DIY Textured Styling Board

diy styling board
 
 

There are SO many avenues where on-point styled photography is essential. (Blogs, online shops, fashion, styled shoots...to name a few!)

We all know that flat lay photography sells. But we also know that it can get overdone and boring if we don't add unique, personal touches to our styled content.

I'm a big believer in creating content that speaks to your personality and amplifies your brand.


That's why I'm offering this DIY textured styling board tutorial - so you can create something that'll help you stand out from the massive crowd of flat lay photos!


Let's get started!

Before you get your materials, decide what colors you want to use for your board.
I used three colors for mine: blue, beige, and white.

  • Pick your "peek-through" color: This is the color that you will lay down first, and will peek through the final top layers. (I used blue for this.)
  • Then, pick a color that would look great on top of that base color. (I opted for beige, because it's neutral and has a nice contrast to the blue).

Once you decide the colors, you can go to Michaels or another craft store and get some craft paint. It doesn't need to be good quality paint - it's all about how you use it!
*Make sure the paint is acrylic based and not oil based.

PRO TIP: Home depot has an "oops paint" section in every store. (It's a bunch of paint that was mixed slightly incorrectly) - and it's C H E A P! Always check out that section to see if they happen to have a color your'e looking for. Make sure that the finish of the paint is flat (not glossy and not enamel!)

 

MATERIALS

materials
  • One sheet of MDF (medium density fiberboard), 1/4" thick - cut into an 18x24" piece: available at Home depot.
  • Bullseye 123 (water-based) primer: available at Home depot.
  • Sanding block: available at Home depot.
  • Rags
  • Medium paint brush: available at Home depot or your local craft store.
  • Paint
  • Texture medium: available at Home depot or Michaels. I used 3M Patch + Primer (Home Depot). I also like Liquitex Flexible Modeling Paste (avail. at Michaels or Amazon).
  • Texture tools: Get creative with this! Find anything you can use to scrape around your paint. I used an old sanding block and a small plastic ruler.
  • Matte varnish: available at Michaels or Amazon. I used Grumbacher Final Matte Varnish.

 

  PRO TIP : Home Depot can be overwhelming, and their staff is not always the most helpful.  To save time: Go to their website, type in the items you're looking for, and make sure your store location is selected. Once you click on the item, it will tell you the the aisle location of the product!

PRO TIP: Home Depot can be overwhelming, and their staff is not always the most helpful.

To save time: Go to their website, type in the items you're looking for, and make sure your store location is selected. Once you click on the item, it will tell you the the aisle location of the product!


CUTTING THE MDF: You don't have to cut it yourself!

Home Depot offers complimentary cutting, and it's usually in the back of the store by the lumber. Just ask the associate to cut your sheet into as many 18x24" pieces as possible.
 

 

LET'S BEGIN: Carve out a clean workspace for yourself, and get ready to create!


STEP ONE: Prime your board. You can use a brush or roller for this. One coat is fine, since we'll be layering it with other colors. Once it's dry, take your sanding block, sand it down a bit, and wipe away any dust.

diy styling board

 

STEP TWO: Prep your colors. I mixed mine into separate containers that would be easy for pouring. 

When I got my MDF cut, there was a small piece left over. I used that to experiment with before committing!

Here's how I mixed my colors:

  • 'Peek through' color: I used blue and white (primer)  to create a light blue, and I added one scoop of texture medium.
  • Top color: I used a beige color, and I added 2-3 scoops of texture medium.
  • For the third color, I just used my white primer. (This third color will help add some depth as well as blend the blue and beige together).

The degree of texture is up to you, so play around with the medium (on your leftover board).

STEP THREE: Brush on your peek through color. Don't do a full even coat - add some visual interest by leaving it lightly textured. (I used my old sanding block to lay down the color!)

Once you're happy with the first color, let it dry. 

STEP FOUR: Apply your second layer color. (This will be the color that you mixed with more texture.)

Get creative with your application! The idea is to create a nice, subtle texture while letting that base color peek through. I used my flat plastic ruler to scrape the color around.

 

STEP FIVE: Add in some white! Adding a 'middle ground' of white helps to blend the two colors, and it adds a little bit more depth. If you don't like white with your color scheme, you can alternatively add in a different neutral color.

textured styling board diy

 

Don't be afraid to scrape back over wet parts - play around with that texture! 

 

Once you're satisfied with your texture, let it dry. Then, spray on a few even coats of the matte varnish. And viola! A gorg styling board that's all YOURS!

 


 

I'm pretty excited with how mine turned out! So much, in fact, that I put it up for sale in my shop! #yasss


Love this idea but just don't have time to DIY it? I got you!

I offer custom styling boards and backdrops HERE.


 

If you do utilize this tutorial, I'd LOVE to see your creations! Post it on the 'gram and tag me! @rachelwadlowart

 
rachel wadlow art

I'm Rachel - and I'm so glad you're here! I have a passion for creating completely unique custom art.

You know what else I love? 
Providing creatives (like you!) with the best possible tools to stay motivated, inspired, and informed.