Are you looking for tips on how to photograph your artwork?  Let me know if this is you?

  • You’ve created a piece of art that you’re really proud of and you want to share it on Facebook or Instagram.
  • You place your artwork on the floor, your dining room table or your art table.  
  • You take your trusty camera, snap some pictures and what the heck and upload it to social media.
  • What the heck, the picture is all blue, orange to just way too dark.
  • So you open your photo editing software and spend 15 minutes trying to make adjustments.

Yeah, I can just see your face now, all scrunched up… guilty!

Hey, I’ve been there, learning how to photograph your artwork is a science, so I thought.  Always wondering how other artists got really good pictures.

First solution, take your pictures outside in the morning or late afternoon, preferably when there is cloud cover.  

Oh yeah, but what if it’s snowing, raining or just too darn hot or cold?  

Of course, taking pictures indoors is what you have to do.

So when learning how to photograph your artwork, are you like me, refusing to spend hundreds of dollars on those plastic photography backgrounds?  Because you know one background just won’t cut it. 

How to Photograph Your Artwork Using a Wainscot Background

This is a different type of video lesson, because at the time, I had a really bad cold and no voice (lucky Joe) so he offered to be the hands doing the work while I’m behind the camera.  The time to watch the video is just over 2 minutes.

Only half a package of Knotty Wainscot was used, so taking the cost of the stain (you likely already have acrylic paint, so you can just thin that out a bit), this background was an money investment of $10 CDN in raw material.  

How to Photograph Your Art
Using a DIY Wainscot Background


  • You can buy Knotty Wainscot at your big box home improvement stores for the best pricing.
  • You can also use barn board, shiplap, wood planks or flooring.  Flooring will cost you a bit more, but you won’t have to paint it if you find the right colour.
  • Save money and use gesso or white acrylic paint for the background.  Just thin it down with some water, extender or a glazing medium.
  • If you use flooring, use a white 8mm narrow plank.  Will be a little more costly, but you can create a huge background and store it under your bed.
Knotty Pine
  • Some home improvement stores have sheets of beaded white panel for under $10.  Note that the finish will be opaque and likely a bit shiny.
  • If you use barnboard, shiplap or wood planks, make sure you wear a mask and sand until smooth.  The last thing you need are splinters.
  • If you use raw wood, seal it first for best results.
  • The DecoArt Colour Stain I’m using has a built in sealer, so that’s one step I was able to safely skip.
  • Don’t have the means or ability to use Knotty Pine?  Use a large canvas, Masonite board, foam board or cardboard and just paint it white with a tiny touch of black, so it’s not pure white.  
  • I used stain so I could see the grain and the finish wasn’t pure white.  
  • Sometimes a camera doesn’t register the white balance properly when photographing something completely white.  This might make it a bit easier.

Ready to Make This?

DIY Wainscot Background for Photographing Your Art

I have a question for you...

What do you currently use as a background for your art photography?  please share your tips in the comments below so we can try it.