DIY Wood Photo Backdrop

September 17, 2013Sarah Khandjian

DIY Wood Photo Backdrop | Sarah Hearts

A couple of weeks ago my dad gave me his old miter saw. He knew I was looking to purchase one and he had been wanting to upgrade. What a great dad, right? As soon as I got the saw I knew the first project I wanted to tackle was making a distressed wood photo backdrop. I love shooting most of my DIYs on white (I use a piece of white Ikea countertop that I got in the markdown section for $3)but  I’ve been wanting to try shooting on other textures. And since I don’t have a rustic farmhouse table, though I wish I did, I decided to make my own little backdrop.

I used 7, 4′ 1″ x 4″ that I cut into 2′ pieces. You can have then cut them down to size at Lowes or Home Depot, but don’t bother telling them what you’re making because they may look at you kind funny and not understand what blogging is, but maybe that’s just my experience. On a more recent trip to Lowes I realized that they sell boards that are only 1/2″ thick which I totally recommend using because it will make your backdrop a lot lighter. Since 1″ x 4″ boards are actually 3/4″ x 3.5″ you’ll need another piece of 2.5″ wood on each side to make it perfectly square. I didn’t do the math before hand so my backdrop isn’t perfectly square, but I’m ok with that since I won’t be photographing the edges anyways.

DIY Wood Photo Backdrop | Sarah Hearts

I started by stacking 7 boards side by side. I left a tiny gap in between each one to make it look a bit more aged and worn. The next layer of boards goes on top, perpendicular to the boards on the bottom.  I used liquid nails and a caulk gun to glue the boards together. If you don’t have a caulk gun you can also use wood glue. Either adhesive will require you to place something heavy on top while it dries. I opted for a ton of random heavy objects that were nearby (like old tile and paint cans). I very impatiently waited 24 hours for the glue to do its thing.

DIY Wood Photo Backdrop | Sarah Hearts

To add an antique look I used some dark walnut brown wood stain to the entire surface. I Stained one side at a time and again impatiently let it dry.

DIY Wood Photo Backdrop | Sarah Hearts

Once the stain is dry, I used some Martha Stewart craft paint I had and a cheap 2″ dry brush to quickly brush on the white paint. The more random the better, so don’t be concerned about how it looks.  Once that was dry, I filled the board over and did the same thing using two shades of teal paint.


DIY Wood Photo Backdrop | Sarah Hearts


  • Stephanie McDonnell

    September 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

    This is beautiful. I love it.


  • Shoba Shrinivasan

    September 25, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Oh i am a food blogger and ive always wanted a pretty blue rustic distressed background for my props…what a lovely blue!!!


    1. Sarah

      September 27, 2013 at 8:45 am

      Thanks Shoba! I thought it would be perfect for photographing food!

  • Pri

    January 3, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Sarah, this is beautiful! I love the blue. I recently made my first wood backdrop. It’s funny because I ended up telling the guy at the hardware store what I was making and you’re right… he looked pretty confused, LOL. Anyway, if you wish, you can see my step by step tutorial here:

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  • millie

    June 16, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I have been talking about making a wooden backdrop or table for photos forever , even using the same colors! I just never pulled the trigger! Now, I am excited to get ready! Thank you!

  • Ben

    April 29, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Thanks for sharing this. I just stumbled upon it whilst searching for wood backdrops.
    Can you please tell me what shades of teal paint you used to get this blue finish. It looks lovely & would like to attempt myself.
    Many thanks

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