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How to make a painted background for photos?

Backgrounds are such a vital part of photos. No doubts about that. They can help gathering attention or quite the opposite. They can help setting up the mood of the photograph and give some clues on where the photo was taken.

Last week I found an Instagram account cake.caprice created by Karolina and completey fell for her photos with a painting alike background. They look so artistic and elegant. She takes photos of food. Check out her profile, but be aware that it can make you immediately want something good to eat.

She shared with me how to create a similar background and below you can see the results. The background in reality is with shades of gray. The photos were postproduced to get the blue-ish colour.

It is not difficult to make it, but it takes time. Not because you have to do a lot of things, but the filler mass, paints, and lacquer has to dry.

Here is what you will need:

  • a board I used MDF board 800×1200, but I considered cutting it in half to have 2 boards instead
  • filler mass
  • a spatula or a card to spread the filler mass
  • different shades of paint of chosen colour. I bought a white paint and a colour concentrate.
  • a brush
  • a sponge
  • mat lacquer

The idea is to first use the filler mass on the board. You can spread it with a card. The filler mass will add a texture to the background so it won’t look flat. Leave it overnight to dry it out.

Once the board with filler mass is dry, add paint on it. In my case I used the white paint mixed with a gray concentrate. Mixing the concentrate into the paint was quite satisfying.

The more concentrate you use, the darker colour you will get. I made bright, middle, and dark gray colours. I applied a bright gray with a brush to cover the entire board and a dark and a middle gray with a sponge. Leave overnight to dry.

After the paint dries, spray it or paint it with a mat lacquer and let it dry.

The background can be used in many cases to photograph things such as food, flowers, jewellery, just to name a few.

Let me know if you decide to make a background like this. And if so, I would like to see some photos with it.