Are you ready to take out your hammer and brushes? Trust yourself, this tutorial is very simple and anyone can do it successfully!
The final cost of this project is quite modest and, besides, you will be proud of yourself!
Here is what you need to create a nice wood backdrop.
• cheap planks of wood (1×2, 1×3, 1×4, your choice)
• nails (max 2 inches long)
• wood glue
• wood stain
• latex paint (think of using leftovers)
• plaster of Paris
• locking pliers (optional)
• clear and dark soft wax (Annie Sloan)
• fine sandpaper
• a clean cloth
Cut the planks of wood to the desired size. Personally, I cut them 2 feet long because my photo studio tent is not very big. Put your planks side by side to create a surface large enough to serve as your image background. You can even benefit from this step to make it larger for future photos. You can use planks of the same width or mix them to create a different texture.
Position 2 upright planks, one on each end of the wooden surface. Spread the wood glue on those planks and apply pressure either with heavy objects or with locking pliers. Let dry for a couple hours.
When the glue is dry, strengthen the perpendicular planks with nails. Turn the structure over and start Step 1 again on the other side so you can make 2 backdrops on a same structure (recto/verso).
When your structure is ready, it is now time to add your own personal touch to your backdrop! There are many options. You can apply a wood stain (I did this with one of my backdrops using a dark stain) or you can create a rustic wood effect with homemade chalk paint. Mix 3 parts of latex paint, colour of your choice, and 1 part Plaster of Paris. Add a little water to blend the mixture so it becomes uniform. When there are no more lumps, apply the chalk paint to the wooden surface. This paint covers well, so only one layer should do the job. There are different recipes for chalk paint, each with their pros and cons.
When the paint is dry, gently sand some spots to roughen the surface of the paint. With a brush, apply a layer of clear wax. Scrub the excess of wax with a clean cloth. Then start again, but this time use the dark wax. Details and flaws in the planks of wood will be accentuated with this wax. You can repeat this step if you wish to darken the wood more.
That’s it, you’re done! You now have four awesome backdrops that you can use for your shooting!
Do you have techniques to share to create nice effects? Do you have favorite products?
See you soon!