Food photography background board tutorial

So, I have been wanting to find more backgrounds to use for my food pics but I wasn’t really sure where to start or what I wanted to achieve. But I took to Pinterest and was able to find some tutorials on making food photography backgrounds so I took out my paints and decided to create one for myself. I always envy people on Instagram who have amazing pictures of not only their food but their kitchen set up and sometimes I have to rack my brain to figure out how they achieve such cool backgrounds. I admit that most of the time, I cannot figure this out, sigh!

So instead of running out and buying a new kitchen or marble bench top every time I wanted to take pictures of something, I thought I would experiment with making my own and see what I could come up with.

Last weekend, I went to this awesome shop that I used to go to frequently when I was studying Architecture. At the time it was located in West End, but before leaving the other day, I googled it and am glad I did as I found out they have moved to Woolloongabba. So off I headed with the dimensions and idea of what I was after ever optimistic that I would find it………I was blown away that I actually did find what I was looking for and at bargain prices!! I am not a total tight arse, but I have, in the past, spent loads of money on hobbies, ie painting, jewellery making, timber making only to find it was something that I wasn’t really into long term and I felt when I go through phases like that it is sort of a waste of money. I never however, really feel that way with cooking as I see it as a necessary part of life but as I love it so much, I am able to turn it into a hobby that fits in with my life but doesn’t cost me an abominable fortune.

So, what I was looking for was some kind of timber or bench top, different to what I already had that would fit my kitchen bench and store easily out of the way.

I picked up 3 awesome boards – the light cream one in the pics below was a measly $5 can you believe it!!!! If I get over this hobby in a little bit (which I am pretty confident I won’t but you never know, I won’t mind having spent that and then donating it to charity for someone to do what they wish with it). I wouldn’t feel this way if I spent a ton of money as I am more practical when it comes to money than that and enjoy being thrifty where I can be (within reason).

Board Zero

So, now, I would like to show you what I did with my new ‘kitchen bench top’ and how I turned it into a background for my food blog. Dun, dun, dun, dar, que the music! 

From Pinterest, the best advice I could find came from this blog, I did look at a number of ideas on there, but I found that Ani’s was the closest to the look I wanted to create and I loved how the blog post showed you step by step pictures along the way of how she created her boards – thanks Ani!!

Board 2Board 1


  1. I taped the edges of my kitchen board with masking tape as I wanted to be able to use both sides of the board and I didn’t want too much mess going down the edges to be seen when I use the lighter side.
  2. I started with a layer of gesso, I used to use this all the time to prime a canvas even if it was coated with gesso just to get a feel for the material and size and the frame.
  3. After the gesso had dried I did a layer of black paint, using gouche. It is what I already had in my painting kit, so I figured I would try that. (Otherwise I would recommend acrylic paint).

Board 3.jpg

Board 44.jpg

5. After waiting for the paint to dry, which took approximately 1 hr, I then did a layer using modelling compound.
6. For this I used a kitchen knife to spread it around and then I used some rubber tipped painting tools to create various textures.

Board 5Board 6

7. After this was dry, I then did the final layer of paint, mixing black and white as I wanted the finished colour to be grey not black and have a bit of different shades through it to create a nice non solid colour effect.

Board 7

8. The final step in the process which I did as Ani had advised she did this for hers, was to cover the board with a matte varnish. I did mine as per the bottle instructions because I noted her advice that varnishing it would be a good way to seal all the paint so that it doesn’t go all over the actual bench when I am using the other side (insert shocked smiley emoticon with hands on side of face, when realising bench was covered in black/grey paint, oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo! which did not occur luckily as the varnish did the trick).

9. Not only was this a super fun way to spend sometime it allowed me to be creative in a hands on way that I don’t get to do as often as I would like these days. I encourage anyone who is into their food photography to give this a red hot go, better than purchasing textures off the internet which anyone can use and the results are original, one of a kind!

Board feature picture

This is the final product – me using the board I made in one of my instagram pictures with a delicious homemade pizza I had some of for dinner. Wola!! I am very happy with the results.

Board in photos

About Adrianne - Sweet Caramel Sunday

I love spending time in my kitchen, being creative and making great food! Website: Instagram: sweetcaramelsunday
This entry was posted in DIY, Down time, Tutorial, Weekend and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Food photography background board tutorial

  1. chefkreso says:

    I’m going to use the tips, thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Angela Christodoulou says:

    How clever are you ! Go girl !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like the pizza photo – and btw I have exactly the same clothes, it’s a mundu (sarong).


    • Jamchop says:

      Thank-you! Re the mundu, nice, mine was material I was going to make into a shirt at some point but then I needed something to keep surfaces clear of paint and this became my go to, the thickness of the material really helps!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. karla Anderson says:

    Hello Jamchop,
    Oho..Yeami, This pizza pic took my all attention 😛 really ! though thanks for your nice tips and idea. hope get more from you 🙂


  5. james says:

    Nice post nice one for posting. jim

    Liked by 1 person

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