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Easy DIY Shiplap: How to make a $20 prop! | Photography DIY | SBVA Snaps

DIY Shiplap Prop

As a photographer, it is hard to find great props with the right look and not spend all of your profits.

And if you’re in a photography forum or group, you’ve heard about using wall paneling from Lowe’s or Home Depot as backdrops.

But when I went to use this light colored Lowe's pane during sessions, I didn’t like how it had a yellowish cast and a slight shine, and it bugged me how white the lined between the planks were. In short, I just didn’t like using it in my pictures as much as I should.

What I really wanted was something brighter. Something more contemporary. Something more ship-lappy. Just call me JoJo.


From Lowe’s

From a craft store

  • A fine tip paint brush from the art section for the grooves of the board.

  • A small bottle of black acrylic paint. It's usually about $0.50.

Other supplies from home

  • Paper towels

  • Drop cloth

  • Water

Getting started

Once you have a work space set up like this, you can get started! I just used an old curtain as a drop cloth and painted inside since it is cold outdoors and I want the paint to dry quickly.

This picture was taken with my cell phone, but just look at how shiny that is. Glare is hard to work with in photography.

Step 1

Using broad strokes with the “grain” of the wood, apply one coat of off white paint to the panel and let dry. Apply a second coat. This used most of the paint that I had from the sample. You just need a little bit of white paint left for step 2. Let it dry for about an hour.

My photographer's eye already liked how the paint dried a more matte color and gave the panel texture.

Step 2

Take a few drops of black paint and mix with the white paint to get a dark grey color. Then, add about 2 tablespoons of water to it so that you get a thin, dark grey paint mixture.

Step 3

Using your fine tip art brush, paint the first groove of the panel. It is okay if it goes outside the lines.

Before moving onto the next groove, and while the grey watery paint is wet, use a paper towel to wipe the excess from outside the lines. The watery parts of the paint should come up easily.

This may even streak the boards a little bit, but I like it that way—it adds character to the board and goes with the grain. Just repeat the paint and wipe process for the rest of the lines, one at a time.

Step 4

Repeat Step 3 for each of the other line grooves. Then, you’re finished!

And the final product in use with some magnolia leaves:

DIY Shiplap

Want to see another cool, cheap DIY? Like and follow my Facebook page. Also check out how to make newborn headbands for next to no money on my other DIY blog post!

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