One of the challenges of taking great food photos is creating a distinctive look or style. So today we’re going to look at painting your own food photography backgrounds.

Many of the food photography backgrounds you might buy are either vinyl or wooden planks, which are durable and wipe-clean. But what if you want a cheap and cheerful one-off background? Step right this way – you’re covered!

Paper and paint are ideal to create one-off food photography backgrounds. You might do this for particular themed recipes, sponsored posts or for a seasonal recipe.

You can use any kind of paint. In this blog post, I’ve used watercolour and acrylic paints.

Food photography background painted with one shade of watercolours. This DIY option for a background is quick and easy.Let’s start with watercolours. You can use watercolours straight out of the tube for bright colours or diluted for gentle ones. In this shoot, I’ve used the pink both ways to echo the colours of the pale raspberry fool and the bright raspberry garnish.

The patterned background removes any need for other garnishing or props.

Blue paint: use for a DIY food photography background that contrasts with your plate of food.

A dark blue background was chosen for the vegetable salad to contrast with the pale greens and white plate. The blue is an acrylic paint mixed with a little white – both cheap brands from a craft shop. I just painted on colour until I ran out of mixed paint, waited about 30 minutes for it to dry and shot the dish.

A cheap and easy DIY blue food photography background created with blue acrylic paint.

It really is that simple! Do have a go with whatever supplies you have in your home and tag me (@livingabstracts) on Instagram with your creations. I’d love to see them.

If you want more help with your food photography backgrounds, you can get 15 Printable Backgrounds to help you with that. The linen, metal and wooden backgrounds make finding the right background for your photos simple – just choose + print on your home printer or print shop. 

Paint your own food photography backgrounds with simple watercolours and a brush.