DIY: How to make wood boards for food photograhy

Wood Boards for Food Photography ~ This is a quick do-it-yourself post for all my food blogging friends or anyone who has ever wanted to know how to make aged and weathered looking wood boards for food photography or any other project you may need them for.

How to make wood boards for food photography

DIY: How to make antiqued and weathered looking boards for food photography

I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now and for half that time I have been in search of antiqued, aged and weathered looking wood boards like the ones I’ve used in my last four post. To my surprise there wasn’t anyone selling anything like this out there.  At one point I thought about buying old barn side wood, but the shipping was outrageous and the colors limited to red, blue and white.

So I finally decided I was going to make my own. I have to tell you I’m not a crafter by any means and I’m not handy-but I am resourceful. Less than 30 minutes later I was I had a car full of wood and paint supplies.

A few notes:

  • My boards are approximately 3×3 sq. ft., but make your boards to the size you need. Home Depot has great customer service and they will saw to specification (within reason of course).
  • When selecting planks, make sure to lay each piece on the ground to check for oddly shaped or bowed pieces. For a more rustic look, search for the roughest pieces.
  • The key to a more weathered look is thinning the paint with water. Darker shades of paint may require more water for a thinner consistency.

Here’s how to make aged and antiqued wood boards for food photography:

  • Materials: Six foot boards sawed in half, test size containers of paint, roller brush, paint pan,
  • Method: Pour half of paint container in the paint pan and add approximately ½ cup of water (or more to thin to preferred consistency) and mix. Dip roller brush in paint, and then roll it a few times in the pan to get rid of excess paint on the brush. Roll dipped roller paint brush over wood once and let dry.

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  1. says

    Oooh fun! I’ve always wondered how so many people had the wood look in pictures. I can’t imagine everyone has a picnic table or deck to work with! Do you secure them together or just lay them next to eachother for the photos? Just curious.


    • Naomi replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 1:46 pm


      I did not nail them together. Yes, I just lay them right next to one another when I use them.


  2. says

    Thanks! Now I just need to figure out where to store them! :) How many boards did it take for each of the backgrounds?


    • Naomi replied: — April 11th, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

      Hi Betty,

      It takes about 2 six foot planks sawed in half and one half of another, so i have five 3 foot boards placed side by side.


  3. says

    Great post Naomi!!!
    Reminds me of a project I did in my bathroom years ago when the shabby look was not yet so popular, my father said I was crazy buying wood and then making it look old. I had it up in our bathroom for ten years and it was the most complimented item in our house.
    I love the look of it for a photography backdrop and I still have some in the garage, I’ll have to start brining them into the kitchen :)
    Your photos look amazing!!!


  4. Shirley@kokken69 says

    You’ve just addressed a sorely unmet needs for food bloggers! Thank you for sharing so generously. I do wish they have home depot or something similar in Singapore… :( I remember going to HD in Conneticut when I was visiting some friends last December to pick out a Christmas tree. While they were looking for their tree, I was wondering down their wood panel lanes, imaging how I could lug back the boards to Singapore!


  5. says

    This is a totally awesome tip, thank you! I’ve noticed your antiqued boards (with envy). It’s nice to know how to replicate them for that comfort food feel, particularly because my decorating style is generally more modern and not as appetizing. (:


  6. says

    Love this tutorial, thanks for sharing your secrets b/c these boards really add a nice touch to your photos! I have noticed a lot of wood boards across other food blogs too and having been dying to find out where they come from. I even went to Lowe’s this weekend just looking around. Wish I would have seen your tutorial before I went…but now that I know what I need I think I’ll be making another trip back to get some wood and paint! I’m thinking this will be a great project for my husband to help me to cut all the wood!


  7. says

    I don’t know how I missed this on Twitter, as I was eagerly awaiting for you to post it:)
    Now I don’t have any reason not to jump over to HD and get me some wood. My old wooden cutting board has served its purpose – it had been photographed too many times:)
    Thanks for the tutorial!


  8. says

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve seen many tutorials out there that require wood aging paint etc but yours is by far the easiest. Now I’ve just gotta think of a place to store all this first, before venturing out to buy planks of wood.


  9. says

    I had a similar post in construction a few days ago and did a search for others who may have written about something similar. I like to include other resources to include in my notes. I was so glad to find your post! Love those gorgeous colors!


  10. Jess says

    An easy way to get raw wood is to buy the snap-together plain wainscot paneling. You can go the extra mile to “age” the wood by adding your own chips and treating it with water before painting. :)



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