I’m going a little bit bonkers right now.
Just a little.
Clipping, editing, and arranging so many photos has me kind of jumping out of my skin.
I don’t do process photos.
This is why:
I don’t have any disposable patience. My kids get the entire allotment.
You know I paint?
I can paint realism.
I just don’t.
Because when I do I feel like my cells are trying to crawl out of my pores.
I get all itchy and antsy and want to scream.
I don’t have the patience for minutiae.
Aaaaand so it is with these process photos.
Have I ever mentioned I am also a procrastinator?
Mmmm. Yessss I am. . . . .
That’s why this post should have been up about 4 days ago, but it’s up today instead.
Because last Thursday, when I had intended to start working on it, I started reading The Kitchen House instead.
Sniff, sniff, tear.
That book goes on the most-loved list.
I finished it on Saturday, but then we had a date night, and drinks, and thus a cocktail induced mind-fog on Sunday, and a family dinner shindig, so no such thing as blog progress on Sunday.
Then, well, once again – big surprise – germs seem to love our house, so we’re dealing with a bout of sickness again.
Buuuut. Here I am. Today. Finally.
The faux wood surface.
For under $5.
It’s all yours, Baby.
Oh! and let me tell you – this is version #1 – I have another one to show you – but I just.
do it right now.
Give me some time to recover, then I’ll show you version #2.
So the faux blue wood surface –
Here’s how you do it:
Getch yesself some foam board – I found Elmer’s brand in packs of 3 at Michael’s. (16″x20″x3/16″)
Measure and mark incriments 4″ apart, and pencil in your lines. This is how we begin creating the illusion of 4″ boards.
Holding your straight edge ruler firmly to the board, line the dull side of a butter knife up with your pencil lines and use the ruler as a guide as you “score” the surface of the foam. Don’t press all the way through the board, only break the top surface.
Find a small, strong, square box – I used a large jewelry box. Press along your scored lines to create a beveled edge.
This is what you should have. A white surface with beveled lines, 4″ apart.
Use various objects – bowls, cups, wooden dowels, toothpicks, etc. to press into and onto the surface to create bumps, lines, and knicks.
Paint the first layer of color. You can use any kind of cheap-ish acrylic paint here – like the $.99 bottles at the craft store. Choose colors that resemble wood – dark or light, stained or raw. I chose dark brownish red tones. A rough-bristle brush works well here – to give the illusion of wood grain, but don’t sweat it if you don’t have it. Any brush will suffice.
Here is your brown udertone layer. Let dry completely. This may take up to an hour. Make sure none of the paint is tacky, and if it feels cool to the touch, it’s still not dry.
Choose colors for your second layer. I chose blue-ish turquoise colors. The amount of paint shown here was too much. Scale it back a little when you do it.
I had too much paint on this layer. Don’t wipe! Just lay a paper towel over areas with too much paint, gently press, then peel away to remove the extra paint. If you look closely, you can see the pattern from my paper towels. This could be an interesting texture to leave if you like. After you remove the excess paint, brush again to smooth it out.
I like me a little gold shimmer, and I happened to have it around. Now’s the time to do it. Just add a little, and gently brush to blend it in.
Weather your “wood” while the paint is still damp. Here, I used a wooden skewer and pressed it in by rubbing it with a plastic cup. This left a visual line, but also a slight indent.
I used the tip of my gold paint dispenser to remove some paint by dragging it along the wet surface. This exposes the brown-ish underlayer.
And here you have your completed faux wood surface. *
Isn’t it pretty?? The perfect backdrop for this Zucchini Pizza Salad. . . and much more!
*Ok – so one of my special notes – from the second to last picture – if you want to expose more of your underlayer, wait until your second layer is completely dry. You may want to give it a couple hours to be sure. Then, you can take some fine sandpaper and brush it, ever so lightly, until you reveal portions of the layer underneath. When you are done sanding, take your board outside and blow off the dry paint dust, then take a very slightly dampened paper towel and wipe the powdery residue off your board.
These boards, upon drying, do warp a litte bit. They will bow slightly. I am experimenting with storing them with something large and flat on top of them to see if that helps with the distortion. However – they still work well as backdrops. You can’t see the bowing of the foam in your photos.
Voila, photo-shooting foodie friends. Here is your budget solution for creative and cheap backdrops!