How to Make a Faux Wood Plank Photo Backdrop

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I have got a seriously amazing tutorial for you today.  This is for everyone who needs to up their game when it comes to taking photos. Maybe you take photos of your products for an Etsy shop, maybe you take photos of projects to post on your blog or maybe you want a nice backdrop to take portraits against.  I fall into all three of those categories and I desperately needed a big photo backdrop. I love the look of old weathered wood but didn’t want to actually make one out of wood. So I made a faux wood plank photo backdrop.

Make a faux wood plank photo backdrop out of foamboard!

This project has been on my mind for several years. I take photos for my blog all the time.  I’m also trying to up my game with my party printable business and I want to have a consistent background for my photos. I contemplated building a big wooden plank movable “wall” but that idea pretty much exhausted me just thinking about it. I didn’t want anything heavy and I wanted to be able to store my photo backdrop easily in my closet.  I could have bought a nice vinyl backdrop but for the size that I need, they are pretty pricey. I have a small 2’x3′ vinyl backdrop that I use for close-up shots and I love it but unfortunately a bigger version just isn’t in my budget.  So I made my own…out of foamboard.

Yes, FOAMBOARD.  It’s super light and very easy to work with. And you wouldn’t know that it isn’t real wood. Unless you come over and look at it from the side and realize that it is super thin and say “hey, that’s not real wood” to which I would then reply ” I know, because I’m smart like that”. It can warp a little bit (see below) but all I did to flatten that out was to place it under the legs of my kitchen table for a night. Another reason why it isn’t straight i s because you are going to cut into the foamboard to create the planks. You can also see how thin it is below..

Make a faux wood plank photo backdrop out of foamboard!

I know that you are dying to make your own. So here is what you need.  I’ve linked the supplies to Amazon, where you can purchase them because I want to make it that much easier for you. Some links are affiliate links which means you click on them, buy what you need, and help a girl out by keeping this blog running.


Elmer’s Tri-Fold Foamboard (36″x48″)

Smooth Finish (Floracraft)

Americana Chalky Finish Paint in Relic and Everlasting

Paintbrush (small and large)


Exacto Knife

120 Grit Sandpaper

Putty Knife

First, apply the Smooth Finish to the foambaord with a putty knife. I used 2 containers of Smooth Finish and it covered the entire board. You want to apply it so that it looks like a “wood” texture.

Make a faux wood plank photo backdrop out of foamboard!

After the smooth finish is dry, paint over it with one coat of Chalky Finish paint in Relic.

Make a faux wood plank photo backdrop out of foamboard!

Once that coast is dry, add a top coat of Chalky Finish paint in Everlasting. Once the coat of Everlasting is dry, sand it lightly with 120 grit sandpaper so some of the darker color shows through. This gives it a nice weathered look.

Make a faux wood plank photo backdrop out of foamboard!

Place a marks 6″ apart along each side of the board. Using a ruler, connect these points and score the foamboard with the exacto knife. Do not cut all the way through the board. These lines divide your backdrop into wood “planks”. You can see the “planks” in the photo above.

Using the small paintbrush and the Relic Chalky Finish Paint, paint on the inside and the edge of each score line to give the wood “planks”some dimension.

Make a faux wood plank photo backdrop out of foamboard!

After your paint dries, you will have a very lightweight (and affordable) photo backdrop.  Think of all the color combos that you can make!  I’m already thinking about making an aqua one! Because I’m all about aqua. Here is how it looks with my Captain America party printables against it. I’m so excited to be able to use this for my photography!

Make a faux wood plank photo backdrop out of foamboard!

Do you use photo backdrops? Do you use real wood or something else?





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