me.

So, enter the stand in wood tabletop. This is great because for around $20, you get two different table backgrounds. Not only is this an inexpensive way to add some variety to my photography props, it’s also easy to create a few of these table background props and have all sorts of colors, textures and stains. The possibilities are endless.

Paul and I made this into a fun little weekend project. He got to use his power tools, and I got to paint.

Items needed:
Two sheets of 2′ by 2′ quarter inch thick plywood (we got ours from Home Depot)
Wood Glue
Wood stain in a color of your choice
Sample sized paint in color of your choice
Optional: popsicle sticks, tape
Also, helps if your husband has a collection of saws in the garage. Otherwise, you can ask an associate to cut the wood for you at the store.

1. Cut each sheet of plywood into 4″ pieces.
2. Arrange the wood pieces, six for one side of the board. Then I took some popsicle sticks and placed them in between each piece of plywood, and taped them in place with painter’s tape. I wanted to leave a slight gap in between each piece to further enhance the rustic feel that I was going for.
3. Then take a piece of plywood and glue it down on top of your six “popsicled” boards in a perpendicular direction.
4. I then took more popsicle sticks to make sure that the top boards were also spaced out.
5. Glue all of the rest of the boards down. Then place something heavy, we used bricks, on top of the board to let it dry overnight.
6.The next day, I stained both sides of the board with walnut colored wiping stain and finish. I stained both sides even though one side is going to be painted white because I wanted the whole weathered wood feel.
Note: Although I sprayed myself in the face with the squeeze tube (totally my fault for aiming the tube at my eyeball), I absolutely love this stuff. It doesn’t smell bad like most other stains and it goes on so quickly too.
7. When the stain is dried, I took a paintbrush and painted one side of the table background. I chose an “antique white” color.

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