DIY Weathered Wood Photo Backdrop

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One of my blog goals this summer is to update a some of my recipe photos.  I have a few from the very beginning that were snapped with my phone or just not very appetizing looking.  I may even update some that were taken this past winter in my kitchen.  (Most of those photos aren’t bad, just a little yellow from my kitchen lights.  We’ll see if I get to those, it can be hard to squeeze in picture taking with 2 hungry little monsters sweeties hanging from my apron strings…)

I am always on the look out for pretty dishes, tablecloths, place mats or backdrops I can use to dress up my food photos.  I’ve had a weathered wood backdrop on my to do list for a while, but I kept putting off the trip to Lowes for supplies.

I finally got it done and love it!

We do have a garage full of supplies and tools, but I wanted this project to be simple. (And it was… why drag out a bunch of tools and get hot and sweaty when you can work in the AC and use a little glue…)  Here is how I made it:

Supplies needed for a weathered wood photo backdrop:

  • Shims (they come in different sizes, mine were 12 inches long and came in a pack of 42, I bought 2 @ $3.87.)
  • Wood for the back supports (I bought 3 1/4X3X2 aspen planks @ $1.24 each.)
  • Wood glue (I used Elmer’s wood glue that I already had.)
  • Paint (I used paint I had on hand- The blue was a sample I had for my laundry room, leftover white paint and some of my Ralph Lauren tea stained glaze.)
  • Clear coat sealer (I used one with a matte finish.)

First of all, I found out something about shims that I didn’t know.  They come like this:
Oops, just added a little more gluing than intended to my project…

Step 1:  Glue all your shims together so they make a flat level piece of wood and let dry for about an hour.

Step 2:  Line up the support pieces, using the shims as a guide on how far apart to space the supports.

Step 3:  Add glue to the support pieces and place the shims.  Let dry.  (I placed a few heavy objects on top of the drying shims to help make sure they dried securely and flat.)

Step 4:  Once the glue is dry, add your paint.  To achieve a similar effect as mine, I applied one thick coat of  regular blue paint, and let it dry.  Then find something to distress the wood.  (I could only find was a very heavy chain.  It was so heavy, all I could do was drop it a few times on the wood.)

Next , with a wet rag, I rubbed my dark glaze over the entire panel, then rinsed the rag and wiped away most of the color.  (You could mix water with a dark color to get the same effect.)

After the glaze dried I did the same thing with white paint- mixed it with water, wiped it on and then wiped the excess off.

After it dried, I finished it off with a quick coat of Valspar matte finish spray sealer.

Isn’t it pretty?

In this picture, I used Photoshop Elements to change the background to a dull yellow.  (At the time I looked up this link, Elements was on sale for $63.  That is a good price!)

I am thinking about adding some dark stained shim pieces to the back side so I can have 2 looks in one.  I need to find some dark water based stain next time I am at the craft store.

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  1. How clever! Love this =)

  2. Fantastic! I need to work on the background of my photos! So this is a great idea! Ha!
    Thanks for sharing at Show & Share, featuring this tomorrow.

  3. Steph @ somewhatsimple says:

    Love this idea! I just pinned it- thanks for linking up to my party!

  4. Karah @ thespacebetweenblog says:

    What a smart idea!! I was just thinking the other day I needed a cool backdrop for some items I want to photograph. Thank you so much for the inspiration. 🙂

  5. DIY Show Off says:

    I love it, Jamie! Beautiful! I'm including a link back in the DIY highlights. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity.

  6. Great idea – I love it! I need to make one of these actually! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Thank you also for sharing –
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  7. oooo…good idea.I definitely don't have alot of already there backdrop locations at my house.

  8. Holly @ abakershouse.com says:

    Oh I really think this is a great idea! I like the thought, too, of making a second colored stain on the back side so you have more options. Found you through I should be mopping the floor.

  9. Charlene@APinchofJoy says:

    Love the double sided idea! Store one piece but have two different looks. Very ingenious and will be looking for it in your photos! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy. Hope to see you again soon!

  10. What a fabulous idea. And that IS a great price. Thanks so much for linking up at Mop It Up Mondays. I'm featuring you tomorrow!

  11. Liz - Imageremix says:

    Found your post from the feature at Nifty Thrifty Things. Cool idea. Thanks for showing us "how to". Love it. Hope you'll stop in at Quirky Vistas and see what's up at my place.

  12. Creations By Cindy says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  13. What a good idea, and simple to make. Anyway this blue color is one of my favorite.I usulaly use my blue bin box for it ,I know quite ridiculous, your idea is brilliant! Thank you,I try to make one.

  14. Angie Ramirez says:

    I love this.. I have been wanting to do one like this.. but keep putting it off too! lol

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  15. The Pickin' Pair says:

    This is awesome. I'm doing a vintage/rustic/elegant themed wedding and just might do this for a photo backdrop. found you via a blog hop and am now a follower.