DIY Project: Wood Table For Product Photography

diy-product-table

Last month I’ve been really fascinated with food photography and product shots with wood table or wood texture in the background. Ever since I’ve been planning to try and make my own. Eventually I stopped  procrastinating and just started doing it. This is my first prototype and it works pretty well, tough I am not promising to improve on future version.

2nd hand wood

First thing I did was bought 2nd hand wood planks from local hardware for about US$5 for 10pcs.

I have seen other people doing back to back wood planks but I also wanted a plain wood table, so I went with one side being the wood plank and the other side plain wood.

I cut the wood so that it would fit at the back of the wood planks

I cut the wood so that it would fit at the back of the wood planks

After some sanding it was time to wood glue the two sides together

The two sides

The two sides

Only using wood glue, I sticked the planks and plywood together

Only using wood glue, I stacked the planks and plywood together

To make sure the two sides sticked together I left it overnight and used my lightstands and backgrounds stands for for weights

To make sure the two sides were snug together I left it overnight and used my light stands and backgrounds stands as weights

I wanted to try it out before I varnished and painted them because I really liked the texture and the color of it even if it was plain.

Setup shot using the big mama and my white seamless paper as a reflector

Setup shot using the big mama and my white seamless paper as a reflector

This is the Plank side of the wood

This is the Plank side of the wood

This is the plywood side still using the same lighting

This is the plywood side still using the same lighting

I tried looking for grey varnish here in the Philippines but couldn’t find any so I just thought of using a really dark varnish and white paint for the sides. (Planning to make a grey one in the future using grey water based paint that is diluted)

3 Coats of Varnish

3 Coats of Varnish of the plywood side

First coat of white paint on the plank side

First coat of white paint on the plank side. I first tried painting the white very light but I didn’t like the result so I just painted it really white.

After painting the wood plank side plain white and letting it dry in the sun

After painting the wood plank side plain white and letting it dry in the sun

I was excited to try it out so after it dried I borrowed my girlfriends cellphone to test out the finished product. (Cellphone shot)

I was excited to try it out so after it dried I borrowed my girlfriends cellphone to test out the finished product.

Now to test it out inside the studio:

Varnished

The setup shot for the plywood side.

The setup shot for the plywood side.

Plywood side with varnish

Plywood side with varnish

Painted

The Setup shot for the wood plank side

The Setup shot for the wood plank side

White Plank Side

White Plank Side

This is just my first try and still planning to make more because it’s pretty easy to do and is a really great background for product/food photography shots. The one thing I learned about this is you should test out the paint and varnish before applying it to the final product. It took me 2 days to do this project because of the time to wait for the wood glue and the varnish and paint to dry but all worth it.

  • https://www.facebook.com/jeremie.plourde.1 Jeremie Plourde

    using your hard wood flor works as well as i did for this shot, http://jerphotography.vsco.co/media/535fee387167088e2a00098d

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001483032741 Alexey Ponomarev

    :)

  • ChrisBlizzard

    I really like the planks before paint… If I do something similar I think I’d have to leave unpainted.

  • lomoloco

    I think I would just make a box with 6 different textures/colours. That way you will have a multitude of options rather than just 2.

    • AtlantaTerry

      Lomoloco,

      Yes, but then you would have to store a big box when it was not in use.

      Would it not be easier to make 3 sets of boards? By treating both sides, that would give you 6 surfaces. Then you could stack them for storage much easier. (Or use them for book shelves!)

      Terry Thomas Photos
      Atlanta, Georgia USA

  • Eric Dye

    Neat idea.
    Side note though, does DIY Photography have any copy-editors? The amount of spelling/grammar errors I see in articles is much more frequent than most sites I visit.

    • http://www.diyphotography.net/ udi tirosh

      Hi Eric,
      that would be my fault entirely :)

      • Eric Dye

        I don’t say it in any way to put down the articles or the website, but I work at a newspaper and on my own blog and they are just pet peeves of mine. I think at least doing a quick second read-through really improves the quality of content.

        • http://www.diyphotography.net/ udi tirosh

          Thanks Eric. looking for a person to do proofing…. If you know anyone please send them this way.

          • Eric Dye

            I actually do know an excellent copy editor, I’ll pass along the information to her.

          • http://www.diyphotography.net/ udi tirosh

            appreciate it!

  • Anthony

    Great little article. I had a go at it this past weekend. Here’s the results: https://www.flickr.com/photos/94050219@N02/sets/72157644119601697/

    • http://www.diyphotography.net/ udi tirosh

      great stuff!

      • Anthony

        Thank you.

  • AtlantaTerry

    Hmmm… your girlfriend’s cell phone sure looks a lot like a Nikon camera!

    BTW, a very nice article. Here in the US, I buy inexpensive fence boards at big box hardware stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot. These fence boards are known as “rough cut” lumber which means the face of the wood is not smooth and flat but has texture – something we often like in the background of food and product photography. If it is too rough it can easily be sanded.

    Another source of cheap wood are companies that accept pallets of goods. Often the pallets are not wanted, so just ask. Especially useful are ones that have been sitting out in the weather for a year or more as they really have interesting textures.

    I cut boards so they will be four feet long. This way they will fit into the back seat of my car when I need to go shoot food on location.

  • arc

    Hi! Where were you able to buy wood planks? I know there’s Wilcon and Home Depot for that but I’m hesitant to check it out because it might be a bit too pricey for me. (Especially since I have yet to buy paint.) If it has to be private, email me. :) Thanks!