The cost to making your own woodboards for food photography is surprisingly cheap.

Woodboard (1/4 inch, 2 x 2): $5.00
Black posterboard: $1.oo
White paint: $7.00
Brushes: $3.00
Colorpaint: $3.00-$7.00
Wood rocker: $5.00

Total amount: $28.00


It’s also incredibly quick

White paint on woodboard: 5 minutes
Wood rocker: 1 minute
Dry time: 20 minutes
Optional second coat: 5 minutes
Dry time: 20 minutes

Total time: 51 minutes


To create this backdrop, I bought Martha Stewart’s white paint base 1. Even though this paint is meant to be used as a base to mix with lighter paints. You can use any white paint. Just one generous coat which takes literally just five minutes is enough. To create the wood grain patterns, you’ll need a rocker. Note that the paint needs to be thick and liquid (trying the rocker on those specialty finish paints will be difficult). Drag the rocker through the glaze, working from the top edge of the surface to the bottom. Repeat, alternating knots and straight grains. (For the best pattern, alternate 2 or 3 rows of knots with 2 rows of straight grain). If you’re a visual type of person, check out the window before.

Then, I did rough brushstrokes using Martha Stewart’s Terra Cotta specialty finish Paprika paint. I will also note that paprika and white as a backdrop doesn’t go very well with many things. Perhaps I should have planned better…

textured metallic boards

This however, the textured metallic (anchor grey) on the black was a pretty darn good idea. I bought the posterboard from Walmart, which was actually only $0.89. I found the textured metallic at Home Depot, which was roughly $7.00. To create the dark metallic look below, just put on a thin coating on the poster board. Even though it’ll look really gray and metallic, the black will peak through the specks.

Here’s a tip- To save some money, buy 8 oz test paint containers. Given that these test paints can fill up a 16 sq ft area, that should be plenty of boards for you to fill. Plus, they’re under $3. With paint that cheap, you can buy a bunch and experiment around. The color below is Peacock Feather, which I was able to get online at Home Depot, free shipping and all!


And to create the whiteboard seen in the photo above, you should visit the DIY post here. I kept the front side bare white but was able to utilize the backside for another color. The same can be done for the boards above. Can’t let things go to waste!

time to paint!

Happy painting!