DIY Food Photography Background


Food photography can be very challenging, but very fun. I enjoy playing with the food and props to create an eye-catching composition, but it can be difficult to find the right lighting and backgrounds for the pictures. We don’t have very much natural light in our kitchen, so I end up taking the dishes over by a window, which is why a portable surface is ideal. My best investment so far has been a marble slab because it creates a light, non-distracting surface and allows the food to be the main focus. However, I wanted to add a little more variety to my recipe photos, so I decided to make my own distressed wood background. I found this tutorial from Gimme Delicious and followed her steps, but used stain instead of paint for the base coat. It was pretty simple to build and adds a nice rustic feel to the images.



  • 1 Pack of plank paneling
  • 1 Can wood stain (I used red mahogany)
  • 1 Can white paint
  • Wood glue
  • Old rag/brush to apply stain
  • Paint brush (the cheap, wide bristle kind works well)


  1. Apply wood glue on the grooved side of the plank, then press the second plank into the groove and lay flat to dry. Repeat until you have 6 planks connected. I made two boards, each 6 planks wide.
  2. Use an old rag or brush to coat the planks with stain and let dry. You can either leave them like this or add paint for a distressed look (I left one plain and used white paint for the other).
  3. If you want the distressed look, use a paint brush to paint a light coat over the stain. The trick is to use a small amount of paint and quickly brush it over the stain in shorter strokes. I found that brushes with coarse bristles work better than fine. Let dry and then you’re good to go!




{As seen in my Baked Pumpkin Spice Latte Doughnuts and Pumpkin Spice Butter Cups recipe posts}

  • Tunisia

    Really cool tips! I always admire those beautiful pictures of food and tried to mimic them with an old iphone. I see I need a lot more than that to really make it look good. lol

    • haha that’s how I started out and have slowly figured out some tricks, so hopefully this helps :)

  • Love this post! I bought two different kinds of marble slab and I agree, it was definitely a great investment. This is such a cool background for food photography, too. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

    • Glad you liked it! It’s really changed my photos and makes them look better with less effort haha