My DIY Wood Photography Board

Hey everyone!

I’ve had a few questions about the wood photography board you’ve been seeing in my posts lately:

Woodgrain-Hi-Baby  Honeybee-Hello

Yes, I made it myself (using the tutorial at Love & Olive Oil) and yes, my board is double sided!  I really only wanted to have one board to store so I stained one side dark brown and painted the other white.  The key is to use very thin “craft boards” from your local home improvement store so that you don’t end up with a super thick and heavy board to haul around.

For a 24” x 24'” board you’ll need:

- four 3.5” x 24” craft boards
- six 5.5” x 24” craft boards
- wood glue
- paint and/or stain in the colors you prefer
- Elmer’s glue (optional)
- Distress/Crackle paint to match your other paint (optional)
- newspapers/drop cloth, brushes, and rags


I used Valspar sample paints because you just don’t need much for this project.  The white was a generic white and the brown is called “Fired Earth”.

The process is simple.  Lay your boards down on your newspaper/drop cloth with the two smaller (3.5”) boards on the outside and the larger (5.5”) in the middle, with a slight gap between them. 

Using a small amount of wood glue lay the next layer of boards over the first one in the opposite direction.  So if your bottom layer is horizontal your top layer is vertical. 

Now carefully (so the boards don’t shift) place a whole ton of heavy shtuff on top of your “sandwich” and leave it there for a few hours to dry.

Then you paint!

I highly recommend waiting for one side to dry FULLY before attempting the other side.  Don’t ask me why I am emphasizing this.  Errr.

The brown side was super easy.  I watered down my paint to about a 50/50 mix and painted it on with a brush.  I then immediately used a rag to wipe off most of the paint so it acted more like a stain.  I did one board at a time and applied two coats to get the finished look. Easy!



The white side was a bit more of an “issue”.  But mostly because I was experimenting.  I attempted to crackle the paint with only Elmer’s glue and it just didn’t do the trick enough for me.  That’s when I used an entire container of Tim Holtz crackle paint.  Heh.  Hehehe. Yeah.

Start by adding one coat of the brown stain like we did for the other side.  This makes it so you see dark color in the cracks.  You really could use any color for the undercoat. 

You’ll see in my next photo what different results you can get from the Elmer’s crackling and the crackle paint crackling.  I did the Elmer’s first.  Drizzle a fair amount of glue on to the board and spread it around with your brush.  You really do want it to be a pretty heavy coating.  Then, paint on an equally heavy amount of white paint right on top of the glue while it is still wet.  Now you can either just let it air dry and wait for the magic crackling to happen OR you can be super impatient like me and grab your handy dandy heat gun and speed up the process.  Just remember to keep your heat gun moving!

At this point you should have long, thin cracks in your paint, with the dark undercoat showing through.

If you want MORE crackle you can paint the specific crackle paint in the areas that need it.  Try to be a little random with your application. The crackle paint gives you a finer, mosaic-like look. 

I also used various tools and some sandpaper to rough up a few areas that looked wonky at the end.



**Be careful with your paint application.  You don’t want to have much paint seep into the cracks between the boards because it may show on the opposite side.  Again, please don’t ask why I know this! HA!**

And there you have it!  The finished photography board is only 1/2” thick.  It can be stored alongside a piece of furniture or even under your couch.  It’s inexpensive and makes an excellent background for papercrafting projects, general craftiness, or really, really tiny people.  Ok, just kidding on that last one. 

Thanks for reading!


Especially_For_You said...

This is such a great idea! I use the camera on my iPod touch to take pictures of my projects and don't have a good setting for my pictures (I usually take them on my white comforter). I might have to give this a try - thanks for sharing! :)


Lowri said...

Thanks SO much for sharing this Jess - you know I have been a big admirer of the board. It's always good to have someone point out the traps for first time cracklers too!!
Lowri :-)

Jodi said...

I love it!!! Thanks for the awesome tutorial!!!

Lana Bisson said...

Jess, I love this idea for having a background ready canvas..Not only is it full of shabby chic goodness, but the white is reflective and so helpful when taking pics. you rocked this..

Monika Wright said...

Super duper, triple awesome! Love it.

Maya said...

What a great idea! Love it1

buglvr2010 said...

Awesome! Thanks for telling us how to do this! I love it!

Chrissy said...

I'm going to have to try and maybe make one of these! Looks great! Oh. And I hate you. (INSIDE JOKE, PEOPLE!!)

WillieburgScrapper said...

This is a great mini tute!! I love how you stage your projects!

Cassie said...

It's so friggin' awesome!!! =)

Kimmie said...

Thank you, Jess! This is awesome! :o)

LyndaKay said...

I think staging a shoot can really enhance a project, especially for sharing on a blog. Thanks for the tips and directions for the boards.

Mona L. Pendleton said...

What an awesome tutorial! Thanks for sharing :)